Recently asked questions relating to Knightsbridge leasehold conveyancing
Estate agents have just been given the go-ahead to market my garden apartment in Knightsbridge.Conveyancing lawyers have not yet been instructed but I have just received a yearly maintenance charge demand – should I leave it to the buyer to sort out?
The sensible thing to do is pay the service charge 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 until 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. Having a clear account will assist your cause and will leave you no worse off financially.
Back In 2001, I bought a leasehold flat in Knightsbridge. Conveyancing and Lloyds TSB Bank mortgage organised. I have received a letter from someone claiming to own the reversionary interest in the property. Attached was a ground rent demand for rent dating back to 1991. The conveyancing practitioner in Knightsbridge who previously acted has now retired.What should I do?
The first thing you should do is make enquiries of HMLR to be sure that the individual claiming to own the freehold is indeed the new freeholder. There is no need to instruct a Knightsbridge conveyancing lawyer to do this as it can be done on-line for a few pound. 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.
I am tempted by the attractive purchase price for a couple of flats in Knightsbridge which have in the region of forty five years remaining on the lease term. Should I regard a short lease as a deal breaker?
There are no two ways about it. A leasehold apartment in Knightsbridge is a deteriorating asset as a result of the reducing lease term. The nearer the lease gets to its expiry date, the more it adversely affects the value of the property. The majority of purchasers and banks, leases with under eighty years become less and less marketable. On a more upbeat note, leaseholders can extend their leases by serving a Section 42 Notice. One stipulation is that they must have owned the premises 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 Knightsbridge conveyancing experts who will explain the options available to you during an initial telephone conversation free of charge. A more straightforward and quicker method of extending would be to contact your landlord directly and sound him out on the prospect of extending the lease You may find he or she is happy to negotiate informally and willing to consider your offer straight off, without having to involve anyone else. This will save you time and money and it could help you reach a lower price on the lease. 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.
What are your top tips when it comes to choosing a Knightsbridge conveyancing practice to deal with our lease extension?
When appointing a conveyancer for lease extension works (regardless if they are a Knightsbridge conveyancing practice) it is imperative that he or she should be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of work. We advise that you speak with two or three firms including non Knightsbridge conveyancing practices prior to instructing a firm. Where the conveyancing practice is ALEP accredited then so much the better. Some following of questions might be helpful:
- How familiar is the practice with lease extension legislation?
Following years of dialogue we cannot agree with our landlord on how much the lease extension should cost for our flat in Knightsbridge. Can we issue an application to the Residential Property Tribunal Service?
Most certainly. We are happy to put you in touch with a Knightsbridge conveyancing firm who can help.
An example of a Lease Extension decision for a Knightsbridge premises is Flat 3 47 Cadogan Square in December 2010. the Tribunal determined that the premium payable to the landord by the leaseholder for the lease extension was £732,935 This case was in relation to 1 flat. The the number of years remaining on the existing lease(s) was 13.33 years.
What makes a Knightsbridge lease unacceptable for security purposes?
Leasehold conveyancing in Knightsbridge is not unique. All leases are unique and drafting errors can sometimes mean that certain clauses are not included. The following missing provisions could result in a defective lease:
- Repairing obligations to or maintain elements of the premises
- Insurance obligations
- Clauses dealing with recovering service charges for expenditure on the building or common parts.
- Service charge per centages that don't add up correctly leaving a shortfall
You will have a problem when selling your property if you have a defective lease as they can affect a potential buyer’s ability to obtain a mortgage. Barclays , Chelsea Building Society, and Clydesdale all have express requirements when it comes to what is expected in a lease. Where a lender has been advised by their lawyers that the lease does not cover certain provisions they may refuse to provide security, obliging the purchaser to withdraw.