Common questions relating to Tooting leasehold conveyancing
I’m about to sell my basement apartment in Tooting.Conveyancing is yet to be initiated but I have just had a quarterly service charge invoice – Do I pay up?
It best that you 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 management companies will not acknowledge the buyer unless 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.
My wife and I purchased a leasehold house in Tooting. Conveyancing and Nottingham Building Society mortgage organised. I have received a letter from someone claiming to own the freehold. Attached was a demand for arrears of ground rent dating back to 1995. The conveyancing practitioner in Tooting who acted for me is not around.Do I pay?
The first thing you should do is contact the Land Registry to make sure that this person is in fact the registered owner of the freehold reversion. It is not necessary to instruct a Tooting conveyancing lawyer to do this as it can be done on-line for less than a fiver. You should note that in any event, even if this is the legitimate freeholder, under the Limitation Act 1980 no more than 6 years of rent can be collected.
I work for a busy estate agent office in Tooting where we have experienced a few flat sales jeopardised as a result of leases having less than 80 years remaining. I have been given contradictory information from local Tooting conveyancing firms. Can you shed some light as to whether the vendor of a flat can commence the lease extension formalities for the buyer?
As long as the seller has owned the lease 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. This means that the buyer can avoid having to wait 2 years to extend their lease. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment has to be done prior to, or at the same time as completion of the sale.
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 buyer.
What advice can you give us when it comes to finding a Tooting conveyancing firm to deal with our lease extension?
If you are instructing a conveyancer for your lease extension (regardless if they are a Tooting conveyancing firm) it is essential that they be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of conveyancing. We advise that you make enquires with several firms including non Tooting conveyancing practices prior to instructing a firm. If the firm is ALEP accredited then that’s a bonus. Some following of questions might be useful:
- How experienced is the practice with lease extension legislation?
I am the leaseholder of a ground-floor 1950’s flat in Tooting. In the absence of agreement between myself and the freeholder, can the Leasehold valuation Tribunal make a decision on the premium payable for the purchase of the freehold?
if there is a missing landlord or where there is disagreement 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 First-tier Tribunal (Property Chamber) to make a decision on the premium.
An example of a Lease Extension decision for a Tooting residence is 14 Nutwell Street in January 2014. The premium payable for the acquisition of a new lease of the subject premises was in the sum of £30,523 This case related to 1 flat. The the unexpired term as at the valuation date was 62.94 years.
Are there common defects that you come across in leases for Tooting properties?
There is nothing unique about leasehold conveyancing in Tooting. All leases are unique and drafting errors can sometimes mean that certain provisions are not included. For example, if your lease is missing any of the following, it could be defective:
- Repairing obligations to or maintain elements of the property
- A duty to insure the building
- A provision for the recovery of money spent for the benefit of another party.
- Service charge per centages that don't add up correctly leaving a shortfall
A defective lease can cause issues when trying to sell a property primarily because it impacts on the ability to obtain a mortgage on the property. Nationwide Building Society, Leeds Building Society, and Platform Home Loans Ltd 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 provide security, obliging the buyer to withdraw.