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Merton Park leasehold conveyancing: Q and A’s

Estate agents have just been given the go-ahead to market my ground floor flat in Merton Park.Conveyancing solicitors are to be appointed soon but I have just had a quarterly maintenance charge invoice – what should I do?

It best that you 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 managing agents 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.

My wife and I purchased a leasehold house in Merton Park. Conveyancing and Accord Mortgages Ltd mortgage went though with no issue. I have received a letter from someone claiming to own the reversionary interest in the property. Attached was a demand for arrears of ground rent dating back to 1994. The conveyancing practitioner in Merton Park who acted for me is not around.What should I do?

The first thing you should do is make enquiries of HMLR to be sure that this person is in fact the registered owner of the freehold reversion. It is not necessary to instruct a Merton Park conveyancing firm to do this as it can be done on-line for £3. You should note that in any event, even if this is the legitimate landlord, under the Limitation Act 1980 no more than 6 years of rent can be collected.

I am attracted to a couple of maisonettes in Merton Park which have in the region of forty five years unexpired on the leases. should I be concerned?

A lease is a right to use the property for a period of time. As a lease gets shorter the value of the lease deteriorate and it becomes more costly to extend the lease. This is why it is advisable to increase the term of the lease. Sometimes it is difficult to sell a property with a short lease because mortgage lenders less inclined to grant a loan on properties of this type. Lease enfranchisement can be a difficult process. We advise that you seek professional help from a solicitor and surveyor with experience in this area

Last month I purchased a leasehold property in Merton Park. Am I liable to pay service charges for periods before my ownership?

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. Strange as it may seem, your landlord may still be able to take action to forfeit the lease. It is an essential part 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 the registered owner of a basement flat in Merton Park. Given that I can not reach agreement with the freeholder, can the Leasehold valuation Tribunal make a decision on the premium due for the purchase of the freehold?

Where there is a absentee landlord or if there is dispute about what the lease extension should cost, under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 it is possible to make an application to the First-tier Tribunal (Property Chamber) to decide the premium.

An example of a Lease Extension case for a Merton Park premises is 14 Nutwell Street in January 2014. The premium payable for the acquisition of a new lease of the subject premises was in the sum of £30,523 This case affected 1 flat. The remaining number of years on the lease was 62.94 years.

When it comes to leasehold conveyancing in Merton Park what are the most frequent lease problems?

Leasehold conveyancing in Merton Park is not unique. Most leases is drafted differently and legal mistakes in the legal wording can sometimes mean that certain clauses are wrong. The following missing provisions could result in a defective lease:

  • A provision to repair to or maintain elements of the building
  • Insurance obligations
  • A provision for the recovery of money spent for the benefit of another party.
  • Maintenance charge proportions which don’t add up to the correct percentage

A defective lease will likely cause problems when trying to sell a property primarily because it impacts on the ability to obtain a mortgage on the property. Accord Mortgages Ltd, Coventry Building Society, and Aldermore all have very detailed 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 pull out.

Other Topics

Lease Extensions in Merton Park