Sample questions relating to South Hornchurch leasehold conveyancing
Having checked my lease I have discovered that there are only Seventy years remaining on my lease in South Hornchurch. I need to extend my lease but my freeholder is missing. What options are available to me?
If you meet the appropriate requirements, under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 you can apply 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 find the freeholder. In some cases a specialist may be useful to conduct investigations and to produce a report to be accepted by the court as proof that the freeholder can not be located. It is wise to seek advice from a property lawyer in relation to proving the landlord’s absence and the application to the County Court overseeing South Hornchurch.
I am hoping to put an offer on a small detached house that appears to be perfect, at a reasonable figure which is making it more attractive. I have since discovered that the title is leasehold as opposed to freehold. I would have thought that there are issues buying a leasehold house in South Hornchurch. Conveyancing advisers have not yet been appointed. Will they explain the issues?
The majority of houses in South Hornchurch are freehold rather than leasehold. This is one of the situations where having a local solicitor used to dealing with such properties who can help the conveyancing process. it is apparent that you are buying in South Hornchurch in which case you should be shopping around for a South Hornchurch conveyancing practitioner and check that they are used to transacting on leasehold houses. As a matter of priority you will need to check the number of years remaining. Being a tenant you will not be at liberty to do whatever you want to the property. The lease comes with conditions such as obtaining the freeholder’sconsent to carry out changes to the property. You may also be required to pay a contribution towards the upkeep of the communal areas where the house is located on an estate. Your lawyer will report to you on the legal implications.
Last month I purchased a leasehold house in South Hornchurch. Do I have any liability for service charges for periods before completion of my purchase?
In a situation where the service charge has already been demanded from the previous owner 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 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 reputable estate agency in South Hornchurch where we have experienced a number of leasehold sales derailed as a result of short leases. I have been given conflicting advice from local South Hornchurch conveyancing firms. Please can you clarify whether the owner of a flat can initiate the lease extension formalities for the buyer?
Provided that the seller has been the owner for at least 2 years it is possible, to serve a Section 42 notice to commence the lease extension process and assign the benefit of the notice to the purchaser. This means that the buyer can avoid having to wait 2 years to extend their lease. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment has to be done before, or at the same time as 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 advice can you give us when it comes to appointing a South Hornchurch conveyancing practice to carry out our lease extension conveyancing?
When appointing a solicitor for lease extension works (regardless if they are a South Hornchurch conveyancing firm) it is imperative that he or she should be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of conveyancing. We suggested that you talk with two or three firms including non South Hornchurch conveyancing practices prior to instructing a firm. If the firm is ALEP accredited then that’s a bonus. Some following of questions could be helpful:
- How experienced is the practice with lease extension legislation?
I have given up seeking a lease extension in South Hornchurch. Can the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal adjudicate on premiums?
if there is a missing landlord or where there is dispute about what the lease extension should cost, under the relevant statutes it is possible to make an application to the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal to determine the sum to be paid.
An example of a Lease Extension case for a South Hornchurch property is 37 Lodge Court High Street in November 2013. the decision of the LVT was that the premium to be paid for the new lease was £25,559 This case related to 1 flat. The unexpired term was 57.5 years.