Questions and Answers: Swiss Cottage leasehold conveyancing
I have just started marketing my basement apartment in Swiss Cottage.Conveyancing lawyers have not yet been instructed but I have just received a yearly service charge invoice – should I leave it to the buyer to sort out?
Your conveyancing lawyer is likely to suggest that you should discharge the service charge 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 unless 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 own a leasehold flat in Swiss Cottage. Conveyancing and Norwich and Peterborough Building Society mortgage are in place. I have received a letter from someone saying they have taken over the reversionary interest in the property. Attached was a ground rent demand for rent dating back to 1991. The conveyancing solicitor in Swiss Cottage who previously acted has now retired.Any advice?
First contact the Land Registry to be sure that the individual claiming to own the freehold is in fact the new freeholder. There is no need to incur the fees of a Swiss Cottage conveyancing solicitor to do this as it can be done on-line for a few pound. Rest assured that in any event, even if this is the rightful landlord, under the Limitation Act 1980 the limitation period for recovery of ground rent is six years.
Last month I purchased a leasehold flat in Swiss Cottage. 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. 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).
Can you provide any top tips for leasehold conveyancing in Swiss Cottage with the intention of saving time on the sale process?
- A significant proportion of the frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Swiss Cottage can be avoided if you get in touch lawyers as soon as your agents start marketing the property and request that they start to put together the leasehold information which will be required by the purchasers’ solicitors.
- In the event that you altered the property did you need the Landlord’s approval? Have you, for example installed wooden flooring? Most leases in Swiss Cottage state that internal structural changes or installing wooden flooring necessitate a licence issued by the Landlord approving such works. Should you dont have the approvals in place you should not contact the landlord without checking with your lawyer in advance.
Completion in due on the disposal of our £175000 apartment in Swiss Cottage in just under a week. The landlords agents has quoted £396 for Certificate of Compliance, insurance certificate and previous years statements of service charge. Is it legal for a freeholder to charge exorbitant fees for a flat conveyance in Swiss Cottage?
Swiss Cottage conveyancing on leasehold apartments more often than not requires the buyer’s conveyancer sending questions for the landlord to answer. Although the landlord is under no legal obligation to answer such questions most will be content to do so. They are entitled levy a reasonable administration fee for responding to questions or supplying documentation. There is no set fee. The average fee for the paperwork that you are referring to is £350, in some transactions it is above £800. The management information fee levied by the landlord must be accompanied by a summary of entitlements and obligations in relation to administration fees, without which the charge is technically not due. Reality however dictates that you have no option but to pay whatever is requested of you should you wish to exchange contracts with the buyer.
I am the leaseholder of a ground-floor 1960’s flat in Swiss Cottage. In the absence of agreement between myself and the landlord, can the Leasehold valuation Tribunal make a decision on the sum due for a lease extension?
Absolutely. We are happy to put you in touch with a Swiss Cottage conveyancing firm who can help.
An example of a Lease Extension case for a Swiss Cottage premises is Raised Ground Floor Flat 20 Fitzjohns Avenue in July 2014. the Tribunal decided that the premiums to be paid for new leases in respect of the Raised Ground Floor Flat and the First Floor Flat were to be calculated as: Raised Ground Floor: £765,175.14 First Floor: £601,617.77 This case affected 2 flats. The the unexpired residue of the current lease was 16.83 and 16.43.