Sample questions relating to St James's leasehold conveyancing
I am on look out for some leasehold conveyancing in St James's. Before I get started I require certainty as to the number of years remaining on the lease.
If the lease is registered - and almost all are in St James's - then the leasehold title will always include the basic details of the lease, namely the date; the term; and the original parties. From a conveyancing perspective such details then enable any prospective buyer and lender to confirm that any lease they are looking at is the one relevant to that title.For any other purpose, such as confirming how long the term was granted for and calculating what is left, then the register should be sufficient on it's own.
Looking forward to complete next month on a leasehold property in St James's. 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 St James's should include some of the following:
- How long the lease is You should be advised as what happens when the lease ends, and aware of the importance of the 80 year mark
I've recently bought a leasehold flat in St James's. Do I have any liability for service charges relating to a period prior to completion of my purchase?
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 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 agency in St James's where we see a number of flat sales jeopardised as a result of short leases. I have received contradictory information from local St James's conveyancing firms. Please can you shed some light as to whether the owner of a flat can initiate the lease extension process for the buyer?
As long as the seller has owned the lease 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 buyer need not have 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 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 months of negotiations we simply can't agree with our landlord on how much the lease extension should cost for our flat in St James's. Can we issue an application to the Residential Property Tribunal Service?
Most certainly. We are happy to put you in touch with a St James's conveyancing firm who can help.
An example of a Freehold Enfranchisement case for a St James's flat is 20 Avonwick Road in July 2013. The Tribunal was dealing with an application under Section 26 of the Leasehold Reform Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 for a determination of the freehold value of the property. It was concluded that the price to be paid was Fifteen Thousand Nine Hundred and Seventy (£15,970) divided as to £8,200 for Flat 20 and £7,770 for Flat 20A This case affected 1 flat. The the unexpired residue of the current lease was 73.26 years.
Are there common problems that you witness in leases for St James's properties?
There is nothing unique about leasehold conveyancing in St James's. Most leases are individual and legal mistakes in the legal wording can sometimes mean that certain provisions are not included. The following missing provisions could result in a defective lease:
- Repairing obligations to or maintain elements of the property
- A duty to insure the building
- Clauses dealing with recovering service charges for expenditure on the building or common parts.
- Service charge per centages that don't add up correctly leaving a shortfall
A defective lease can cause problems when trying to sell a property primarily because it impacts on the ability to obtain a mortgage on the property. HSBC Bank, Leeds Building Society, and Clydesdale all have very detailed conveyancing instructions 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, obliging the purchaser to withdraw.