Common questions relating to Teddington leasehold conveyancing
I have recently realised that I have Sixty One years left on my lease in Teddington. I am keen to get lease extension but my landlord is missing. What options are available to me?
If you qualify, under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 you can submit an application to the County Court for an order to dispense with the service of the initial notice. This will mean that your lease can be extended by the magistrate. You will be obliged to prove that you or your lawyers have done all that could be expected to find the lessor. In some cases an enquiry agent should be useful to try and locate and prepare an expert document to be used as evidence that the landlord is indeed missing. It is wise to seek advice from a solicitor both on investigating the landlord’s disappearance and the application to the County Court covering Teddington.
I am hoping to put an offer on a small detached house that appears to be perfect, at a great figure which is making it more attractive. I have since found out that the title is leasehold rather than freehold. I would have thought that there are particular concerns buying a leasehold house in Teddington. Conveyancing lawyers have are soon to be appointed. Will they explain the issues?
Most houses in Teddington are freehold rather than leasehold. This is one of the situations where having a local conveyancer who is familiar with the area can assist with the conveyancing process. It is clear that you are buying in Teddington in which case you should be shopping around for a Teddington conveyancing solicitor and check that they are used to advising on leasehold houses. As a matter of priority you will need to check the number of years remaining. Being a lessee you will not be entirely free to do whatever you want with the house. The lease comes with conditions such as requiring the freeholder’sconsent to carry out alterations. You may also be required to pay a contribution towards the maintenance of the communal areas where the property is located on an estate. Your lawyer should appraise you on the various issues.
I am tempted by the attractive purchase price for a two maisonettes in Teddington which have approximately fifty years remaining on the leases. Should I regard a short lease as a deal breaker?
There are no two ways about it. A leasehold apartment in Teddington is a wasting asset as a result of the reducing lease term. The nearer the lease gets to zero years unexpired, the more it adversely affects the value of the premises. For most purchasers and lenders, leases with less than 75 years become less and less attractive. 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 Teddington 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 flat in Teddington. 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 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 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).
I am employed by a long established estate agency in Teddington where we see a few flat sales put at risk due to short leases. I have been given conflicting advice from local Teddington conveyancing firms. Could you confirm whether the seller of a flat can commence the lease extension formalities for the purchaser on completion of the sale?
Provided that the seller has been the owner for at least 2 years it is possible, to serve a Section 42 notice to commence the lease extension process and assign the benefit of the notice to the purchaser. The benefit of this is that the proposed purchaser can avoid having to wait 2 years for a lease extension. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment has to be done prior to, or simultaneously with completion of the disposal of the property.
An alternative approach is 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 purchaser.
We have reached the end of our tether in trying to purchase the freehold in Teddington. Can the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal adjudicate on premiums?
Where there is a missing freeholder or if there is dispute about what the lease extension should cost, under the relevant statutes you can apply to the LVT to decide the amount due.
An example of a Lease Extension matter before the tribunal for a Teddington residence is Flat D 15 Claremont Gardens in September 2013. TheTribunal determined in accordance with section48 and Schedule13 of the Leasehold Reform,Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 that the premium for the extended lease should be fourteen thousand one hundred and eighty seven pounds (£14,187.00) This case was in relation to 1 flat.