Recently asked questions relating to Kentish Town leasehold conveyancing
Having had my offer accepted I require leasehold conveyancing in Kentish Town. Before I get started I want to be sure as to the number of years remaining on the lease.
Assuming the lease is recorded at the land registry - and almost all are in Kentish Town - 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 seems to be perfect, at a reasonable figure which is making it all the more appealing. I have subsequently been informed that the title is leasehold as opposed to freehold. I am assuming that there are issues buying a leasehold house in Kentish Town. Conveyancing solicitors have not yet been appointed. Will they explain the issues?
The majority of houses in Kentish Town are freehold and not leasehold. This is one of the situations where having a local solicitor used to dealing with such properties who can assist with the conveyancing process. It is clear that you are buying in Kentish Town so you should seriously consider shopping around for a Kentish Town conveyancing practitioner and check that they are used to dealing with leasehold houses. First you will need to check the unexpired lease term. Being a tenant you will not be entirely free to do whatever you want with the house. The lease comes with conditions such as obtaining the freeholder’sconsent to conduct alterations. You may also be required to pay a maintenance charge towards the maintenance of the communal areas where the property is part of an estate. Your lawyer should appraise you on the various issues.
I am attracted to a two apartments in Kentish Town which have about fifty years unexpired on the leases. Do I need to be concerned?
There is no doubt about it. A leasehold apartment in Kentish Town is a wasting asset as a result of the reducing lease term. The nearer the lease gets to zero years unexpired, the more it adversely affects the salability of the premises. The majority of buyers and lenders, leases with under 75 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 property 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 premises 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 Kentish Town conveyancing experts who will explain the options available to you during an initial telephone conversation free of charge. More often than not it is possible to negotiate informally with the freeholder to extend 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 any new 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 Kentish Town. Do I have any liability for service charges relating to a period prior to completion of my purchase?
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. It is an essential part 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 work for a long established estate agency in Kentish Town where we have witnessed a number of leasehold sales derailed as a result of short leases. I have been given inconsistent advice from local Kentish Town conveyancing solicitors. Can you clarify whether the seller of a flat can instigate 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 kick-start the lease extension process and assign the benefit of the notice to the purchaser. This means that the buyer can avoid having to wait 2 years to extend their lease. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment has to be done prior to, or at the same time as completion of the sale.
Alternatively, it may be possible 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.
I am the leaseholder of a first floor flat in Kentish Town. In the absence of agreement between myself and the landlord, can the Leasehold valuation Tribunal make a decision on the sum due for the purchase of the freehold?
if there is a absentee landlord or if there is dispute about what the lease extension should cost, under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 it is possible to make an application to the LVT to make a decision on the price.
An example of a Lease Extension case for a Kentish Town flat is Flat 2 27 Mackeson Road in December 2012. The Tribunal assessed the value of the lease extension premium at £35,435 and rounded the figure to £35,500 This case affected 1 flat. The the unexpired residue of the current lease was 64.77 years.