Questions and Answers: New Eltham leasehold conveyancing
Last month I purchased a leasehold flat in New Eltham. Do I have any liability for service charges relating to a period prior to completion of my purchase?
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. 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 am employed by a busy estate agency in New Eltham where we have witnessed a number of leasehold sales derailed due to short leases. I have been given contradictory information from local New Eltham conveyancing firms. Could you shed some light as to whether the vendor of a flat can start the lease extension process for the purchaser on completion of the sale?
As long as the seller has owned the lease 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 can avoid having to wait 2 years for a lease extension. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment needs to be completed before, or at the same time as completion of the sale.
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.
Can you provide any advice for leasehold conveyancing in New Eltham from the perspective of speeding up the sale process?
- A significant proportion of the frustration in leasehold conveyancing in New Eltham can be bypassed if you appoint lawyers as soon as your agents start marketing the property and ask them to put together the leasehold documentation which will be required by the buyers lawyers.
- If you have carried out any alterations to the residence would they have required Landlord’s approval? Have you, for example installed wooden flooring? New Eltham leases often stipulate that internal structural alterations or addition of wooden flooring require a licence from the Landlord approving such alterations. If you fail to have the consents in place do not communicate with the landlord without checking with your solicitor in the first instance.
Our conveyancer has advised that he intends to complete and exchange simultaneously on the disposal of our £500000 apartment in New Eltham next Tuesday . The freeholder has quoted £324 for Certificate of Compliance, building insurance schedule and previous years service charge statements. Is it legal for a freeholder to charge exorbitant fees for a leasehold conveyance in New Eltham?
New Eltham conveyancing on leasehold maisonettes ordinarily involves administration charges levied by management companies :
- Addressing pre-contract enquiries
- Where consent is required before sale in New Eltham
- Supplying insurance information
- Deeds of covenant upon sale
- Registering of the assignment of the change of lessee after a sale
I have had difficulty in trying to reach an agreement for a lease extension in New Eltham. Can the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal adjudicate on premiums?
Most definitely. We can put you in touch with a New Eltham conveyancing firm who can help.
An example of a Lease Extension decision for a New Eltham property is 103a Footscray Road in January 2014. The tribunal determines that the premium payable for the extended lease should be £34,500 according to the expert witness valuation calculation This case was in relation to 1 flat.
When it comes to leasehold conveyancing in New Eltham what are the most common lease defects?
Leasehold conveyancing in New Eltham is not unique. All leases is drafted differently and drafting errors can result in certain clauses are wrong. For example, if your lease is missing any of the following, it could be defective:
- Repairing obligations to or maintain elements of the premises
- A duty to insure the building
- Clauses dealing with recovering service charges for expenditure on the building or common parts.
- 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 as they can affect a potential buyer’s ability to obtain a mortgage. Nationwide Building Society, Norwich and Peterborough Building Society, and Clydesdale all have express conveyancing instructions when it comes to what is expected in a lease. Where a lender has been advised by their lawyers that the lease is defective they may refuse to grant the mortgage, forcing the purchaser to withdraw.