Frequently asked questions relating to Orpington leasehold conveyancing
I am in need of some leasehold conveyancing in Orpington. Before diving in I require certainty as to the remaining lease term.
If the lease is recorded at the land registry - and almost all are in Orpington - then the leasehold title will always include the short particulars 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.
I've recently bought a leasehold flat in Orpington. 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 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. 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).
I am a negotiator for a long established estate agent office in Orpington where we have witnessed a number of leasehold sales jeopardised as a result of short leases. I have received contradictory information from local Orpington conveyancing firms. Can you clarify whether the seller of a flat can commence the lease extension process for the purchaser on completion of the sale?
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 for a lease extension. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment needs to be completed before, or simultaneously with completion of the disposal of the property.
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 purchaser.
Can you offer any advice when it comes to choosing a Orpington conveyancing firm to deal with our lease extension?
When appointing a solicitor for lease extension works (regardless if they are a Orpington conveyancing firm) it is most important that they be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of work. We recommend that you make enquires with several firms including non Orpington conveyancing practices before you instructing a firm. If the firm is ALEP accredited then that’s a bonus. Some following of questions might be useful:
- If the firm is not ALEP accredited then what is the reason?
I am the leaseholder of a basement flat in Orpington. In the absence of agreement between myself and the landlord, can the Leasehold valuation Tribunal determine the amount due for the purchase of the freehold?
Most definitely. We can put you in touch with a Orpington conveyancing firm who can help.
An example of a Lease Extension decision for a Orpington property is 1 Southlands Court Southlands Road in September 2013. The Leasehold Valuation Tribunal determined that the premium to be paid by the tenant on the grant of a new lease, in accordance with section 56 and Schedule 13 of the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 was £30,541 This case was in relation to 1 flat. The unexpired term was 50.57 years.
In relation to leasehold conveyancing in Orpington what are the most common lease defects?
Leasehold conveyancing in Orpington is not unique. All leases is drafted differently and legal mistakes in the legal wording can result in certain sections are not included. The following missing provisions could result in a defective lease:
- A provision to repair 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 can cause problems when trying to sell a property primarily because it impacts on the ability to obtain a mortgage on the property. HSBC Bank, Virgin Money, and Bank of Ireland all have very detailed 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 buyer to pull out.