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Honor Oak leasehold conveyancing Example Support Desk Enquiries

I am hoping to put an offer on a small detached house that appears to be perfect, at a reasonable figure which is making it all the more appealing. I have just discovered that the title is leasehold rather than freehold. I am assuming that there are particular concerns buying a house with a leasehold title in Honor Oak. Conveyancing lawyers have are soon to be appointed. Will my lawyers set out the implications of buying a leasehold house in Honor Oak ?

Most houses in Honor Oak are freehold and not leasehold. This is one of the situations where having a local conveyancer who is familiar with the area can assist with the conveyancing process. it is apparent that you are buying in Honor Oak in which case you should be looking for a Honor Oak conveyancing solicitor and check that they have experience in transacting on leasehold houses. First you will need to check the number of years remaining. Being a lessee you will not be entirely free to do whatever you want with the house. The lease will likely included provisions for example requiring the landlord’sconsent to conduct changes to the property. It may be necessary to pay a service charge towards the upkeep of the estate where the property is located on an estate. Your conveyancer should appraise you on the various issues.

Back In 2003, I bought a leasehold house in Honor Oak. Conveyancing and Aldermore mortgage organised. A letter has just been received from someone claiming to own the freehold. It included a ground rent demand for rent dating back to 1993. The conveyancing practitioner in Honor Oak who acted for me is not around.Do I pay?

The first thing you should do is make enquiries of the Land Registry to make sure that the individual purporting to own the freehold is in fact the new freeholder. It is not necessary to instruct a Honor Oak conveyancing practitioner to do this as it can be done on-line for less than a fiver. Rest assured that in any event, 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 property in Honor Oak. Am I liable to pay service charges relating to a period prior to completion of my purchase?

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. 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 long established estate agency in Honor Oak where we see a few flat sales put at risk due to short leases. I have received contradictory information from local Honor Oak conveyancing solicitors. Please can you confirm whether the seller of a flat can start the lease extension formalities for the purchaser on completion of the sale?

As long as the seller has been the owner 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 buyer need not have to wait 2 years to extend their lease. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment has to be done 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 buyer.

Do you have any advice for leasehold conveyancing in Honor Oak from the point of view of saving time on the sale process?

  • Much of the frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Honor Oak can be bypassed if you instruct lawyers the minute your agents start marketing the property and request that they start to collate the leasehold information which will be required 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 laid down wooden flooring? Most leases in Honor Oak state that internal structural changes or addition of wooden flooring calls for a licence from the Landlord acquiescing to such changes. If you fail to have the consents to hand you should not contact the landlord without checking with your conveyancer in the first instance.
  • Some Honor Oak 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. Any bank reference will need to confirm that the buyers are financially capable of paying the annual 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 there is a history of conflict with your freeholder or managing agents it is very important that these are settled before the property is put on the market. The purchasers and their solicitors will be concerned about purchasing a flat where there is a current dispute. You may need to swallow your pride and discharge any arrears of service charge or resolve 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 particulars of the dispute to the buyers, but it is clearly preferable to reveal the dispute as over rather than unsettled.
  • If you have the benefit of shareholding in the freehold, you should make sure that you hold the original share document. Organising a re-issued share certificate can be a time consuming process and delays many a Honor Oak home move. Where a reissued share certificate is necessary, do contact the company officers or managing agents (where relevant) for this sooner rather than later.

  • I am the leaseholder of a second floor flat in Honor Oak. In the absence of agreement between myself and the freeholder, can the Leasehold valuation Tribunal make a decision on the sum due for the purchase of the freehold?

    in cases where there is a absentee freeholder or where there is dispute about what the lease extension should cost, under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 you can apply to the First-tier Tribunal (Property Chamber) to make a decision on the sum to be paid.

    An example of a Lease Extension decision for a Honor Oak residence is Flat 1 40-42 Ewelme Road in August 2012. the Tribunal assessed the premium for the lease extension in the sum of £11,800 This case was in relation to 1 flat. The unexpired term was 61.81 years.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Honor Oak