Pratt's Bottom leasehold conveyancing: Q and A’s
Having had my offer accepted I require leasehold conveyancing in Pratt's Bottom. Before I get started I would like to find out the remaining lease term.
Assuming the lease is registered - and almost all are in Pratt's Bottom - 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.
My wife and I purchased a leasehold house in Pratt's Bottom. Conveyancing and Coventry Building Society mortgage went though with no issue. A letter has just been received from someone saying they have taken over the reversionary interest in the property. It included a demand for arrears of ground rent dating back to 1997. The conveyancing practitioner in Pratt's Bottom who previously acted has long since retired.What should I do?
First make enquiries of HMLR to be sure that the individual purporting to own the freehold is in fact the registered owner of the freehold reversion. You do not need to instruct a Pratt's Bottom conveyancing solicitor to do this as it can be done on-line for a few pound. Rest assured that in any event, even if this is the rightful landlord, under the Limitation Act 1980 no more than 6 years of rent can be collected.
I am attracted to a couple of flats in Pratt's Bottom which have approximately fifty years left on the leases. Will this present a problem?
A lease is a legal document that entitles you to use the property for a period of time. As a lease shortens the value of the lease deteriorate and results in it becoming more expensive to acquire a lease extension. For this reason it is often a good idea to extend the lease term. It is often difficult to sell a property with a short lease because mortgage companies less inclined to grant a loan on properties of this type. Lease enfranchisement can be a difficult process. We recommend you get professional assistance from a solicitor and surveyor with experience in this arena
Last month I purchased a leasehold house in Pratt's Bottom. Am I liable to pay service charges for periods before completion of my purchase?
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. 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).
Following years of negotiations we cannot agree with our landlord on how much the lease extension should cost for our flat in Pratt's Bottom. Can we issue an application to the Residential Property Tribunal Service?
Absolutely. We can put you in touch with a Pratt's Bottom conveyancing firm who can help.
An example of a Lease Extension matter before the tribunal for a Pratt's Bottom flat 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 affected 1 flat. The remaining number of years on the lease was 50.57 years.
What makes a Pratt's Bottom lease problematic?
There is nothing unique about leasehold conveyancing in Pratt's Bottom. All leases are individual and drafting errors can sometimes mean that certain clauses are erroneous. For example, if your lease is missing any of the following, it could be defective:
- Repairing obligations to or maintain parts of the premises
- Insurance obligations
- 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
You will have a problem when selling your property if you have a defective lease primarily because it impacts on the ability to obtain a mortgage on the property. Halifax, Virgin Money, and Platform Home Loans 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 withdraw.