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Questions and Answers: Southgate leasehold conveyancing

Estate agents have just been given the go-ahead to market my basement apartment in Southgate.Conveyancing lawyers have not yet been instructed but I have just had a quarterly service charge demand – Do I pay up?

It best that you discharge the invoice as normal because all ground rent and service charges will be apportioned on completion, so you will be reimbursed by the buyer for the period running from after the completion date to the next payment date. Most management companies will not acknowledge the buyer until the service charges have been paid and are up to date so it is important for both buyer and seller for the seller to show that they are up to date. Having a clear account will assist your cause and will leave you no worse off financially.

I am hoping to put an offer on a small detached house that seems to tick a lot of boxes, at a great price which is making it all the more appealing. I have since discovered that the title is leasehold rather than freehold. I am assuming that there are issues purchasing a leasehold house in Southgate. Conveyancing solicitors have are soon to be instructed. Will my lawyers set out the implications of buying a leasehold house in Southgate ?

The majority of houses in Southgate are freehold rather than leasehold. In this scenario it’s worth having a local solicitor who is familiar with the area can help the conveyancing process. it is apparent that you are purchasing in Southgate so you should seriously consider shopping around for a Southgate conveyancing practitioner and check that they are used to advising on leasehold houses. First you will need to check the unexpired lease term. As a tenant you will not be entirely free to do whatever you want with the house. The lease will likely included provisions for example requiring the landlord’spermission to carry out changes to the property. It may be necessary to pay a service charge towards the maintenance of the communal areas where the house is located on an estate. Your conveyancer should appraise you on the various issues.

Back In 2005, I bought a leasehold house in Southgate. Conveyancing and Nationwide Building Society mortgage went though with no issue. I have received a letter from someone saying they have taken over the reversionary interest in the property. It included a demand for arrears of ground rent dating back to 1995. The conveyancing practitioner in Southgate who previously acted has long since retired.Any advice?

The first thing you should do is contact the Land Registry to make sure that the individual purporting to own the freehold is indeed the new freeholder. You do not need to instruct a Southgate conveyancing practitioner to do this as it can be done on-line for £3. Rest assured that regardless, even if this is the rightful freeholder, under the Limitation Act 1980 the limitation period for recovery of ground rent is six years.

Can you offer any advice when it comes to finding a Southgate conveyancing practice to deal with our lease extension?

If you are instructing a conveyancer for your lease extension (regardless if they are a Southgate conveyancing firm) it is essential that they be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of work. We recommend that you speak with several firms including non Southgate conveyancing practices before you 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 firm with lease extension legislation?
  • What are the charges for lease extension conveyancing?

  • I have attempted and failed to negotiate with my landlord for a lease extension without getting anywhere. Can I apply to the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal? Can you recommend a Southgate conveyancing firm to represent me?

    Where there is a absentee landlord or where there is dispute about the premium for a lease extension, under the relevant legislation you can apply to the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal to make a decision on the price.

    An example of a Freehold Enfranchisement matter before the tribunal for a Southgate flat is 23 Beaconsfield Road in July 2013. The Tribunals decided that the amount payable was £31,203 for the freehold. This case related to 2 flats. The unexpired term was 70.31 years.

    In relation to leasehold conveyancing in Southgate what are the most frequent lease defects?

    There is nothing unique about leasehold conveyancing in Southgate. Most leases is drafted differently and legal mistakes in the legal wording can sometimes mean that certain sections are erroneous. The following missing provisions could result in a defective lease:

    • A provision to repair to or maintain parts of the premises
    • Insurance obligations
    • Clauses dealing with recovering service charges for expenditure on the building or common parts.
    • Maintenance charge proportions which don’t add up to the correct percentage

    A defective lease will likely cause problems when trying to sell a property primarily because it impacts on the ability to obtain a mortgage on the property. Birmingham Midshires, Coventry Building Society, and Aldermore all have very detailed requirements when it comes to what is expected in a lease. Where a lender has been advised by their lawyers that the lease is problematic they may refuse to grant the mortgage, forcing the buyer to pull out.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Southgate