Top Five Questions relating to Mitcham leasehold conveyancing
I am hoping to put an offer on a small detached house that appears to meet my requirements, at a great price which is making it all the more appealing. I have subsequently found out that the title is leasehold as opposed to freehold. I would have thought that there are particular concerns buying a house with a leasehold title in Mitcham. Conveyancing solicitors have are soon to be instructed. Will they explain the issues?
The majority of houses in Mitcham are freehold rather than leasehold. This is one of the situations where having a local conveyancer used to dealing with such properties who can help the conveyancing process. It is clear that you are purchasing in Mitcham so you should seriously consider shopping around for a Mitcham conveyancing solicitor and check that they have experience in advising on leasehold houses. First you will need to check the number of years remaining. Being a leaseholder you will not be at liberty to do whatever you want to the property. The lease will likely included provisions for example obtaining the landlord’spermission to carry out changes to the property. It may be necessary to pay a service charge towards the upkeep of the communal areas where the property is part of an estate. Your lawyer will report to you on the legal implications.
I own a leasehold flat in Mitcham. Conveyancing and Bank of Ireland mortgage organised. I have received a letter from someone saying they have taken over the reversionary interest in the property. Attached was a demand for arrears of ground rent dating back to 1994. The conveyancing solicitor in Mitcham who previously acted has now retired.Any advice?
The first thing you should do is make enquiries of the Land Registry to make sure that the individual purporting to own the freehold is indeed the new freeholder. It is not necessary to incur the fees of a Mitcham conveyancing practitioner to do this as you can do this on the Land Registry website for £3. You should note that regardless, even if this is the rightful landlord, under the Limitation Act 1980 the limitation period for recovery of ground rent is six years.
Last month I purchased a leasehold house 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. Strange as it may seem, 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).
I work for a reputable estate agency in Mitcham where we have witnessed a few leasehold sales jeopardised as a result of short leases. I have received contradictory information from local Mitcham conveyancing solicitors. Can you shed some light as to whether the vendor of a flat can commence the lease extension formalities for the buyer?
As long as the seller has been the owner 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. This means that the buyer 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 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.
I am the proprietor of a two-bedroom flat in Mitcham. Given that I can not reach agreement with the freeholder, can the Leasehold valuation Tribunal determine the amount due for a lease extension?
in cases where there is a absentee landlord or if there is dispute about the premium for a lease extension, under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 it is possible to make an application to the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal to calculate the price.
An example of a Freehold Enfranchisement case for a Mitcham premises is 50 & 52 Southcroft Road in September 2013. The tribunals own valuation determined that the premium payable should be £29,000 This case affected 2 flats. The the number of years remaining on the existing lease(s) was 86.11 and 60.64.
What are the frequently found problems that you encounter in leases for Mitcham properties?
There is nothing unique about leasehold conveyancing in Mitcham. Most leases are individual and drafting errors can sometimes mean that certain clauses 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 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
You could have difficulties when selling your property if you have a defective lease as they can affect a potential buyer’s ability to obtain a mortgage. Yorkshire Building Society, Chelsea Building Society, and Barclays Direct all have express conveyancing instructions when it comes to what is expected in a lease. If a mortgage lender believes that the lease is problematic they may refuse to provide security, obliging the purchaser to pull out.