Top Five Questions relating to Parsons Green leasehold conveyancing
There are only 68 years left on my flat in Parsons Green. I need to extend my lease but my landlord is can not be found. What options are available to me?
On the basis that you qualify, 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 lengthened by the Court. However, you will be required to prove that you have made all reasonable attempts to locate the landlord. In some cases an enquiry agent should be useful to try and locate and to produce a report to be used as proof that the freeholder can not be located. It is wise to seek advice from a property lawyer both on investigating the landlord’s disappearance and the vesting order request to the County Court overseeing Parsons Green.
I have just started marketing my basement flat in Parsons Green.Conveyancing is yet to be initiated but I have just received a half-yearly maintenance charge invoice – Do I pay up?
It best that you clear the service charge as normal because all ground rent and service charges will be apportioned on completion, so you will be reimbursed by the buyer for the period running from after the completion date to the next payment date. Most management companies will not acknowledge the buyer unless the service charges have been paid and are up to date so it is important for both buyer and seller for the seller to show that they are up to date. Having a clear account will assist your cause and will leave you no worse off financially.
I today plan to offer on a house that seems to meet my requirements, at a reasonable price which is making it all the more appealing. I have subsequently discovered that the title is leasehold rather than freehold. I am assuming that there are issues buying a house with a leasehold title in Parsons Green. Conveyancing advisers have are soon to be appointed. Will my lawyers set out the risks of buying a leasehold house in Parsons Green ?
The majority of houses in Parsons Green are freehold and not leasehold. This is one of the situations where having a local solicitor who is familiar with the area can assist with the conveyancing process. It is clear that you are purchasing in Parsons Green in which case you should be shopping around for a Parsons Green conveyancing solicitor and check that they are used to dealing with leasehold houses. As a matter of priority you will need to check the number of years remaining. Being a tenant you will not be entirely free to do whatever you want with the house. The lease comes with conditions such as requiring the freeholder’spermission to carry out alterations. It may be necessary to pay a contribution towards the upkeep of the estate where the house is located on an estate. Your conveyancer should report to you on the legal implications.
I've recently bought a leasehold house in Parsons Green. Am I liable to pay 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. Strange as it may seem, 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 work for a long established estate agent office in Parsons Green where we have witnessed a few leasehold sales put at risk as a result of leases having less than 80 years remaining. I have received contradictory information from local Parsons Green conveyancing firms. Can you confirm whether the owner of a flat can commence the lease extension process for the purchaser on completion of the sale?
As long as the seller has owned the lease for at least 2 years it is possible, to serve a Section 42 notice to kick-start the lease extension process and assign the benefit of the notice to the purchaser. The benefit of this is that the buyer can avoid having to wait 2 years for a lease extension. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment needs to be completed prior to, or at the same time as completion of the disposal of the property.
An alternative approach is 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 am the registered owner of a second floor flat in Parsons Green. Given that I can not reach agreement with the freeholder, can the Leasehold valuation Tribunal determine the premium payable for the purchase of the freehold?
You certainly can. We can put you in touch with a Parsons Green conveyancing firm who can help.
An example of a Freehold Enfranchisement case for a Parsons Green premises is 66 and 66a Wardo Avenue in November 2012. The Tribunal determined that the sum of £8,048 is payable by the Applicants in respect of the price for the freehold of the property This case affected 2 flats. The the number of years remaining on the existing lease(s) was 93 years and 162 years.