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Common questions relating to Southborough leasehold conveyancing

I am hoping to sign contracts shortly on a basement flat in Southborough. Conveyancing lawyers have said that they report fully next week. Are there areas in the report that I should be focusing on?

Your report on title for your leasehold conveyancing in Southborough should include some of the following:

  • How long the lease is You should be advised as what happens when the lease expires, and aware of the importance of not letting the lease term falling below eighty years
  • The physical extent of the demise. This will be the flat itself but could also incorporate a roof space or basement if appropriate.
  • Does the lease require carpeting throughout thus preventing wood flooring?
  • Ground rent - how much and when you need to pay, and also know whether this is subject to change
  • You should have a good understanding of the insurance provisions
  • I don't know whether the lease allows me to alter or improve anything in the flat - you should know whether it applies to all alterations or just structural alteration, and whether consent is required
  • Responsibility for repairing the window frames For a comprehensive list of information to be included in your report on your leasehold property in Southborough please ask your lawyer in ahead of your conveyancing in Southborough

  • I am looking at a couple of flats in Southborough both have about 50 years remaining on the leases. Should I regard a short lease as a deal breaker?

    There are plenty of short leases in Southborough. The lease is a legal document that entitles you to use the premises for a prescribed time frame. As the lease shortens the marketability of the lease decreases and results in it becoming more expensive to extend the lease. For this reason it is often a good idea to extend the lease term. Sometimes it is difficult to sell a property with a short lease as mortgage companies less inclined to grant a loan on such properties. Lease extension can be a difficult process. We recommend you get professional help from a solicitor and surveyor with experience in this area

    I've recently bought a leasehold flat in Southborough. 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 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. 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 work for a busy estate agent office in Southborough where we see a few flat sales jeopardised as a result of short leases. I have been given inconsistent advice from local Southborough conveyancing firms. Could you shed some light as to whether the owner of a flat can initiate the lease extension process for the purchaser on completion of the sale?

    As long as the seller has owned the lease 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. This means that the buyer can avoid having to sit tight for 2 years to extend their lease. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment has to be done prior to, or at the same time as completion of the disposal of the property.

    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.

    Can you offer any advice when it comes to choosing a Southborough conveyancing firm to carry out our lease extension conveyancing?

    When appointing a conveyancer for lease extension works (regardless if they are a Southborough conveyancing firm) it is imperative that he or she should be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of conveyancing. We recommend that you speak with two or three firms including non Southborough conveyancing practices prior to instructing a firm. Where the conveyancing practice is ALEP accredited then that’s a bonus. Some following of questions might be helpful:

    • How familiar is the firm with lease extension legislation?
  • What are the legal fees for lease extension work?

  • I am the proprietor of a ground-floor 1960’s flat in Southborough. In the absence of agreement between myself and the landlord, can the Leasehold valuation Tribunal determine the sum due for a lease extension?

    if there is a absentee landlord or if there is dispute about the premium for a lease extension, under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 you can apply to the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal to arrive at the price.

    An example of a Lease Extension case for a Southborough property 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 related to 1 flat. The the unexpired term as at the valuation date was 50.57 years.