Questions and Answers: Rotherhithe leasehold conveyancing
I am hoping to put an offer on a small detached house that seems to tick a lot of boxes, at a reasonable price which is making it more attractive. I have subsequently discovered that it's a leasehold as opposed to freehold. I would have thought that there are issues buying a leasehold house in Rotherhithe. Conveyancing solicitors have are soon to be appointed. Will they explain the issues?
The majority of houses in Rotherhithe are freehold rather than leasehold. In this scenario it’s worth having a local conveyancer used to dealing with such properties who can assist with the conveyancing process. it is apparent that you are buying in Rotherhithe so you should seriously consider looking for a Rotherhithe conveyancing practitioner and be sure that they have experience in advising on leasehold houses. As a matter of priority you will need to check the unexpired lease term. As a leaseholder you will not be entirely free to do whatever you want to the property. The lease comes with conditions for example obtaining the landlord’sconsent to carry out changes to the property. You may also be required to pay a service charge towards the maintenance of the estate where the property is located on an estate. Your solicitor will advise you fully on all the issues.
I own a leasehold flat in Rotherhithe. Conveyancing and Nationwide Building Society mortgage organised. A letter has just been received from someone saying they have taken over the reversionary interest in the property. Attached was a ground rent demand for rent dating back to 1995. The conveyancing solicitor in Rotherhithe who previously acted has now retired.What should I do?
The first thing you should do is contact HMLR to be sure that this person is indeed the new freeholder. There is no need to incur the fees of a Rotherhithe conveyancing firm to do this as you can do this on the Land Registry website for a few pound. Rest assured that in any event, even if this is the legitimate freeholder, under the Limitation Act 1980 no more than 6 years of rent can be collected.
I've recently bought a leasehold flat in Rotherhithe. Am I liable to pay service charges relating to a period prior to 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. 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).
What advice can you give us when it comes to choosing a Rotherhithe conveyancing practice to deal with our lease extension?
If you are instructing a property lawyer for your lease extension (regardless if they are a Rotherhithe conveyancing practice) it is essential that he or she should be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of conveyancing. We recommend that you talk with two or three firms including non Rotherhithe conveyancing practices before you instructing a firm. Where the conveyancing practice is ALEP accredited then that’s a bonus. Some following of questions could be useful:
- What volume of lease extensions has the firm carried out in Rotherhithe in the last 12 months?
Can you provide any advice for leasehold conveyancing in Rotherhithe with the aim of saving time on the sale process?
- Much of the frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Rotherhithe can be reduced if you appoint lawyers as soon as your agents start marketing the property and ask them to put together the leasehold documentation needed by the buyers solicitors.
- The majority landlords or managing agents in Rotherhithe charge for providing management packs for a leasehold premises. You or your lawyers should enquire as to the actual amount of the charges. The management pack can be applied for as soon as you have a buyer, thus accelerating the process. The typical amount of time it takes to receive management information is three weeks. It is the most usual cause of frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Rotherhithe.
I have had difficulty in seeking a lease extension in Rotherhithe. Can the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal adjudicate on premiums?
Where there is a missing landlord or where there is disagreement about the premium for a lease extension, under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 you can apply to the First-tier Tribunal (Property Chamber) to assess the premium.
An example of a Freehold Enfranchisement decision for a Rotherhithe flat is 12, 14 & 16 Hull Close in May 2010. the Tribunal determined that the premium payable for the acquisition of the freehold to the subject premises was the sum of £18,300 This case affected 3 flats. The the unexpired term as at the valuation date was 101.61 years.