Examples of recent questions relating to leasehold conveyancing in Tower Hill
I own a leasehold flat in Tower Hill. Conveyancing and Clydesdale mortgage went though with no issue. I have received a letter from someone claiming to own the freehold. Attached was a ground rent demand for rent dating back to 1991. The conveyancing practitioner in Tower Hill who acted for me is not around.What should I do?
The first thing you should do is make enquiries of the Land Registry to make sure that the individual claiming to own the freehold is in fact the registered owner of the freehold reversion. You do not need to incur the fees of a Tower Hill conveyancing firm to do this as it can be done on-line for £3. Rest assured that in any event, even if this is the legitimate landlord, under the Limitation Act 1980 the limitation period for recovery of ground rent is six years.
Last month I purchased a leasehold property in Tower Hill. Do I have any liability for service charges relating to a period prior to 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 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).
I work for a long established estate agency in Tower Hill where we have experienced a number of leasehold sales put at risk due to short leases. I have been given conflicting advice from local Tower Hill conveyancing firms. Can you clarify whether the vendor of a flat can start the lease extension process 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. The benefit of this is that the proposed purchaser can avoid having to wait 2 years for a lease extension. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment needs to be completed before, 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.
Can you offer any advice when it comes to choosing a Tower Hill conveyancing practice to carry out our lease extension conveyancing?
When appointing a property lawyer for lease extension works (regardless if they are a Tower Hill conveyancing firm) it is imperative that they be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of conveyancing. We recommend that you talk with several firms including non Tower Hill conveyancing practices before you instructing a firm. If the firm is ALEP accredited then that’s a bonus. Some following of questions might be helpful:
- If the firm is not ALEP accredited then why not?
Following months of correspondence we simply can't agree with our landlord on how much the lease extension should cost for our flat in Tower Hill. Does the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal have jurisdiction to calculate the appropriate figures?
Absolutely. We can put you in touch with a Tower Hill conveyancing firm who can help.
An example of a Freehold Enfranchisement decision for a Tower Hill residence is 1-41 Royal Tower Lodge 40 Cartwright Street in April 2013. the tribunal adding the agreed value of capitalised ground rents and the reversion the price to be paid for the freehold was £1,187,000 This case was in relation to 41 flats. The unexpired term was 107 years.
What are the frequently found defects that you see in leases for Tower Hill properties?
There is nothing unique about leasehold conveyancing in Tower Hill. All leases are individual and legal mistakes in the legal wording can sometimes mean that certain provisions are not included. The following missing provisions could result in a defective lease:
- A provision to repair to or maintain elements 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 can cause problems when trying to sell a property as they can affect a potential buyer’s ability to obtain a mortgage. Accord Mortgages Ltd, Virgin Money, and Barclays Direct all have express conveyancing instructions when it comes to what is expected in a lease. Where a lender has been advised by their lawyers that the lease is problematic they may refuse to provide security, forcing the buyer to pull out.