Questions and Answers: North Woolwich leasehold conveyancing
Last month I purchased a leasehold property in North Woolwich. Do I have any liability for service charges for periods before my ownership?
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 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).
I am a negotiator for a long established estate agency in North Woolwich where we have experienced a number of leasehold sales jeopardised due to leases having less than 80 years remaining. I have received conflicting advice from local North Woolwich conveyancing firms. Please can you shed some light as to whether the seller of a flat can initiate the lease extension process 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 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 to extend their lease. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment needs to be completed before, or simultaneously with 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 buyer.
Can you provide any advice for leasehold conveyancing in North Woolwich from the perspective of saving time on the sale process?
- Much of the frustration in leasehold conveyancing in North Woolwich can be bypassed if you appoint lawyers the minute you market your property and request that they start to collate the leasehold documentation which will be required by the buyers solicitors.
- Many freeholders or managing agents in North Woolwich charge for providing management packs for a leasehold homes. You or your lawyers should discover the actual amount of the charges. The management information sought on or before finding a buyer, thus accelerating the process. The typical amount of time it takes to receive management information is three weeks. It is the most frequent reason for delay in leasehold conveyancing in North Woolwich.
Our conveyancer has advised that he intends to complete and exchange simultaneously on our sale of a £350000 maisonette in North Woolwich in just under a week. The landlords agents has quoted £420 for Landlord’s certificate, building insurance schedule and previous years statements of service charge. Is it legal for a freeholder to charge such fees for a leasehold conveyance in North Woolwich?
North Woolwich conveyancing on leasehold flats nine out of ten times necessitates fees being invoiced by freeholders :
- Answering pre-exchange enquiries
- Where consent is required before sale in North Woolwich
- Supplying insurance information
- Deeds of covenant upon sale
- Registering of the assignment of the change of lessee after a sale
Following months of correspondence we are unable to agree with our landlord on how much the lease extension should cost for our flat in North Woolwich. Can we issue an application to the Residential Property Tribunal Service?
Absolutely. We can put you in touch with a North Woolwich conveyancing firm who can help.
An example of a Lease Extension decision for a North Woolwich premises is 46 Credon Road in January 2014. On 11 September 2013 Deputy District Judge Price sitting at the Bow County Court made a vesting order that the freeholder surrender his lease and be granted a new lease of the Premises on such terms as may be determined by the First Tier Tribunal (Property Chamber).The appropriate sum as concluded by the Tribunal was £7225 This case related to 1 flat. The the unexpired residue of the current lease was 69.77 years.
Are there frequently found problems that you witness in leases for North Woolwich properties?
There is nothing unique about leasehold conveyancing in North Woolwich. Most leases is drafted differently and legal mistakes in the legal wording can result in certain sections are erroneous. The following missing provisions could result in a defective lease:
- A provision to repair to or maintain parts of the property
- Insurance obligations
- A provision for the recovery of money spent for the benefit of another party.
- 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. Yorkshire Building Society, Skipton Building Society, and Nottingham Building Society all have express requirements when it comes to what is expected in a lease. If a mortgage lender believes that the lease is defective they may refuse to grant the mortgage, obliging the purchaser to withdraw.