Common questions relating to Stockwell leasehold conveyancing
I am attracted to a two maisonettes in Stockwell both have about forty five years remaining on the leases. Will this present a problem?
There is no doubt about it. A leasehold apartment in Stockwell is a deteriorating asset as a result of the reducing lease term. The nearer the lease gets to its expiry date, the more it adversely affects the marketability of the property. For most buyers and mortgage companies, leases with less than eighty years become less and less marketable. On a more upbeat note, leaseholders can extend their leases by serving a Section 42 Notice. One stipulation is that they must have owned the property for two years (unlike a Section 13 notice for purchasing the freehold, when leaseholders can participate from day one of ownership). When successful, they will have the right to an extension of 90 years to the current term and ground rent is effectively reduced to zero. Before moving forward with a purchase of a residence with a short lease term remaining you should talk to a solicitor specialising in lease extensions and leasehold enfranchisement. We are are happy to put you in touch with Stockwell conveyancing experts who will explain the options available to you during an initial telephone conversation free of charge. More often than not it is possible to negotiate informally with the freeholder to extend the lease They may agree to a smaller lump sum and an increase in the ground rent, but to shorter extension terms in return. You need to ensure that the agreed terms represent good long-term value compared with the standard benefits of the Section 42 Notice and that onerous clauses are not inserted into any redrafting of the lease.
Last month I purchased a leasehold property in Stockwell. Do I have any liability for service charges relating to a period prior to my ownership?
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 ensure 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).
What advice can you give us when it comes to finding a Stockwell conveyancing firm to carry out our lease extension conveyancing?
If you are instructing a property lawyer for lease extension works (regardless if they are a Stockwell conveyancing firm) it is essential that he or she should be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of work. We advise that you make enquires with two or three firms including non Stockwell conveyancing practices before you instructing a firm. Where the conveyancing practice is ALEP accredited then so much the better. Some following of questions might be useful:
- Can they put you in touch with client in Stockwell who can give a testimonial?
Can you provide any advice for leasehold conveyancing in Stockwell from the point of view of expediting the sale process?
- A significant proportion of the delay in leasehold conveyancing in Stockwell can be reduced where you instruct lawyers as soon as your agents start marketing the property and request that they start to collate the leasehold information needed by the purchasers’ lawyers.
- If you have carried out any alterations to the residence would they have required Landlord’s consent? In particular have you laid down wooden flooring? Stockwell leases often stipulate that internal structural changes or addition of wooden flooring necessitate a licence from the Landlord consenting to such changes. If you fail to have the paperwork to hand do not communicate with the landlord without contacting your solicitor in advance.
All being well we will complete the sale of our £225000 maisonette in Stockwell in six days. The landlords agents has quoted £384 for Certificate of Compliance, building insurance schedule and 3 years statements of service charge. Is it legal for a freeholder to charge exorbitant fees for a leasehold conveyance in Stockwell?
Stockwell conveyancing on leasehold maisonettes normally necessitates the buyer’s lawyer sending questions for the landlord to address. Although the landlord is not legally bound to respond to these enquiries the majority will be content to do so. They may invoice a reasonable charge for answering enquiries or supplying documentation. There is no upper cap for such fees. The average fee for the information that you are referring to is over three hundred pounds, in some cases it is in excess of £800. The administration charge required by the landlord must be accompanied by a summary of entitlements and obligations in relation to administration charges, without which the invoice is not strictly payable. Reality however dictates that one has no choice but to pay whatever is requested of you should you wish to exchange contracts with the buyer.
After months of correspondence we cannot agree with our landlord on how much the lease extension should cost for our flat in Stockwell. Can we issue an application to the Residential Property Tribunal Service?
You certainly can. We can put you in touch with a Stockwell conveyancing firm who can help.
An example of a Freehold Enfranchisement decision for a Stockwell property is 3 Tintern Street in February 2010. The tribunal had jurisdiction to make a decision on the price of the freehold of the subject premises and concluded that the premium should be £24,630.00 This case affected 2 flats. The the unexpired residue of the current lease was 73.69 years.