Questions and Answers: Nunhead leasehold conveyancing
I am on look out for some leasehold conveyancing in Nunhead. Before I get started I would like to find out the number of years remaining on the lease.
Assuming the lease is recorded at the land registry - and almost all are in Nunhead - then the leasehold title will always include the basic details of the lease, namely the date; the term; and the original parties. From a conveyancing perspective such details then enable any prospective buyer and lender to confirm that any lease they are looking at is the one relevant to that title.For any other purpose, such as confirming how long the term was granted for and calculating what is left, then the register should be sufficient on it's own.
Having checked my lease I have discovered that there are only 68 years left on my flat in Nunhead. I now want to extend my lease but my freeholder is absent. What should I do?
If you meet the appropriate requirements, under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 you can submit an application to the County Court for for permission to dispense with the service of the initial notice. This will mean that your lease can be extended by the Court. You will be obliged to demonstrate that you have made all reasonable attempts to locate the landlord. In some cases an enquiry agent should be useful to carry out a search and prepare a report to be used as evidence that the landlord can not be located. It is advisable to get professional help from a conveyancer both on proving the landlord’s absence and the vesting order request to the County Court covering Nunhead.
I am attracted to a couple of maisonettes in Nunhead both have in the region of 50 years remaining on the lease term. Will this present a problem?
There are no two ways about it. A leasehold flat in Nunhead is a deteriorating asset as a result of the shortening lease. The nearer the lease gets to zero years unexpired, the more it adversely affects the value of the property. The majority of buyers and lenders, leases with under 75 years become less and less marketable. On a more positive 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 premises 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 Nunhead conveyancing experts who will explain the options available to you during an initial telephone conversation free of charge. More often than not it is possible to negotiate informally with the freeholder to extend the lease They may agree to a smaller lump sum and an increase in the ground rent, but to shorter extension terms in return. You need to ensure that the agreed 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 property in Nunhead. Do I have any liability for service charges for periods before 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 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 have attempted and failed to negotiate with my landlord for a lease extension without success. Can the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal adjudicate on such matters? Can you recommend a Nunhead conveyancing firm to act on my behalf?
Absolutely. We can put you in touch with a Nunhead conveyancing firm who can help.
An example of a Freehold Enfranchisement case for a Nunhead residence is 41 Endwell Road in March 2013. this matter relateed to the acquisition of the freehold of a mid- terraced Victorian house converted into three separate self-contained dwellings. By an order dated 28/11/2012, Deputy District Judge Cole in the Bromley County Court held that the leaseholders were entitled to acquire the freehold and directed that the premium payable be determined by this Tribunal. The Tribunal assessed the premium to be £14,753 This case related to 3 flats. The unexpired lease term was 80.01 years.
What are the frequently found deficiencies that you come across in leases for Nunhead properties?
There is nothing unique about leasehold conveyancing in Nunhead. All leases are individual and legal mistakes in the legal wording can result in certain clauses are missing. For example, if your lease is missing any of the following, it could be defective:
- A provision to repair to or maintain parts of the property
- A duty to insure the building
- 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
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. Accord Mortgages Ltd, Virgin Money, and Alliance & Leicester all have express conveyancing instructions 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, forcing the buyer to withdraw.