Recently asked questions relating to Kew leasehold conveyancing
I have just appointed agents to market my 2 bed apartment in Kew.Conveyancing has not commenced but I have just had a quarterly maintenance charge invoice – Do I pay up?
The sensible thing to do is pay 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 managing agents will not acknowledge the buyer unless 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 today plan to offer on a house that seems to meet my requirements, at a great price which is making it all the more appealing. I have just found out that it's a leasehold as opposed to freehold. I am assuming that there are issues buying a house with a leasehold title in Kew. Conveyancing advisers have are about to be instructed. Will they explain the issues?
The majority of houses in Kew are freehold rather than leasehold. This is one of the situations where having a local solicitor used to dealing with such properties who can help the conveyancing process. It is clear that you are purchasing in Kew in which case you should be looking for a Kew conveyancing solicitor and check that they have experience in dealing with leasehold houses. First you will need to check the number of years remaining. As a leaseholder you will not be at liberty to do whatever you want to the property. The lease comes with conditions for example obtaining the freeholder’spermission to conduct alterations. It may be necessary to pay a service charge towards the maintenance of the estate where the house is part of an estate. Your conveyancer should appraise you on the various issues.
I've recently bought a leasehold house in Kew. 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. Strange as it may seem, 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 am employed by a long established estate agent office in Kew where we see a few flat sales derailed as a result of short leases. I have received conflicting advice from local Kew conveyancing firms. Please can you shed some light as to whether the owner of a flat can initiate 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 start 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 sit tight for 2 years to extend their lease. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment needs to be completed before, or simultaneously with completion of the disposal of the property.
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 purchaser.
I have tried to negotiate informally with with my landlord for a lease extension without getting anywhere. Can one make an application to the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal? Can you recommend a Kew conveyancing firm to assist?
Absolutely. We can put you in touch with a Kew conveyancing firm who can help.
An example of a Lease Extension decision for a Kew residence is Flat 1 30 Ennismore Avenue in September 2010. the Tribunal adopted and arrived at a premium for the lease extension of £29, 900 This case affected 1 flat. The remaining number of years on the lease was 68.34 years.
What makes a Kew lease unacceptable for security purposes?
There is nothing unique about leasehold conveyancing in Kew. Most leases are individual and legal mistakes in the legal wording can sometimes mean that certain sections are erroneous. The following missing provisions could result in a defective lease:
- Repairing obligations 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.
- Service charge per centages that don't add up correctly leaving a shortfall
You could have difficulties when selling your property if you have a defective lease as they can affect a potential buyer’s ability to obtain a mortgage. Accord Mortgages Ltd, Barnsley Building Society, and Alliance & Leicester all have express conveyancing instructions when it comes to what is expected in a lease. Where a lender has been advised by their lawyers that the lease is defective they may refuse to provide security, forcing the buyer to withdraw.