The Hale leasehold conveyancing: Q and A’s
I have recently realised that I have Seventy years unexpired on my flat in The Hale. I am keen to get lease extension but my freeholder is absent. 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 for permission to dispense with the service of the initial notice. This will enable the lease to be granted an extra 90 years by the Court. However, you will be required to prove that you or your lawyers have done all that could be expected to track down the lessor. On the whole a specialist would be helpful to conduct investigations and prepare a report which can be accepted by the court as proof that the landlord can not be located. It is advisable to get professional help from a conveyancer both on proving the landlord’s absence and the application to the County Court covering The Hale.
I have just appointed agents to market my 2 bed flat in The Hale.Conveyancing is yet to be initiated but I have just had a half-yearly service charge invoice – Do I pay up?
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 managing agents will not acknowledge the buyer until 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've found a house that appears to meet my requirements, at a reasonable figure which is making it more attractive. I have just discovered that it's a leasehold rather than freehold. I am assuming that there are issues purchasing a house with a leasehold title in The Hale. Conveyancing solicitors have are soon to be appointed. Will they explain the issues?
The majority of houses in The Hale are freehold and not leasehold. In this scenario it’s worth having a local solicitor used to dealing with such properties who can assist with the conveyancing process. It is clear that you are buying in The Hale in which case you should be looking for a The Hale conveyancing practitioner and check that they are used to transacting on leasehold houses. First you will need to check the unexpired lease term. As a leaseholder 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 conduct changes to the property. It may be necessary to pay a maintenance charge towards the upkeep of the communal areas where the house is part of an estate. Your conveyancer should appraise you on the various issues.
I've recently bought a leasehold flat in The Hale. Am I liable to pay service charges relating to a period prior to completion of my purchase?
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. Strange as it may seem, 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).
After months of correspondence we simply can't agree with our landlord on how much the lease extension should cost for our flat in The Hale. Can we issue an application to the Residential Property Tribunal Service?
in cases where there is a missing landlord or where there is disagreement about the premium for a lease extension, under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 you can apply to the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal to calculate the price payable.
An example of a Lease Extension case for a The Hale residence is 20 Orchard Court Stonegrove in June 2009. The tribunal decided that a premium of £11,040 should be payable for the new lease This case affected 1 flat. The the number of years remaining on the existing lease(s) was 71.55 years.
What are the frequently found deficiencies that you see in leases for The Hale properties?
There is nothing unique about leasehold conveyancing in The Hale. All leases are individual and drafting errors can result in certain provisions are erroneous. For example, if your lease is missing any of the following, it could be defective:
- A provision to repair to or maintain parts of the premises
- A duty to insure the building
- A provision for the recovery of money spent for the benefit of another party.
- Maintenance charge proportions which don’t add up to the correct percentage
A defective lease will likely cause issues when trying to sell a property primarily because it impacts on the ability to obtain a mortgage on the property. Birmingham Midshires, The Royal Bank of Scotland, and TSB all have express requirements when it comes to what is expected in a lease. If a mortgage lender believes that the lease is problematic they may refuse to grant the mortgage, forcing the purchaser to withdraw.