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Common questions relating to Northwood leasehold conveyancing

I've found a house that seems to meet my requirements, at a reasonable price which is making it more attractive. I have just discovered that the title is leasehold rather than freehold. I am assuming that there are issues purchasing a leasehold house in Northwood. Conveyancing advisers have are about to be appointed. Will they explain the issues?

Most houses in Northwood are freehold rather than leasehold. This is one of the situations where having a local conveyancer who is familiar with the area can assist with the conveyancing process. It is clear that you are purchasing in Northwood so you should seriously consider looking for a Northwood conveyancing solicitor and check that they are used to dealing with leasehold houses. First you will need to check the number of years remaining. Being a leaseholder you will not be at liberty to do whatever you want with the house. The lease comes with conditions for example requiring the landlord’sconsent to conduct alterations. It may be necessary to pay a maintenance charge towards the maintenance of the estate where the property is part of an estate. Your solicitor will appraise you on the various issues.

Back In 2001, I bought a leasehold house in Northwood. Conveyancing and Chelsea Building Society mortgage went though with no issue. I have received a letter from someone claiming to own the freehold. Attached was a ground rent demand for rent dating back to 1991. The conveyancing solicitor in Northwood who acted for me is not around.Do I pay?

The first thing you should do is contact the Land Registry to make sure that this person is indeed the registered owner of the freehold reversion. It is not necessary to instruct a Northwood conveyancing practitioner to do this as you can do this on the Land Registry website for less than a fiver. Rest assured that regardless, even if this is the legitimate landlord, under the Limitation Act 1980 the limitation period for recovery of ground rent is six years.

I've recently bought a leasehold property in Northwood. Do I have any liability for service charges relating to a period prior to my ownership?

Where the service charge has already been demanded from the previous owner 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 busy estate agency in Northwood where we have witnessed a number of leasehold sales jeopardised due to leases having less than 80 years remaining. I have received inconsistent advice from local Northwood conveyancing solicitors. Could you confirm whether the owner of a flat can commence the lease extension process for the buyer?

Provided that 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. The benefit of this is that the proposed purchaser need not have to wait 2 years to extend their lease. 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 disposal of the property.

Alternatively, it may be possible 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.

I have given up trying to purchase the freehold in Northwood. Can the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal adjudicate on premiums?

Most certainly. We can put you in touch with a Northwood conveyancing firm who can help.

An example of a Lease Extension decision for a Northwood flat is Flats 8, 11 and 15 Craigmore Court 46 Murray Road in December 2013. The tribunal held that the price payable by the Applicant tenant of Flat 8 to acquire an extended lease shall be £26,438 plus £1 to the intermediate lessee . The tribunal held that the price payable by the Applicant tenants of Flat 11 to acquire an extended lease shall be £26,791 plus £1 to the intermediate lessee. The tribunal held that the price payable by the Applicant tenant of Flat 15 to acquire an extended lease shall be £26,638 plus £1 to the intermediate lessee . This case related to 3 flats. The unexpired lease term was 71 years.

In relation to leasehold conveyancing in Northwood what are the most frequent lease defects?

There is nothing unique about leasehold conveyancing in Northwood. Most leases are individual and legal mistakes in the legal wording can sometimes mean that certain clauses are erroneous. The following missing provisions could result in a defective lease:

  • Repairing obligations to or maintain elements of the premises
  • Insurance obligations
  • A provision for the recovery of money spent for the benefit of another party.
  • Maintenance charge proportions which don’t add up to the correct percentage

A defective lease will likely cause problems 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 Godiva Mortgages Ltd all have express conveyancing instructions when it comes to what is expected in a lease. If a mortgage lender believes that the lease does not cover certain provisions they may refuse to grant the mortgage, obliging the purchaser to pull out.

Other Topics

Lease Extensions in Northwood