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Top Five Questions relating to Silvertown leasehold conveyancing

I am hoping to put an offer on a small detached house that seems to be perfect, at a great figure which is making it more attractive. I have since found out that it's a leasehold rather than freehold. I am assuming that there are issues purchasing a leasehold house in Silvertown. Conveyancing solicitors have are about to be instructed. Will they explain the issues?

The majority of houses in Silvertown are freehold rather than leasehold. This is one of the situations where having a local conveyancer who is familiar with the area can assist with the conveyancing process. We note that you are purchasing in Silvertown so you should seriously consider looking for a Silvertown conveyancing solicitor and be sure that they have experience in transacting on leasehold houses. First you will need to check the number of years remaining. Being a leaseholder you will not be entirely free to do whatever you want with the house. The lease comes with conditions for example requiring 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 house is part of an estate. Your conveyancer will advise you fully on all the issues.

Back In 2000, I bought a leasehold house in Silvertown. Conveyancing and Aldermore 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 1992. The conveyancing solicitor in Silvertown who acted for me is not around.Do I pay?

First contact the Land Registry to make sure that the individual claiming to own the freehold is in fact the registered owner of the freehold reversion. It is not necessary to instruct a Silvertown conveyancing practitioner to do this as it can be done on-line for £3. You should note that in any event, even if this is the rightful landlord, under the Limitation Act 1980 the limitation period for recovery of ground rent is six years.

I've recently bought a leasehold property in Silvertown. Do I have any liability for service charges relating to a period prior to 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. 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 busy estate agent office in Silvertown where we have witnessed a few leasehold sales derailed as a result of short leases. I have received inconsistent advice from local Silvertown conveyancing solicitors. Can you shed some light as to whether the owner of a flat can start the lease extension process for the buyer?

As long as the seller has been the owner 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. This means that the proposed purchaser can avoid having to sit tight for 2 years for a lease extension. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment has to be done before, or simultaneously with completion of the sale.

Alternatively, it may be possible 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.

Following years of correspondence we simply can't agree with our landlord on how much the lease extension should cost for our flat in Silvertown. Can we issue an application to the Residential Property Tribunal Service?

in cases where there is a absentee landlord or where there is dispute about the premium for a lease extension, under the relevant statutes it is possible to make an application to the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal to arrive at the amount due.

An example of a Lease Extension matter before the tribunal for a Silvertown premises is 46 Credon Road in January 2014. On 11 September 2013 Deputy District Judge Price sitting at the Bow County Court made a vesting order that the freeholder surrender his lease and be granted a new lease of the Premises on such terms as may be determined by the First Tier Tribunal (Property Chamber).The appropriate sum as concluded by the Tribunal was £7225 This case was in relation to 1 flat. The the unexpired residue of the current lease was 69.77 years.

When it comes to leasehold conveyancing in Silvertown what are the most frequent lease defects?

There is nothing unique about leasehold conveyancing in Silvertown. Most leases are individual and drafting errors can sometimes mean that certain clauses are wrong. The following missing provisions could result in a defective lease:

  • Repairing obligations to or maintain parts of the premises
  • Insurance obligations
  • A provision for the recovery of money spent for the benefit of another party.
  • Service charge per centages that don't add up correctly leaving a shortfall

A defective lease will likely cause problems when trying to sell a property as they can affect a potential buyer’s ability to obtain a mortgage. Accord Mortgages Ltd, The Royal Bank of Scotland, and Bank of Ireland all have express requirements when it comes to what is expected in a lease. If a mortgage lender believes that the lease is defective they may refuse to provide security, obliging the buyer to withdraw.

Other Topics

Lease Extensions in Silvertown