Fixed-fee leasehold conveyancing in Swiss Cottage:

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Examples of recent questions relating to leasehold conveyancing in Swiss Cottage

Estate agents have just been given the go-ahead to market my 2 bed apartment in Swiss Cottage.Conveyancing is yet to be initiated but I have just received a yearly service charge invoice – what should I do?

It best that you clear 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 managing agents 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. This will smooth the conveyancing process.

I am hoping to put an offer on a small detached house that seems to tick a lot of boxes, at a reasonable price which is making it more attractive. I have subsequently discovered that the title is leasehold rather than freehold. I am assuming that there are issues purchasing a leasehold house in Swiss Cottage. Conveyancing solicitors have are soon to be appointed. Will they explain the issues?

Most houses in Swiss Cottage are freehold and not leasehold. In this scenario it’s worth having a local conveyancer used to dealing with such properties who can help the conveyancing process. We note that you are purchasing in Swiss Cottage so you should seriously consider looking for a Swiss Cottage conveyancing solicitor and be sure that they have experience in advising on leasehold houses. As a matter of priority you will need to check the number of years remaining. As a lessee you will not be entirely free to do whatever you want with the house. The lease comes with conditions for example requiring the landlord’sconsent to carry out changes to the property. It may be necessary to pay a contribution towards the upkeep of the estate where the property is located on an estate. Your solicitor will advise you fully on all the issues.

I am tempted by the attractive purchase price for a two maisonettes in Swiss Cottage both have approximately fifty years remaining on the lease term. should I be concerned?

There is no doubt about it. A leasehold apartment in Swiss Cottage is a deteriorating asset as a result of the reducing lease term. The closer the lease gets to its expiry date, the more it reduces the salability of the property. For most buyers and banks, leases with less than 75 years become less and less marketable. On a more positive note, leaseholders can extend their leases by serving a Section 42 Notice. One stipulation is that they must have owned the premises 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 premises 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 Swiss Cottage conveyancing experts who will explain the options available to you during an initial telephone conversation free of charge. A more straightforward and quicker method of extending would be to contact your landlord directly and sound him out on the prospect of extending 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.

I've recently bought a leasehold property in Swiss Cottage. 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 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).

Following years of dialogue we cannot agree with our landlord on how much the lease extension should cost for our flat in Swiss Cottage. Can we issue an application to the Residential Property Tribunal Service?

You certainly can. We are happy to put you in touch with a Swiss Cottage conveyancing firm who can help.

An example of a Lease Extension matter before the tribunal 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 unexpired term was 16.83 and 16.43.

What are the frequently found defects that you witness in leases for Swiss Cottage properties?

Leasehold conveyancing in Swiss Cottage is not unique. All leases is drafted differently and drafting errors can result in certain sections are not included. The following missing provisions could result in a defective lease:

  • Repairing obligations to or maintain parts of the property
  • Insurance obligations
  • A provision for the recovery of money spent for the benefit of another party.
  • Service charge per centages that don't add up correctly leaving a shortfall

You could have a problem when selling your property if you have a defective lease as they can affect a potential buyer’s ability to obtain a mortgage. HSBC Bank, Leeds Building Society, and Clydesdale all have very detailed requirements when it comes to what is expected in a lease. If a mortgage lender believes that the lease is defective they may refuse to grant the mortgage, forcing the buyer to pull out.

Other Topics

Lease Extensions in Swiss Cottage