Questions and Answers: Havering-atte-Bower leasehold conveyancing
I am on look out for some leasehold conveyancing in Havering-atte-Bower. Before I get started I require certainty as to the number of years remaining on the lease.
If the lease is recorded at the land registry - and almost all are in Havering-atte-Bower - then the leasehold title will always include the short particulars of the lease, namely the date; the term; and the original parties. From a conveyancing perspective such details then enable any prospective buyer and lender to confirm that any lease they are looking at is the one relevant to that title.For any other purpose, such as confirming how long the term was granted for and calculating what is left, then the register should be sufficient on it's own.
I today plan to offer on a house that appears to tick a lot of boxes, at a reasonable price which is making it all the more appealing. I have just been informed that it's a leasehold as opposed to freehold. I am assuming that there are issues buying a house with a leasehold title in Havering-atte-Bower. Conveyancing advisers have not yet been instructed. Will my lawyers set out the implications of buying a leasehold house in Havering-atte-Bower ?
Most houses in Havering-atte-Bower are freehold and not leasehold. In this scenario it’s worth having a local conveyancer used to dealing with such properties who can assist with the conveyancing process. It is clear that you are buying in Havering-atte-Bower in which case you should be looking for a Havering-atte-Bower conveyancing practitioner and check that they are used to dealing with leasehold houses. As a matter of priority you will need to check the unexpired lease term. As a lessee you will not be entirely free to do whatever you want with the house. The lease comes with conditions for example obtaining the freeholder’sconsent to conduct changes to the property. You may also be required to pay a maintenance charge towards the maintenance of the estate where the property is part of an estate. Your conveyancer should advise you fully on all the issues.
My wife and I purchased a leasehold flat in Havering-atte-Bower. Conveyancing and Aldermore mortgage went though with no issue. I have received a letter from someone claiming to own the freehold. Attached was a demand for arrears of ground rent dating back to 1994. The conveyancing practitioner in Havering-atte-Bower who previously acted has long since retired.What should I do?
First contact the Land Registry to be sure that this person is in fact the registered owner of the freehold reversion. There is no need to instruct a Havering-atte-Bower conveyancing lawyer to do this as you can do this on the Land Registry website for a few pound. You should note that regardless, even if this is the legitimate landlord, under the Limitation Act 1980 no more than 6 years of rent can be collected.
I am employed by a reputable estate agency in Havering-atte-Bower where we have witnessed a few flat sales jeopardised due to leases having less than 80 years remaining. I have been given contradictory information from local Havering-atte-Bower conveyancing firms. Please can you shed some light as to whether the owner of a flat can initiate the lease extension process for the purchaser on completion of the sale?
Provided that the seller has owned the lease for at least 2 years it is possible, to serve a Section 42 notice to start the lease extension process and assign the benefit of the notice to the purchaser. The benefit of this is that the proposed purchaser need not have to wait 2 years to extend their lease. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment needs to be completed before, or simultaneously with completion of the sale.
An alternative approach is to extend the lease informally by agreement with the landlord either before or after the sale. If you are informally negotiating there are no rules and so you cannot insist on the landlord agreeing to grant an extension or transferring the benefit of an agreement to the purchaser.
Despite our best endeavours, we have been unsuccessful in trying to purchase the freehold in Havering-atte-Bower. Can this matter be resolved via the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal?
if there is a missing freeholder or where there is dispute about the premium for a lease extension, under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 it is possible to make an application to the First-tier Tribunal (Property Chamber) to judgment on the premium.
An example of a Lease Extension decision for a Havering-atte-Bower property is 37 Lodge Court High Street in November 2013. the decision of the LVT was that the premium to be paid for the new lease was £25,559 This case was in relation to 1 flat. The unexpired lease term was 57.5 years.
What makes a Havering-atte-Bower lease defective?
Leasehold conveyancing in Havering-atte-Bower is not unique. All leases is drafted differently and drafting errors can sometimes mean that certain sections are not included. For example, if your lease is missing any of the following, it could be defective:
- A provision to repair to or maintain elements of the building
- A duty to insure the building
- Clauses dealing with recovering service charges for expenditure on the building or common parts.
- Maintenance charge proportions which don’t add up to the correct percentage
A defective lease can cause issues when trying to sell a property primarily because it impacts on the ability to obtain a mortgage on the property. Nationwide Building Society, Skipton Building Society, and Platform Home Loans Ltd all have very detailed requirements when it comes to what is expected in a lease. If a mortgage lender believes that the lease does not cover certain provisions they may refuse to provide security, forcing the buyer to withdraw.