Recently asked questions relating to St Luke's leasehold conveyancing
I've found a house that seems to be perfect, at a great price which is making it more attractive. I have just found out that it's a leasehold rather than freehold. I am assuming that there are issues buying a house with a leasehold title in St Luke's. Conveyancing solicitors have not yet been appointed. Will they explain the issues?
The majority of houses in St Luke's 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 clear that you are purchasing in St Luke's so you should seriously consider looking for a St Luke's conveyancing solicitor and be sure that they are used to transacting on leasehold houses. First you will need to check the number of years remaining. Being a lessee you will not be at liberty to do whatever you want with the house. The lease comes with conditions such as obtaining the freeholder’spermission to conduct alterations. You may also be required to pay a contribution towards the upkeep of the estate where the house is part of an estate. Your lawyer should advise you fully on all the issues.
I am attracted to a couple of apartments in St Luke's which have in the region of fifty years unexpired on the leases. Should I regard a short lease as a deal breaker?
There are plenty of short leases in St Luke's. The lease is a legal document that entitles you to use the premises for a prescribed time frame. As a lease shortens the saleability of the lease reduces and it becomes more costly to acquire a lease extension. For this reason it is advisable to extend the lease term. Sometimes it is difficulties arise selling premises with a short lease because mortgage companies less inclined to grant a loan on such properties. Lease extension can be a protracted process. We recommend you get professional assistance from a solicitor and surveyor with experience in this field
I've recently bought a leasehold property in St Luke's. 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. 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 agent office in St Luke's where we have witnessed a few flat sales put at risk due to leases having less than 80 years remaining. I have received inconsistent advice from local St Luke's conveyancing solicitors. Could you clarify whether the vendor of a flat can start the lease extension formalities for the purchaser on completion of the sale?
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 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 before, or simultaneously with completion of the disposal of the property.
An alternative approach is 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.
Can you provide any top tips for leasehold conveyancing in St Luke's with the aim of expediting the sale process?
- Much of the frustration in leasehold conveyancing in St Luke's can be bypassed if you get in touch lawyers the minute your agents start marketing the property and request that they start to put together the leasehold documentation needed by the buyers representatives.
- Many landlords or Management Companies in St Luke's levy fees for supplying management packs for a leasehold property. You or your lawyers should enquire as to the fee that they propose to charge. The management information can be applied for on or before finding a buyer, thus reducing delays. The average time it takes to obtain the necessary information is three weeks. It is the most common reason for frustration in leasehold conveyancing in St Luke's.
My wife and I have hit a brick wall in trying to reach an agreement for a lease extension in St Luke's. Can the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal adjudicate on premiums?
in cases where there is a absentee freeholder or if there is disagreement about the premium for a lease extension, under the relevant legislation it is possible to make an application to the First-tier Tribunal (Property Chamber) to determine the sum to be paid.
An example of a Lease Extension matter before the tribunal for a St Luke's property is 137 & 139 Haberdasher Street in December 2013. The Tribunal determines in accordance with section 48 and Schedule 13 of the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 that the premium for the extended lease for each Property should be £12,350.00. This case was in relation to 2 flats. The unexpired lease term was 72.39 years.