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Frequently asked questions relating to New Malden leasehold conveyancing

I am attracted to a two apartments in New Malden both have about 50 years left on the leases. should I be concerned?

There are no two ways about it. A leasehold flat in New Malden is a deteriorating asset as a result of the reducing lease term. The closer the lease gets to its expiry date, the more it reduces the salability of the property. For most buyers and lenders, leases with less than eighty years become less and less marketable. 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 property 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 New Malden conveyancing experts who will explain the options available to you during an initial telephone conversation free of charge. A more straightforward and quicker method of extending would be to contact your landlord directly and sound him out on the prospect of extending the lease You may find he or she is happy to negotiate informally and willing to consider your offer straight off, without having to involve anyone else. This will save you time and money and it could help you reach a lower price on the lease. You need to ensure that any new 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 house in New Malden. Am I liable to pay 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 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).

Can you offer any advice when it comes to finding a New Malden conveyancing practice to deal with our lease extension?

If you are instructing a conveyancer for lease extension works (regardless if they are a New Malden conveyancing practice) it is essential that he or she should be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of work. We recommend that you speak with two or three firms including non New Malden conveyancing practices before you instructing a firm. Where the conveyancing practice is ALEP accredited then so much the better. Some following of questions might be useful:

  • How experienced is the practice with lease extension legislation?
  • What are the costs for lease extension work?

  • All being well we will complete our sale of a £425000 apartment in New Malden on Tuesday in a week. The managing agents has quoted £384 for Certificate of Compliance, insurance certificate and 3 years statements of service charge. Is the landlord entitled to charge an administration fee for a leasehold conveyance in New Malden?

    New Malden conveyancing on leasehold maisonettes more often than not requires the buyer’s conveyancer submitting enquiries for the landlord to answer. Although the landlord is not legally bound to address such questions the majority will be content to do so. They are entitled levy a reasonable administration fee for responding to enquiries or supplying documentation. There is no upper cap for such fees. The average fee for the paperwork that you are referring to is over three hundred pounds, in some transactions it exceeds £800. The administration charge demanded by the landlord must be sent together with a summary of entitlements and obligations in relation to administration charges, without which the invoice is technically not due. In reality one has little option but to pay whatever is requested of you if you want to exchange contracts with the buyer.

    I have given up negotiating a lease extension in New Malden. Can the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal adjudicate on premiums?

    if there is a absentee landlord or where there is disagreement about what the lease extension should cost, under the relevant statutes it is possible to make an application to the First-tier Tribunal (Property Chamber) to arrive at the sum to be paid.

    An example of a Lease Extension matter before the tribunal for a New Malden property is Flat D 15 Claremont Gardens in September 2013. TheTribunal determined in accordance with section48 and Schedule13 of the Leasehold Reform,Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 that the premium for the extended lease should be fourteen thousand one hundred and eighty seven pounds (£14,187.00) This case related to 1 flat.

    When it comes to leasehold conveyancing in New Malden what are the most frequent lease defects?

    There is nothing unique about leasehold conveyancing in New Malden. All leases are unique and drafting errors 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 property
    • Insurance obligations
    • Clauses dealing with recovering service charges for expenditure on the building or common parts.
    • Maintenance charge proportions which don’t add up to the correct percentage

    You could encounter difficulties when selling your property if you have a defective lease primarily because it impacts on the ability to obtain a mortgage on the property. Santander, Bank of Scotland, and Britannia all have very detailed requirements 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 provide security, forcing the purchaser to pull out.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in New Malden