Upper Clapton leasehold conveyancing: Q and A’s
Back In 2006, I bought a leasehold flat in Upper Clapton. Conveyancing and Coventry Building Society mortgage went though with no issue. A letter has just been received from someone claiming to own the freehold. Attached was a demand for arrears of ground rent dating back to 1997. The conveyancing solicitor in Upper Clapton 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 be sure that this person is indeed the new freeholder. There is no need to instruct a Upper Clapton conveyancing lawyer to do this as you can do this on the Land Registry website for a few pound. Rest assured that in any event, even if this is the rightful freeholder, under the Limitation Act 1980 no more than 6 years of rent can be collected.
Last month I purchased a leasehold flat in Upper Clapton. Do I have any liability for service charges relating to a period prior to completion of my purchase?
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. 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).
I am employed by a reputable estate agent office in Upper Clapton where we see a number of flat sales derailed as a result of leases having less than 80 years remaining. I have been given contradictory information from local Upper Clapton conveyancing firms. Can you confirm whether the vendor of a flat can initiate 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. This means that the buyer 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 has to be done before, or at the same time as completion of the disposal of the property.
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 purchaser.
What are your top tips when it comes to finding a Upper Clapton conveyancing firm to carry out our lease extension conveyancing?
When appointing a solicitor for lease extension works (regardless if they are a Upper Clapton conveyancing practice) it is essential 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 Upper Clapton conveyancing practices prior to instructing a firm. If the firm is ALEP accredited then that’s a bonus. Some following of questions might be helpful:
- What volume of lease extensions has the firm carried out in Upper Clapton in the last year?
Completion in due on the disposal of our £175000 flat in Upper Clapton in just under a week. The managing agents has quoted £396 for Landlord’s certificate, insurance certificate and previous years statements of service charge. Is it legal for a freeholder to charge an administration fee for a leasehold conveyance in Upper Clapton?
Upper Clapton conveyancing on leasehold maisonettes usually requires the buyer’s solicitor submitting questions for the landlord to answer. Although the landlord is not legally bound to address these enquiries most will be content to do so. They are at liberty levy a reasonable administration fee for answering enquiries or supplying documentation. There is no set fee. The average fee for the paperwork that you are referring to is over three hundred pounds, in some situations it exceeds £800. The management information fee invoiced by the landlord must be accompanied by a synopsis of rights and obligations in respect of administration charges, otherwise the invoice is technically not due. Reality however dictates that you have little choice but to pay whatever is demanded should you wish to complete the sale of your home.
Despite our best efforts, we have been unsuccessful in trying to reach an agreement for a lease extension in Upper Clapton. Can this matter be resolved via the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal?
Where there is a missing freeholder 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 assess the price payable.
An example of a Lease Extension decision for a Upper Clapton property is Flat 25, Stamford Hill Mansions Stamford Hill in April 2010. The Tribunal therefore determined that the premium to be paid by the lessee to the freeholder for the extension of the lease should be £28,984.00 This case was in relation to 1 flat. The the unexpired residue of the current lease was 59 years.