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Questions and Answers: Longlands leasehold conveyancing

I am looking at a two apartments in Longlands which have approximately forty five years remaining on the lease term. Should I regard a short lease as a deal breaker?

There are plenty of short leases in Longlands. The lease is a right to use the premises for a prescribed time frame. As the lease gets shorter the value of the lease decreases and it becomes more expensive to acquire a lease extension. This is why it is often a good idea to extend the lease term. It is often difficult to sell a property with a short lease as mortgage companies may be reluctant to lend money on properties of this type. Lease extension can be a protracted process. We advise that you seek professional assistance from a solicitor and surveyor with experience in this arena

I've recently bought a leasehold property in Longlands. Do I have any liability for service charges for periods before my ownership?

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 be sure 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).

Do you have any advice for leasehold conveyancing in Longlands with the aim of expediting the sale process?

  • A significant proportion of the frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Longlands can be bypassed if you appoint lawyers as soon as you market your property and ask them to put together the leasehold information needed by the purchasers’ solicitors.
  • The majority freeholders or Management Companies in Longlands levy fees for providing management packs for a leasehold homes. You or your lawyers should enquire as to the fee that they propose to charge. The management information can be applied for as soon as you have a buyer, thus accelerating the process. The average time it takes to obtain the necessary information is three weeks. It is the most usual reason for frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Longlands.
  • If you have carried out any alterations to the residence would they have required Landlord’s consent? Have you, for example installed wooden flooring? Most leases in Longlands state that internal structural changes or laying down wooden flooring calls for a licence from the Landlord approving such changes. Where you dont have the approvals in place do not communicate with the landlord without checking with your conveyancer first.
  • Some Longlands leases require Landlord’s consent to the sale and approval of the buyers. If this is the case, you should notify your estate agents to make sure that the purchasers put in hand financial (bank) and professional references. Any bank reference will need to confirm that the buyers are able to meet the annual service charge and the actual amount of the service charge should be quoted in the bank’s letter. You will therefore need to provide your estate agents with the actual amount of the service charge so that they can pass this information on to the buyers or their lawyers.
  • You believe that you know the number of years remaining on your lease but it would be wise to double-check by asking your conveyancers. A purchaser's lawyer will not be happy to advise their client to proceed with the purchase of a leasehold property the remaining number of years is below 80 years. It is therefore important at an as soon as possible that you consider whether the lease requires a lease extension. If it does, contact your solicitors before you put your premises on the market for sale.

  • Completion in due on our sale of a £325000 maisonette in Longlands in just under a week. The landlords agents has quoted £408 for Landlord’s certificate, insurance certificate and 3 years statements of service charge. Is it legal for a freeholder to charge exorbitant fees for a leasehold conveyance in Longlands?

    Longlands conveyancing on leasehold maisonettes more often than not necessitates the buyer’s lawyer submitting enquiries for the landlord to address. Although the landlord is not legally bound to answer such questions the majority will be willing to assist. They are at liberty levy a reasonable charge for answering enquiries or supplying documentation. There is no set fee. The average costs for the paperwork that you are referring to is over three hundred pounds, in some cases it is in excess of £800. The administration charge invoiced by the landlord must be sent together with a synopsis of rights and obligations in relation to administration fees, without which the invoice is not strictly payable. In reality one has little option but to pay whatever is requested of you if you want to exchange contracts with the buyer.

    Having spent months of negotiations we cannot agree with our landlord on how much the lease extension should cost for our flat in Longlands. Does the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal have jurisdiction to calculate the appropriate figures?

    in cases where there is a absentee freeholder or if there is dispute about what the lease extension should cost, under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 you can apply to the LVT to arrive at the price.

    An example of a Lease Extension matter before the tribunal for a Longlands premises 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 are the frequently found problems that you encounter in leases for Longlands properties?

    Leasehold conveyancing in Longlands is not unique. All leases are unique and drafting errors can result in certain sections are wrong. For example, if your lease is missing any of the following, it could be defective:

    • A provision to repair to or maintain parts of the property
    • A duty to insure the building
    • 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 can cause problems when trying to sell a property primarily because it impacts on the ability to obtain a mortgage on the property. HSBC Bank, Bank of Scotland, and Barclays Direct all have express requirements 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 buyer to withdraw.