Seven Kings leasehold conveyancing: Q and A’s
I've found a house that appears to tick a lot of boxes, at a great price which is making it all the more appealing. I have subsequently discovered that the title is leasehold as opposed to freehold. I am assuming that there are particular concerns buying a leasehold house in Seven Kings. Conveyancing lawyers have are about to be appointed. Will they explain the issues?
The majority of houses in Seven Kings are freehold and not leasehold. In this scenario it’s worth having a local conveyancer used to dealing with such properties who can assist with the conveyancing process. We note that you are purchasing in Seven Kings in which case you should be looking for a Seven Kings conveyancing practitioner and be sure that they have experience in dealing with leasehold houses. First you will need to check the unexpired lease term. As a lessee you will not be at liberty to do whatever you want with the house. The lease will likely included provisions such as obtaining the landlord’spermission to carry out alterations. It may be necessary to pay a maintenance charge towards the upkeep of the communal areas where the property is located on an estate. Your lawyer will report to you on the legal implications.
Last month I purchased a leasehold property in Seven Kings. Do I have any liability for 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. 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 am employed by a busy estate agency in Seven Kings where we have witnessed a few leasehold sales put at risk due to short leases. I have been given contradictory information from local Seven Kings conveyancing solicitors. Could you shed some light as to whether the seller of a flat can start the lease extension formalities for the purchaser on completion of the sale?
As long as the seller has been the owner for at least 2 years it is possible, to serve a Section 42 notice to start the lease extension process and assign the benefit of the notice to the purchaser. The benefit of this is that the buyer 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 prior to, 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.
What are your top tips when it comes to appointing a Seven Kings conveyancing practice to deal with our lease extension?
When appointing a solicitor for lease extension works (regardless if they are a Seven Kings conveyancing practice) it is most important that they be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of work. We suggested that you speak with two or three firms including non Seven Kings conveyancing practices before you instructing a firm. Where the conveyancing practice is ALEP accredited then so much the better. Some following of questions might be helpful:
- How familiar is the practice with lease extension legislation?
If all goes to plan we aim to complete the disposal of our £250000 maisonette in Seven Kings in just under a week. The managing agents has quoted £396 for Landlord’s certificate, building insurance schedule and 3 years statements of service charge. Is the landlord entitled to charge exorbitant fees for a leasehold conveyance in Seven Kings?
Seven Kings conveyancing on leasehold flats normally necessitates the purchaser’s lawyer sending enquiries for the landlord to answer. Although the landlord is not legally bound to respond to these enquiries most will be willing to assist. They may invoice a reasonable charge for responding to questions or supplying documentation. There is no upper cap for such fees. The average costs for the paperwork that you are referring to is over three hundred pounds, in some cases it is in excess of £800. The management information fee invoiced by the landlord must be accompanied by a summary of rights and obligations in respect of administration charges, without which the invoice is technically not due. In reality one has no option but to pay whatever is requested of you if you want to sell the property.
I have attempted and failed to negotiate with my landlord for a lease extension without any joy. Can the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal adjudicate on such issues? Can you recommend a Seven Kings conveyancing firm to help?
You certainly can. We can put you in touch with a Seven Kings conveyancing firm who can help.
An example of a Lease Extension decision for a Seven Kings flat is 49 Aldborough Road South in July 2012. The Tribunal decided that the premium payable for the grant of the new lease was £13,925 This case was in relation to 1 flat. The remaining number of years on the lease was 61.36 years.