Recently asked questions relating to Mitcham leasehold conveyancing
I have just started marketing my basement flat in Mitcham.Conveyancing is yet to be initiated but I have just had a quarterly service charge demand – Do I pay up?
It best that you discharge 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 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.
Last month I purchased a leasehold flat in Mitcham. Am I liable to pay service charges relating to a period prior to completion of my purchase?
In a situation 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. However, 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 a negotiator for a busy estate agent office in Mitcham where we have experienced a few leasehold sales derailed as a result of leases having less than 80 years remaining. I have been given inconsistent advice from local Mitcham conveyancing firms. Can you clarify whether the seller of a flat can commence the lease extension formalities 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 start the lease extension process and assign the benefit of the notice to the purchaser. This means that the buyer can avoid having to sit tight for 2 years to extend their lease. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment has to be done before, or at the same time as completion of the sale.
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.
All being well we will complete the sale of our £150000 apartment in Mitcham next Thursday . The landlords agents has quoted £360 for Certificate of Compliance, building insurance schedule and 3 years service charge statements. Is the landlord entitled to charge exorbitant fees for a leasehold conveyance in Mitcham?
Mitcham conveyancing on leasehold maisonettes more often than not requires the purchaser’s solicitor sending questions for the landlord to address. Although the landlord is not legally bound to address such questions the majority will be content to assist. They are entitled levy a reasonable administration fee for answering enquiries or supplying documentation. There is no upper cap for such fees. The average fee for the information that you are referring to is £350, in some cases it is in excess of £800. The management information fee required by the landlord must be accompanied by a synopsis of rights and obligations in relation to administration charges, otherwise the charge is not strictly payable. Reality however dictates that you have no option but to pay whatever is requested of you should you wish to exchange contracts with the buyer.
My wife and I have hit a brick wall in trying to purchase the freehold in Mitcham. Can this matter be resolved via the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal?
Most certainly. We are happy to put you in touch with a Mitcham conveyancing firm who can help.
An example of a Freehold Enfranchisement matter before the tribunal for a Mitcham residence is 50 & 52 Southcroft Road in September 2013. The tribunals own valuation determined that the premium payable should be £29,000 This case was in relation to 2 flats. The the unexpired residue of the current lease was 86.11 and 60.64.
When it comes to leasehold conveyancing in Mitcham what are the most common lease problems?
Leasehold conveyancing in Mitcham is not unique. Most leases is drafted differently and legal mistakes in the legal wording can sometimes mean that certain clauses are missing. For example, if your lease is missing any of the following, it could be defective:
- Repairing obligations to or maintain parts of the premises
- 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 will likely cause issues when trying to sell a property primarily because it impacts on the ability to obtain a mortgage on the property. Halifax, Bank of Scotland, and TSB all have express requirements when it comes to what is expected in a lease. Where a lender has been advised by their lawyers that the lease does not cover certain provisions they may refuse to grant the mortgage, obliging the buyer to withdraw.