Examples of recent questions relating to leasehold conveyancing in Thornton Heath
I am tempted by the attractive purchase price for a two flats in Thornton Heath which have approximately fifty years left on the lease term. Should I regard a short lease as a deal breaker?
A lease is a right to use the premises for a prescribed time frame. As the lease shortens the marketability of the lease reduces and it becomes more expensive to extend the lease. For this reason it is often a good idea to increase the term of the lease. More often than not it is difficulties arise selling premises with a short lease as mortgage lenders may be reluctant to lend money on properties of this type. Lease enfranchisement can be a difficult process. We recommend you seek professional help from a solicitor and surveyor with experience in this arena
Last month I purchased a leasehold property in Thornton Heath. Am I liable to pay service charges for periods before my ownership?
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. 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 Thornton Heath where we have witnessed a number of flat sales put at risk as a result of short leases. I have received contradictory information from local Thornton Heath conveyancing firms. Could you confirm whether the vendor of a flat can start 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 start the lease extension process and assign the benefit of the notice to the purchaser. This means that the proposed purchaser need not have to sit tight for 2 years to extend their lease. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment needs to be completed prior to, or simultaneously with completion of the sale.
Alternatively, it may be possible to extend the lease informally by agreement with the landlord 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.
Completion in due on our sale of a £375000 garden flat in Thornton Heath next week. The freeholder has quoted £372 for Landlord’s certificate, building insurance schedule and 3 years statements of service charge. Is the landlord entitled to charge an administration fee for a leasehold conveyance in Thornton Heath?
Thornton Heath conveyancing on leasehold flats normally involves the purchaser’s solicitor submitting enquiries for the landlord to address. Although the landlord is not legally bound to respond to these enquiries most will be willing to do so. They are at liberty invoice a reasonable administration fee for responding to questions or supplying documentation. There is no upper cap for such fees. The average costs for the paperwork that you are referring to is £350, in some situations it is in excess of £800. The administration charge required by the landlord must be sent together with a summary of entitlements and obligations in respect of administration fees, otherwise the charge is not strictly payable. Reality however dictates that you have no option but to pay whatever is requested of you if you want to exchange contracts with the buyer.
I have tried to negotiate informally with with my landlord for a lease extension without any joy. Can the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal adjudicate on such issues? Can you recommend a Thornton Heath conveyancing firm to represent me?
Where there is a absentee landlord or if there is dispute about what the lease extension should cost, under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 it is possible to make an application to the LVT to judgment on the price payable.
An example of a Lease Extension decision for a Thornton Heath residence is Ground Floor Flat 14 Lodge Road in October 2013. the tribunal held that the price payable for the acquisition of the extended lease of the property should be £12,590 .00 This case was in relation to 1 flat. The the unexpired term as at the valuation date was 69.46 years.
What makes a Thornton Heath lease defective?
Leasehold conveyancing in Thornton Heath is not unique. All leases are unique and drafting errors can result in certain clauses are not included. For example, if your lease is missing any of the following, it could be defective:
- Repairing obligations to or maintain parts of the property
- A duty to insure the building
- Clauses dealing with recovering service charges for expenditure on the building or common parts.
- Service charge per centages that don't add up correctly leaving a shortfall
You will 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. Barclays , Chelsea Building Society, and Nottingham Building Society all have express 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 provide security, obliging the buyer to pull out.