Quality lawyers for Leasehold Conveyancing in Hornchurch

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Top Five Questions relating to Hornchurch leasehold conveyancing

I am on look out for some leasehold conveyancing in Hornchurch. Before I get started I would like to find out the remaining lease term.

If the lease is registered - and most are in Hornchurch - 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've recently bought a leasehold flat in Hornchurch. 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 owner 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. A critical element of leasehold conveyancing for your conveyancer to ensure 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 a negotiator for a busy estate agent office in Hornchurch where we have experienced a few flat sales jeopardised as a result of leases having less than 80 years remaining. I have received contradictory information from local Hornchurch conveyancing firms. Could you clarify whether the owner of a flat can instigate the lease extension formalities 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 commence 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 for a lease extension. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment has to be done before, or at the same time as completion of the disposal of the property.

Alternatively, it may be possible 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.

Do you have any advice for leasehold conveyancing in Hornchurch with the intention of speeding up the sale process?

  • Much of the delay in leasehold conveyancing in Hornchurch can be avoided if you instruct lawyers the minute your agents start advertising the property and ask them to put together the leasehold information which will be required by the buyers representatives.
  • In the event that you altered the property did you need the Landlord’s consent? Have you, for example installed wooden flooring? Most leases in Hornchurch state that internal structural changes or addition of wooden flooring calls for a licence from the Landlord approving such changes. Where you dont have the consents in place do not communicate with the landlord without checking with your conveyancer in advance.
  • Some Hornchurch leases require Licence to Assign from the landlord. If this is the case, you should place the estate agents on notice to make sure that the purchasers put in hand financial (bank) and professional references. Any bank reference should make it clear that the buyer is 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 lawyers.
  • If there is a history of any disputes with your landlord or managing agents it is essential that these are settled before the property is marketed. The buyers and their solicitors will be warry about purchasing a flat where a dispute is unsettled. You may need to swallow your pride and pay any arrears of service charge or settle the dispute prior to the buyers completing the purchase. It is therefore preferable to have any dispute settled ahead of the contract papers being issued to the buyers’ solicitors. You are still duty bound to disclose details of the dispute to the buyers, but it is clearly preferable to present the dispute as historic as opposed to unsettled.
  • You believe that you know the number of years left on your lease but it would be advisable verify this by asking your lawyers. A purchaser's conveyancer will not be happy to advise their client to where the lease term is below 75 years. In the circumstances it is essential at an as soon as possible that you consider whether the lease term requires a lease extension. If it does, contact your solicitors before you put your property on the market for sale.

  • I have tried to negotiate informally with with my landlord for a lease extension without getting anywhere. Can the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal adjudicate on such issues? Can you recommend a Hornchurch conveyancing firm to represent me?

    Most certainly. We can put you in touch with a Hornchurch conveyancing firm who can help.

    An example of a Lease Extension matter before the tribunal for a Hornchurch 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 related to 1 flat. The the unexpired term as at the valuation date was 57.5 years.

    What makes a Hornchurch lease unmortgageable?

    Leasehold conveyancing in Hornchurch is not unique. Most leases is drafted differently and legal mistakes in the legal wording can sometimes mean that certain provisions are not included. The following missing provisions could result in a defective lease:

    • A provision to repair to or maintain elements of the building
    • A duty to insure the building
    • A provision for the recovery of money spent for the benefit of another party.
    • Maintenance charge proportions which don’t add up to the correct percentage

    A defective lease will likely cause issues when trying to sell a property primarily because it impacts on the ability to obtain a mortgage on the property. Lloyds TSB Bank, Norwich and Peterborough Building Society, and Godiva Mortgages Ltd all have very detailed requirements when it comes to what is expected in a lease. If a mortgage lender believes that the lease is problematic they may refuse to grant the mortgage, forcing the purchaser to pull out.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Hornchurch