Longlands leasehold conveyancing: Q and A’s
I’m about to sell my ground floor flat in Longlands.Conveyancing solicitors are to be appointed soon but I have just had a yearly service charge invoice – Do I pay up?
Your conveyancing lawyer is likely to suggest that you should 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 management companies 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.
My wife and I purchased a leasehold flat in Longlands. Conveyancing and Clydesdale mortgage went though with no issue. I have received a letter from someone saying they have taken over the freehold. Attached was a demand for arrears of ground rent dating back to 1998. The conveyancing practitioner in Longlands who previously acted has now retired.Do I pay?
First make enquiries of the Land Registry to be sure that this person is in fact the new freeholder. There is no need to instruct a Longlands conveyancing lawyer to do this as you can do this on the Land Registry website for less than a fiver. You should note that in any event, even if this is the legitimate freeholder, under the Limitation Act 1980 no more than 6 years of rent can be collected.
I am a negotiator for a reputable estate agent office in Longlands where we have witnessed a few flat sales derailed as a result of leases having less than 80 years remaining. I have been given conflicting advice from local Longlands conveyancing solicitors. Could you clarify whether the vendor of a flat can instigate the lease extension formalities for the buyer?
As long as the seller has owned the lease for at least 2 years it is possible, to serve a Section 42 notice to kick-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 wait 2 years for a lease extension. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment has to be done prior to, 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.
What advice can you give us when it comes to appointing a Longlands conveyancing practice to carry out our lease extension conveyancing?
When appointing a property lawyer for your lease extension (regardless if they are a Longlands conveyancing firm) it is most important that he or she should be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of conveyancing. We suggested that you make enquires with two or three firms including non Longlands conveyancing practices before you instructing a firm. Where the conveyancing practice is ALEP accredited then that’s a bonus. Some following of questions might be of use:
- If they are not ALEP accredited then what is the reason?
I inherited a ground flat in Longlands. Given that I can not reach agreement with the freeholder, can the Leasehold valuation Tribunal make a decision on the premium payable for a lease extension?
in cases where there is a missing freeholder or if there is disagreement about what the lease extension should cost, under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 you can apply to the First-tier Tribunal (Property Chamber) to calculate the price payable.
An example of a Lease Extension case for a Longlands residence is 103a Footscray Road in January 2014. The tribunal determines that the premium payable for the extended lease should be £34,500 according to the expert witness valuation calculation This case related to 1 flat.
What makes a Longlands lease defective?
Leasehold conveyancing in Longlands is not unique. All leases are individual and drafting errors can sometimes mean that certain clauses are erroneous. The following missing provisions could result in a defective lease:
- Repairing obligations to or maintain parts 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
A defective lease will likely cause issues when trying to sell a property primarily because it impacts on the ability to obtain a mortgage on the property. Santander, Virgin Money, and Britannia all have express conveyancing instructions when it comes to what is expected in a lease. If a mortgage lender believes that the lease does not cover certain provisions they may refuse to provide security, forcing the purchaser to pull out.