Fixed-fee leasehold conveyancing in Holborn:

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Recently asked questions relating to Holborn leasehold conveyancing

Planning to complete next month on a ground floor flat in Holborn. Conveyancing lawyers inform me that they will have a report out to me next week. Are there areas in the report that I should be focusing on?

Your report on title for your leasehold conveyancing in Holborn should include some of the following:

  • You should receive a copy of the lease
  • Details of the parties to the lease, for example these could be the leaseholder (you), head lessor, freeholder
  • The total extent of the property. This will be the property itself but could also incorporate a roof space or cellar if applicable.
  • Does the lease prohibit wood flooring?
  • Are pets allowed in the flat?
  • Responsibility for repairing the window frames
  • What you can do if a neighbour is in violation of a provision in their lease? For a comprehensive list of information to be contained in your report on your leasehold property in Holborn please ask your conveyancer in ahead of your conveyancing in Holborn

  • I own a leasehold house in Holborn. Conveyancing and Nottingham Building Society mortgage organised. I have received a letter from someone saying they have taken over the reversionary interest in the property. It included a demand for arrears of ground rent dating back to 1993. The conveyancing practitioner in Holborn who acted for me is not around.Any advice?

    The first thing you should do is make enquiries of the Land Registry to make sure that this person is in fact the new freeholder. It is not necessary to incur the fees of a Holborn conveyancing firm to do this as it can be done on-line for £3. You should note that regardless, even if this is the legitimate freeholder, under the Limitation Act 1980 the limitation period for recovery of ground rent is six years.

    Last month I purchased a leasehold flat in Holborn. Do I have any liability for service charges for periods before my ownership?

    Where the service charge has already been demanded from the previous owner and they have not paid you would not usually be personally liable for the arrears. Strange as it may seem, your landlord may still be able to take action to forfeit the lease. A critical element 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).

    I am employed by a reputable estate agency in Holborn where we have witnessed a few leasehold sales put at risk as a result of leases having less than 80 years remaining. I have been given conflicting advice from local Holborn conveyancing firms. Could you confirm whether the owner of a flat can initiate the lease extension formalities for the purchaser on completion of the sale?

    As long as the seller has owned the lease for at least 2 years it is possible, to serve a Section 42 notice to commence the lease extension process and assign the benefit of the notice to the purchaser. This means that the buyer need not have to wait 2 years for a lease extension. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment needs to be completed prior to, or at the same time as completion of the disposal of the property.

    An alternative approach is to agree the lease extension with the freeholder 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 buyer.

    Can you provide any top tips for leasehold conveyancing in Holborn with the purpose of saving time on the sale process?

    • A significant proportion of the frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Holborn can be avoided where you appoint lawyers the minute your agents start advertising the property and ask them to put together the leasehold information which will be required by the purchasers’ lawyers.
    • Many freeholders or managing agents in Holborn levy fees for supplying management packs for a leasehold homes. You or your lawyers should enquire as to the actual amount of the charges. The management pack can be applied for as soon as you have a buyer, thus reducing delays. The average time it takes to receive management information is three weeks. It is the most frequent cause of frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Holborn.
  • A minority of Holborn leases require Landlord’s consent to the sale and approval of the buyers. If this applies to your lease, you should notify your estate agents to make sure that the purchasers obtain bank and professional references. The bank reference should make it clear that the buyer is able to meet the yearly service charge and the actual amount of the service charge should be quoted in the bank’s letter. You will therefore need to provide your estate agents with the actual amount of the service charge so that they can pass this information on to the purchasers or their solicitors.
  • If you have had conflict with your freeholder or managing agents it is very important that these are settled prior to the flat being marketed. The purchasers and their solicitors will be nervous about purchasing a flat where there is an ongoing dispute. You will have to accept that you will have to discharge any arrears of service charge or settle the dispute prior to completion of the sale. It is therefore preferable to have any dispute settled prior to the contract papers being issued to the buyers’ solicitors. You will still have to reveal details of the dispute to the buyers, but it is clearly preferable to reveal the dispute as historic as opposed to unsettled.
  • You may think that you are aware of the number of years left on your lease but it would be wise to double-check by asking your lawyers. A buyer’s conveyancer will not be happy to advise their client to where the lease term is below 80 years. It is therefore essential at an early stage that you identify whether the lease requires a lease extension. If it does, contact your solicitors before you put your property on the market for sale.

  • I have attempted and failed to negotiate with my landlord for a lease extension without success. Can the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal adjudicate on such issues? Can you recommend a Holborn conveyancing firm to act on my behalf?

    Absolutely. We can put you in touch with a Holborn conveyancing firm who can help.

    An example of a Lease Extension matter before the tribunal for a Holborn residence is Flat 89 Trinity Court Grays Inn Road in February 2013. the Tribunal found that the premium to be paid by the tenant on the grant of a new lease, in accordance with section 56 and Schedule 13 to the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 should be £36,229. This case was in relation to 1 flat. The the number of years remaining on the existing lease(s) was 66.8 years.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Holborn