Experts for Leasehold Conveyancing in Temple

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Common questions relating to Temple leasehold conveyancing

I am hoping to put an offer on a small detached house that appears to tick a lot of boxes, at a great figure which is making it more attractive. I have just found out that the title is leasehold as opposed to freehold. I am assuming that there are particular concerns purchasing a house with a leasehold title in Temple. Conveyancing lawyers have are soon to be instructed. Will my lawyers set out the risks of buying a leasehold house in Temple ?

The majority of houses in Temple are freehold rather than leasehold. In this scenario it’s worth having a local conveyancer used to dealing with such properties who can help the conveyancing process. It is clear that you are buying in Temple in which case you should be shopping around for a Temple conveyancing solicitor and check that they are used to transacting on leasehold houses. As a matter of priority you will need to check the unexpired lease term. As a tenant you will not be at liberty to do whatever you want to the property. The lease comes with conditions for example requiring the freeholder’spermission to carry out changes to the property. It may be necessary to pay a maintenance charge towards the maintenance of the estate where the property is part of an estate. Your conveyancer will advise you fully on all the issues.

Last month I purchased a leasehold flat in Temple. Do I have any liability for service charges for periods before 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. It is an essential part 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 work for a busy estate agency in Temple where we have witnessed a number of flat sales jeopardised as a result of short leases. I have been given contradictory information from local Temple conveyancing solicitors. Please can you clarify whether the owner of a flat can commence the lease extension process 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. The benefit of this is that the buyer 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 before, or at the same time as 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.

Can you offer any advice when it comes to finding a Temple conveyancing firm to deal with our lease extension?

If you are instructing a solicitor for your lease extension (regardless if they are a Temple conveyancing firm) it is imperative that they be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of conveyancing. We suggested that you talk with two or three firms including non Temple conveyancing practices prior to instructing a firm. If the firm is ALEP accredited then that’s a bonus. Some following of questions could be helpful:

  • What volume of lease extensions have they carried out in Temple in the last twenty four months?
  • Can they put you in touch with client in Temple who can give a testimonial?

  • Can you provide any top tips for leasehold conveyancing in Temple with the purpose of expediting the sale process?

    • A significant proportion of the delay in leasehold conveyancing in Temple can be avoided where you appoint lawyers as soon as your agents start marketing the property and ask them to collate the leasehold information which will be required by the purchasers’ solicitors.
    • The majority landlords or Management Companies in Temple levy fees for supplying management packs for a leasehold property. You or your lawyers should find out the fee that they propose to charge. The management information sought on or before finding a buyer, thus accelerating the process. The average time it takes to obtain the necessary information is three weeks. It is the most usual reason for frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Temple.
  • If you have carried out any alterations to the residence would they have required Landlord’s approval? In particular have you laid down wooden flooring? Most leases in Temple state that internal structural changes or installing wooden flooring necessitate a licence issued by the Landlord consenting to such alterations. Should you fail to have the approvals in place do not communicate with the landlord without checking with your lawyer in advance.
  • If there is a history of any disputes with your landlord or managing agents it is essential that these are resolved before the property is put on the market. The buyers and their solicitors will be warry about purchasing a property where there is an ongoing dispute. You will have to accept that you will have to pay any arrears of service charge or resolve the dispute prior to completion of the sale. It is therefore preferable to have any dispute settled ahead of the contract papers being issued to the buyers’ solicitors. You are still duty bound to disclose particulars of the dispute to the purchasers, but it is clearly preferable to present the dispute as over rather than unresolved.
  • You believe that you know the number of years remaining on your lease but it would be wise to verify this by asking your conveyancers. A buyer’s lawyer will be unlikely to recommend their client to where the lease term is below 75 years. In the circumstances it is important at an early stage that you identify whether the lease term requires a lease extension. If it does, contact your solicitors before you put your premises on the market for sale.

  • I inherited a second floor flat in Temple. Given that I can not reach agreement with the landlord, can the Leasehold valuation Tribunal make a decision on the premium due for the purchase of the freehold?

    Where there is a missing landlord or if there is dispute about what the lease extension should cost, under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 you can apply to the First-tier Tribunal (Property Chamber) to judgment on the amount due.

    An example of a Lease Extension decision for a Temple premises is Flat 89 Trinity Court Grays Inn Road in February 2013. the Tribunal found that the premium to be paid by the tenant on the grant of a new lease, in accordance with section 56 and Schedule 13 to the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 should be £36,229. This case affected 1 flat. The the unexpired residue of the current lease was 66.8 years.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Temple