Recently asked questions relating to Morden leasehold conveyancing
I am on look out for some leasehold conveyancing in Morden. Before I set the wheels in motion I require certainty as to the unexpired term of the lease.
Assuming the lease is recorded at the land registry - and most are in Morden - then the leasehold title will always include the basic details of the lease, namely the date; the term; and the original parties. From a conveyancing perspective such details then enable any prospective buyer and lender to confirm that any lease they are looking at is the one relevant to that title.For any other purpose, such as confirming how long the term was granted for and calculating what is left, then the register should be sufficient on it's own.
I today plan to offer on a house that seems to meet my requirements, at a reasonable price which is making it all the more appealing. I have subsequently been informed that it's a leasehold as opposed to freehold. I would have thought that there are particular concerns purchasing a leasehold house in Morden. Conveyancing lawyers have not yet been appointed. Will they explain the issues?
The majority of houses in Morden are freehold and not leasehold. In this scenario it’s worth having a local solicitor used to dealing with such properties who can help the conveyancing process. it is apparent that you are purchasing in Morden in which case you should be looking for a Morden conveyancing practitioner and be sure that they have experience in advising on leasehold houses. First you will need to check the number of years remaining. As a lessee you will not be at liberty to do whatever you want to the property. The lease comes with conditions for example requiring the landlord’spermission to conduct alterations. It may be necessary to pay a maintenance charge towards the maintenance of the estate where the house is part of an estate. Your lawyer will advise you fully on all the issues.
I am tempted by the attractive purchase price for a couple of flats in Morden which have in the region of fifty years remaining on the lease term. should I be concerned?
There is no doubt about it. A leasehold apartment in Morden is a wasting 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 premises. The majority of purchasers and banks, leases with under 75 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 a residence 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 Morden conveyancing experts who will explain the options available to you during an initial telephone conversation free of charge. More often than not it is possible to negotiate informally with the freeholder to extend the lease They may agree to a smaller lump sum and an increase in the ground rent, but to shorter extension terms in return. 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've recently bought a leasehold property in Morden. Am I liable to pay service charges for periods before completion of my purchase?
In a situation 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. It is an essential part 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 am a negotiator for a busy estate agency in Morden where we have experienced a number of leasehold sales jeopardised as a result of short leases. I have been given inconsistent advice from local Morden conveyancing firms. Could you shed some light as to whether the owner 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 commence the lease extension process and assign the benefit of the notice to the purchaser. This means that the proposed purchaser 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 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.
We have reached the end of our tether in trying to purchase the freehold in Morden. Can this matter be resolved via the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal?
if there is a missing landlord or where 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 calculate the sum to be paid.
An example of a Lease Extension decision for a Morden flat 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 the unexpired term as at the valuation date was 62.94 years.