Questions and Answers: Hither Green leasehold conveyancing
Expecting to complete next month on a ground floor flat in Hither Green. Conveyancing lawyers inform me that they will have a report out to me on Monday. What should I be looking out for?
Your report on title for your leasehold conveyancing in Hither Green should include some of the following:
- The length of the lease term You should be advised as what happens when the lease ends, and aware of the importance of not letting the lease term falling below eighty years
Estate agents have just been given the go-ahead to market my basement flat in Hither Green.Conveyancing has not commenced but I have just had a quarterly maintenance charge invoice – should I leave it to the buyer to sort out?
It best that you clear the invoice as normal because all ground rent and service charges will be apportioned on completion, so you will be reimbursed by the buyer for the period running from after the completion date to the next payment date. Most management companies will not acknowledge the buyer until the service charges have been paid and are up to date so it is important for both buyer and seller for the seller to show that they are up to date. This will smooth the conveyancing process.
I am tempted by the attractive purchase price for a two maisonettes in Hither Green which have approximately 50 years left on the lease term. Will this present a problem?
There is no doubt about it. A leasehold apartment in Hither Green is a wasting asset as a result of the reducing lease term. The closer the lease gets to its expiry date, the more it adversely affects the salability of the property. The majority of purchasers and banks, leases with under eighty years become less and less marketable. On a more positive note, leaseholders can extend their leases by serving a Section 42 Notice. One stipulation is that they must have owned the premises for two years (unlike a Section 13 notice for purchasing the freehold, when leaseholders can participate from day one of ownership). When successful, they will have the right to an extension of 90 years to the current term and ground rent is effectively reduced to zero. Before moving forward with a purchase of property with a short lease term remaining you should talk to a solicitor specialising in lease extensions and leasehold enfranchisement. We are are happy to put you in touch with Hither Green conveyancing experts who will explain the options available to you during an initial telephone conversation free of charge. A more straightforward and quicker method of extending would be to contact your landlord directly and sound him out on the prospect of extending the lease They may agree to a smaller lump sum and an increase in the ground rent, but to shorter extension terms in return. You need to ensure that the agreed terms represent good long-term value compared with the standard benefits of the Section 42 Notice and that onerous clauses are not inserted into any redrafting of the lease.
Last month I purchased a leasehold house in Hither Green. Am I liable to pay service charges for periods before my ownership?
In a situation where the service charge has already been demanded from the previous lessee and they have not paid you would not usually be personally liable for the arrears. However, your landlord may still be able to take action to forfeit the lease. It is an essential part of leasehold conveyancing for your conveyancer to be sure to have an up to date clear service charge receipt before completion of your purchase. If you have a mortgage this is likely to be a requirement of your lender.
If you purchase part way through an accounting year you may be liable for charges not yet demanded even if they relate to a period prior to your purchase. In such circumstances your conveyancer would normally arrange for the seller to set aside some money to cover their part of the period (usually called a service charge retention).
Can you provide any advice for leasehold conveyancing in Hither Green from the point of view of speeding up the sale process?
- A significant proportion of the delay in leasehold conveyancing in Hither Green can be avoided where you appoint lawyers as soon as your agents start advertising the property and ask them to put together the leasehold information needed by the buyers solicitors.
- If you have carried out any alterations to the premises would they have required Landlord’s approval? Have you, for example installed wooden flooring? Hither Green leases often stipulate that internal structural changes or laying down wooden flooring require a licence from the Landlord acquiescing to such changes. If you dont have the approvals to hand do not communicate with the landlord without contacting your solicitor in the first instance.
I own a first flat in Hither Green. Given that I can not reach agreement with the landlord, can the Leasehold valuation Tribunal determine the amount payable for the purchase of the freehold?
Where there is a missing freeholder or where there is dispute about what the lease extension should cost, under the relevant statutes you can apply to the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal to determine the price payable.
An example of a Freehold Enfranchisement case for a Hither Green residence is 18 Handen Road in April 2013. On 26 October 2012 District Judge Zimmels sitting at the Lambeth County Court made a Vesting Order that the Applicants be granted the right to acquire the freehold upon such terms and at such price determined by the LVT. The Tribunal arrived a figure of £39,535 as a valuation for the enfranchisement. This case related to 3 flats. The unexpired lease term was 69.05 years.