Top Five Questions relating to Mortlake leasehold conveyancing
I have just appointed agents to market my garden apartment in Mortlake.Conveyancing has not commenced but I have just had a quarterly maintenance charge demand – what should I do?
Your conveyancing lawyer is likely to suggest that you should discharge 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've found a house that appears to meet my requirements, at a reasonable figure which is making it all the more appealing. I have subsequently discovered that it's a leasehold rather than freehold. I would have thought that there are particular concerns purchasing a leasehold house in Mortlake. Conveyancing lawyers have are about to be instructed. Will they explain the issues?
Most houses in Mortlake are freehold rather than leasehold. In this scenario it’s worth having a local solicitor who is familiar with the area can help the conveyancing process. We note that you are buying in Mortlake in which case you should be shopping around for a Mortlake conveyancing solicitor and be sure that they have experience in transacting on leasehold houses. First you will need to check the number of years remaining. Being a lessee you will not be at liberty to do whatever you want to the property. The lease comes with conditions such as requiring the freeholder’sconsent to conduct changes to the property. You may also be required to pay a contribution towards the maintenance of the estate where the house is located on an estate. Your lawyer will report to you on the legal implications.
I've recently bought a leasehold house in Mortlake. Do I have any liability for 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 lessee 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 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 Mortlake where we have experienced a few leasehold sales put at risk as a result of short leases. I have been given contradictory information from local Mortlake conveyancing solicitors. Can you shed some light as to whether the seller of a flat can start the lease extension formalities for the buyer?
Provided that the seller has owned the lease 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 need not have to sit tight for 2 years for a lease extension. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment has to be done before, or simultaneously with completion of the disposal of the property.
An alternative approach is to agree the lease extension with the freeholder 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 buyer.
Our conveyancer has advised that he intends to complete and exchange simultaneously on our sale of a £300000 maisonette in Mortlake next Wednesday . The freeholder has quoted £372 for Landlord’s certificate, insurance certificate and previous years statements of service charge. Is the landlord entitled to charge an administration fee for a leasehold conveyance in Mortlake?
Mortlake conveyancing on leasehold apartments normally involves the buyer’s solicitor sending enquiries for the landlord to answer. Although the landlord is not legally bound to address such questions most will be willing to assist. They are at liberty charge a reasonable charge for answering questions or supplying documentation. There is no set fee. The average costs for the paperwork that you are referring to is over three hundred pounds, in some transactions it is above £800. The administration charge invoiced by the landlord must be accompanied by a summary of rights and obligations in relation to administration charges, otherwise the invoice is not strictly payable. In reality one has little option but to pay whatever is demanded if you want to exchange contracts with the buyer.
My wife and I have hit a brick wall in trying to purchase the freehold in Mortlake. Can the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal adjudicate on premiums?
Most certainly. We are happy to put you in touch with a Mortlake conveyancing firm who can help.
An example of a Freehold Enfranchisement matter before the tribunal for a Mortlake property is 19 St. Margarets Crescent in August 2010. the tribunal was of the view that the premium to be paid by the leaseholder for the freehold reversion was £51,983.00 This case was in relation to 3 flats. The remaining number of years on the lease was 66.25 years.