Top Five Questions relating to Limehouse leasehold conveyancing
Estate agents have just been given the go-ahead to market my garden flat in Limehouse.Conveyancing solicitors are to be appointed soon but I have just received a quarterly maintenance charge invoice – what should I do?
It best that you clear 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 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. This will smooth the conveyancing process.
I own a leasehold house in Limehouse. Conveyancing and Nottingham Building Society mortgage organised. I have received a letter from someone claiming to own the freehold. Attached was a demand for arrears of ground rent dating back to 1998. The conveyancing practitioner in Limehouse who acted for me is not around.Any advice?
The first thing you should do is contact the Land Registry to be sure that the individual claiming to own the freehold is in fact the registered owner of the freehold reversion. You do not need to incur the fees of a Limehouse conveyancing firm to do this as it can be done on-line for a few pound. Rest assured that in any event, even if this is the rightful landlord, 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 apartments in Limehouse which have in the region of fifty years remaining on the lease term. should I be concerned?
There are plenty of short leases in Limehouse. The lease is a legal document that entitles you to use the property for a period of time. As the lease gets shorter the saleability of the lease reduces and it becomes more costly to acquire a lease extension. This is why it is generally wise to extend the lease term. It is often difficulties arise selling premises with a short lease because mortgage companies may be unwilling to lend money on such properties. Lease enfranchisement can be a protracted process. We recommend you seek professional help from a conveyancer and surveyor with experience in this field
I've recently bought a leasehold house in Limehouse. Am I liable to pay service charges relating to a period prior to my ownership?
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 employed by a long established estate agent office in Limehouse where we have experienced a number of flat sales put at risk due to leases having less than 80 years remaining. I have been given inconsistent advice from local Limehouse conveyancing solicitors. Please can you shed some light as to whether the owner of a flat can instigate 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. This means that the proposed purchaser 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 before, or simultaneously with 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.
Having spent years of negotiations we cannot agree with our landlord on how much the lease extension should cost for our flat in Limehouse. Can we issue an application to the Residential Property Tribunal Service?
Where there is a missing freeholder or where there is dispute about the premium for a lease extension, 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 payable.
An example of a Freehold Enfranchisement decision for a Limehouse residence is 26 Rhondda Grove in June 2009. The net price payable by the leaseholders as determined by the Tribunal was £3,015.13. This comprised £11,300 premium for the reversion less £8,284.87 costs as ordered by the County Court.