Frequently asked questions relating to Lewisham leasehold conveyancing
Expecting to exchange soon on a ground floor flat in Lewisham. Conveyancing lawyers assured me that they will have a report out to me on Monday. What should I be looking out for?
The report on title for your leasehold conveyancing in Lewisham should include some of the following:
- Does the lease prohibit wood flooring?
Back In 2008, I bought a leasehold flat in Lewisham. Conveyancing and Alliance & Leicester mortgage organised. A letter has just been received from someone saying they have taken over the freehold. It included a demand for arrears of ground rent dating back to 1991. The conveyancing solicitor in Lewisham who acted for me is not around.Any advice?
First make enquiries of 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 Lewisham conveyancing practitioner to do this as you can do this on the Land Registry website for less than a fiver. Rest assured that regardless, even if this is the legitimate freeholder, under the Limitation Act 1980 no more than 6 years of rent can be collected.
I've recently bought a leasehold flat in Lewisham. 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 employed by a long established estate agency in Lewisham where we see a number of flat sales put at risk due to short leases. I have received inconsistent advice from local Lewisham conveyancing firms. Please can you clarify whether the seller of a flat can instigate the lease extension process 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 proposed purchaser can avoid having 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.
An alternative approach is 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 buyer.
After months of dialogue we simply can't agree with our landlord on how much the lease extension should cost for our flat in Lewisham. Can we issue an application to the Residential Property Tribunal Service?
if there is a missing landlord or where there is disagreement about the premium for a lease extension, under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 you can apply to the LVT to calculate the sum to be paid.
An example of a Lease Extension decision for a Lewisham premises is 73 Walerand Road in August 2012. the result of the findings of the Tribunal led to a premium to be paid for the extended lease in respect of Flat 73 in the sum of £10,040. The premium applicable in respect of Flat 85 was £5,710. This case affected 2 flats. The the unexpired term as at the valuation date was 72 years.
What makes a Lewisham lease unmortgageable?
Leasehold conveyancing in Lewisham is not unique. Most leases are unique and legal mistakes in the legal wording can sometimes mean that certain sections are not included. The following missing provisions could result in a defective lease:
- Repairing obligations to or maintain parts of the building
- A duty to insure the building
- Clauses dealing with recovering service charges for expenditure on the building or common parts.
- 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 as they can affect a potential buyer’s ability to obtain a mortgage. Accord Mortgages Ltd, The Mortgage Works, and Bank of Ireland all have express conveyancing instructions when it comes to what is expected in a lease. If a mortgage lender believes that the lease is defective they may refuse to provide security, obliging the purchaser to withdraw.