Frequently asked questions relating to Maze Hill leasehold conveyancing
Estate agents have just been given the go-ahead to market my basement apartment in Maze Hill.Conveyancing solicitors are to be appointed soon but I have just had a yearly service charge invoice – what should I do?
Your conveyancing lawyer is likely to suggest that you should pay the service charge 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. Having a clear account will assist your cause and will leave you no worse off financially.
I today plan to offer on a house that appears to be perfect, at a reasonable price which is making it all the more appealing. I have subsequently been informed that it's a leasehold rather than freehold. I am assuming that there are issues buying a house with a leasehold title in Maze Hill. Conveyancing advisers have not yet been instructed. Will my lawyers set out the risks of buying a leasehold house in Maze Hill ?
Most houses in Maze Hill are freehold and not leasehold. This is one of the situations where having a local conveyancer used to dealing with such properties who can assist with the conveyancing process. We note that you are buying in Maze Hill so you should seriously consider shopping around for a Maze Hill conveyancing solicitor and be sure that they are used to dealing with leasehold houses. First you will need to check the unexpired lease term. Being a tenant you will not be at liberty to do whatever you want with the house. The lease will likely included provisions such as obtaining the landlord’spermission to carry out alterations. It may be necessary to pay a service charge towards the maintenance of the communal areas where the property is part of an estate. Your lawyer should report to you on the legal implications.
I own a leasehold house in Maze Hill. Conveyancing and Lloyds TSB Bank mortgage are in place. 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 1992. The conveyancing practitioner in Maze Hill who previously acted has long since retired.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 instruct a Maze Hill conveyancing solicitor to do this as it can be done on-line for less than a fiver. You should note that in any event, even if this is the legitimate 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 two flats in Maze Hill both have approximately forty five years left on the lease term. Will this present a problem?
There are no two ways about it. A leasehold flat in Maze Hill is a deteriorating asset as a result of the reducing lease term. The closer the lease gets to zero years unexpired, the more it adversely affects the marketability of the property. The majority of purchasers and lenders, leases with under eighty years become less and less attractive. On a more upbeat note, leaseholders can extend their leases by serving a Section 42 Notice. One stipulation is that they must have owned the property for two years (unlike a Section 13 notice for purchasing the freehold, when leaseholders can participate from day one of ownership). When successful, they will have the right to an extension of 90 years to the current term and ground rent is effectively reduced to zero. Before moving forward with a purchase of premises with a short lease term remaining you should talk to a solicitor specialising in lease extensions and leasehold enfranchisement. We are are happy to put you in touch with Maze Hill conveyancing experts who will explain the options available to you during an initial telephone conversation free of charge. A more straightforward and quicker method of extending would be to contact your landlord directly and sound him out on the prospect of extending the lease You may find he or she is happy to negotiate informally and willing to consider your offer straight off, without having to involve anyone else. This will save you time and money and it could help you reach a lower price on the lease. You need to ensure that the agreed terms represent good long-term value compared with the standard benefits of the Section 42 Notice and that onerous clauses are not inserted into any redrafting of the lease.
I am employed by a busy estate agency in Maze Hill where we have experienced a number of leasehold sales put at risk as a result of leases having less than 80 years remaining. I have been given contradictory information from local Maze Hill conveyancing firms. Could you confirm whether the seller of a flat can commence the lease extension process for the purchaser on completion of the sale?
Provided that the seller has been the owner for at least 2 years it is possible, to serve a Section 42 notice to commence the lease extension process and assign the benefit of the notice to the purchaser. The benefit of this is 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 needs to be completed before, or at the same time as completion of the disposal of the property.
Alternatively, it may be possible 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 purchaser.
Having spent years of dialogue we are unable to agree with our landlord on how much the lease extension should cost for our flat in Maze Hill. Does the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal have jurisdiction to calculate the appropriate figures?
You certainly can. We are happy to put you in touch with a Maze Hill conveyancing firm who can help.
An example of a Lease Extension case for a Maze Hill property 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 unexpired term was 72 years.