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Top Five Questions relating to Lampton leasehold conveyancing

I've found a house that seems to meet my requirements, at a reasonable price which is making it all the more appealing. I have subsequently been informed that the title is leasehold as opposed to freehold. I would have thought that there are issues purchasing a leasehold house in Lampton. Conveyancing advisers have not yet been appointed. Will my lawyers set out the implications of buying a leasehold house in Lampton ?

Most houses in Lampton are freehold and not leasehold. In this scenario it’s worth having a local solicitor who is familiar with the area can help the conveyancing process. It is clear that you are buying in Lampton in which case you should be looking for a Lampton conveyancing solicitor and check that they have experience in dealing with leasehold houses. First you will need to check the number of years remaining. Being a tenant you will not be entirely free to do whatever you want to the property. The lease will likely included provisions for example obtaining the landlord’spermission to carry out changes to the property. You may also be required to pay a contribution towards the maintenance of the communal areas where the property is part of an estate. Your conveyancer will appraise you on the various issues.

Back In 2003, I bought a leasehold house in Lampton. Conveyancing and Bank of Ireland mortgage organised. A letter has just been received from someone saying they have taken over the reversionary interest in the property. It included a demand for arrears of ground rent dating back to 1996. The conveyancing practitioner in Lampton who acted for me is not around.Any advice?

The first thing you should do is contact HMLR to be sure that the individual purporting to own the freehold is in fact the new freeholder. It is not necessary to instruct a Lampton conveyancing firm to do this as you can do this on the Land Registry website for a few pound. You should note that regardless, even if this is the rightful freeholder, under the Limitation Act 1980 no more than 6 years of rent can be collected.

I've recently bought a leasehold flat in Lampton. Am I liable to pay 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 lessee 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 long established estate agent office in Lampton where we have witnessed a number of leasehold sales put at risk as a result of short leases. I have received conflicting advice from local Lampton conveyancing solicitors. Please can you confirm whether the owner of a flat can commence 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. 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 needs to be completed 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 purchaser.

After years of dialogue we are unable to agree with our landlord on how much the lease extension should cost for our flat in Lampton. Does the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal have jurisdiction to calculate the appropriate figures?

Most definitely. We are happy to put you in touch with a Lampton conveyancing firm who can help.

An example of a Lease Extension decision for a Lampton residence is Ground Floor Flat 91 Bath Road in May 2009. in a case where the freeholder could not be traced, the Brentford County Court ordered that the Lease be surrendered in return for the grant of a new lease of the Premises at a premium determined by the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal. The tribunal concluded that the price payable by the Applicant for the new lease of the premises be £15,900 This case affected 1 flat. The remaining number of years on the lease was 60.45 years.

What are the frequently found problems that you encounter in leases for Lampton properties?

There is nothing unique about leasehold conveyancing in Lampton. All leases are unique and drafting errors can sometimes mean that certain clauses are not included. For example, if your lease is missing any of the following, it could be defective:

  • A provision to repair to or maintain elements of the property
  • Insurance obligations
  • 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 may encounter difficulties when selling your property if you have a defective lease as they can affect a potential buyer’s ability to obtain a mortgage. Lloyds TSB Bank, Coventry Building Society, and Bank of Ireland 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 problematic they may refuse to provide security, obliging the buyer to pull out.