Recently asked questions relating to Thornton Heath leasehold conveyancing
I have recently realised that I have Seventy years unexpired on my flat in Thornton Heath. I now wish to get lease extension but my freeholder is missing. What options are available to me?
If you qualify, under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 you can apply to the County Court for for permission to dispense with the service of the initial notice. This will mean that your lease can be granted an extra 90 years by the magistrate. You will be obliged to demonstrate that you have done all that could be expected to locate the lessor. For most situations an enquiry agent should be useful to carry out a search and prepare a report which can be accepted by the court as proof that the landlord can not be located. It is wise to seek advice from a solicitor both on proving the landlord’s absence and the application to the County Court covering Thornton Heath.
I today plan to offer on a house that appears to tick a lot of boxes, at a reasonable price which is making it all the more appealing. I have subsequently discovered that it's a leasehold as opposed to freehold. I would have thought that there are issues purchasing a leasehold house in Thornton Heath. Conveyancing advisers have are about to be instructed. Will they explain the issues?
The majority of houses in Thornton Heath are freehold rather than leasehold. In this scenario it’s worth having a local solicitor who is familiar with the area can assist with the conveyancing process. We note that you are buying in Thornton Heath so you should seriously consider looking for a Thornton Heath conveyancing solicitor and be sure that they are used to advising on leasehold houses. As a matter of priority you will need to check the unexpired lease term. Being a lessee you will not be entirely free to do whatever you want to the property. The lease will likely included provisions such as requiring the freeholder’sconsent to conduct changes to the property. You may also be required to pay a service charge towards the upkeep of the communal areas where the property is located on an estate. Your solicitor should report to you on the legal implications.
Last month I purchased a leasehold flat in Thornton Heath. Do I have any liability for service charges relating to a period prior to my ownership?
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. 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 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).
What advice can you give us when it comes to choosing a Thornton Heath conveyancing firm to deal with our lease extension?
When appointing a property lawyer for your lease extension (regardless if they are a Thornton Heath conveyancing practice) it is most important that he or she should be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of conveyancing. We advise that you make enquires with two or three firms including non Thornton Heath conveyancing practices before you instructing a firm. If the firm is ALEP accredited then so much the better. Some following of questions might be of use:
- Can they put you in touch with client in Thornton Heath who can give a testimonial?
I have attempted and failed to negotiate with my landlord to extend my lease without any joy. Can I apply to the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal? Can you recommend a Thornton Heath conveyancing firm to represent me?
if there is a missing landlord or where there is dispute about the premium for a lease extension, under the relevant statutes you can apply to the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal to calculate the price payable.
An example of a Lease Extension case for a Thornton Heath property 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 unexpired lease term was 69.46 years.
Are there frequently found problems that you witness in leases for Thornton Heath properties?
Leasehold conveyancing in Thornton Heath is not unique. Most leases are unique and legal mistakes in the legal wording can result in certain sections 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.
- Maintenance charge proportions which don’t add up to the correct percentage
You may encounter difficulties when selling your property if you have a defective lease primarily because it impacts on the ability to obtain a mortgage on the property. Birmingham Midshires, Norwich and Peterborough Building Society, and Britannia all have very detailed 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.