Recently asked questions relating to Wanstead leasehold conveyancing
Due to exchange soon on a studio apartment in Wanstead. Conveyancing solicitors have said that they are sending me a report tomorrow. Are there areas in the report that I should be focusing on?
Your report on title for your leasehold conveyancing in Wanstead should include some of the following:
- How long the lease is You should be advised as what happens when the lease expires, and aware of the importance of not letting the lease term falling below eighty years
I've found a house that appears to tick a lot of boxes, at a reasonable figure which is making it all the more appealing. I have subsequently been informed that the title is leasehold as opposed to freehold. I am assuming that there are particular concerns buying a leasehold house in Wanstead. Conveyancing lawyers have not yet been appointed. Will they explain the issues?
Most houses in Wanstead are freehold rather than leasehold. This is one of the situations where having a local solicitor used to dealing with such properties who can help the conveyancing process. It is clear that you are buying in Wanstead in which case you should be shopping around for a Wanstead conveyancing practitioner and be sure that they have experience in transacting on leasehold houses. First you will need to check the number of years remaining. Being a lessee you will not be at liberty to do whatever you want to the property. The lease will likely included provisions for example obtaining the freeholder’sconsent to conduct alterations. It may be necessary to pay a maintenance charge towards the upkeep of the communal areas where the property is part of an estate. Your conveyancer should report to you on the legal implications.
I am attracted to a two flats in Wanstead which have approximately fifty years remaining on the lease term. Will this present a problem?
There are no two ways about it. A leasehold apartment in Wanstead is a deteriorating asset as a result of the reducing lease term. The closer the lease gets to its expiry date, the more it reduces the value of the property. For most purchasers and lenders, leases with less than 75 years become less and less marketable. On a more upbeat note, leaseholders can extend their leases by serving a Section 42 Notice. One stipulation is that they must have owned the property for two years (unlike a Section 13 notice for purchasing the freehold, when leaseholders can participate from day one of ownership). When successful, they will have the right to an extension of 90 years to the current term and ground rent is effectively reduced to zero. Before moving forward with a purchase of a residence with a short lease term remaining you should talk to a solicitor specialising in lease extensions and leasehold enfranchisement. We are are happy to put you in touch with Wanstead conveyancing experts who will explain the options available to you during an initial telephone conversation free of charge. A more straightforward and quicker method of extending would be to contact your landlord directly and sound him out on the prospect of extending the lease They may agree to a smaller lump sum and an increase in the ground rent, but to shorter extension terms in return. You need to ensure that the agreed terms represent good long-term value compared with the standard benefits of the Section 42 Notice and that onerous clauses are not inserted into any redrafting of the lease.
I've recently bought a leasehold house in Wanstead. Am I liable to pay service charges for periods before completion of my purchase?
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. A critical element 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 am a negotiator for a long established estate agent office in Wanstead where we have experienced a few leasehold sales put at risk due to short leases. I have received contradictory information from local Wanstead conveyancing solicitors. Please can you confirm whether the owner of a flat can start the lease extension formalities for the buyer?
Provided that the seller has been the owner 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. The benefit of this is that the buyer need not have to wait 2 years to extend their lease. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment has to be done before, or simultaneously with completion of the sale.
An alternative approach is 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.
Having spent years of correspondence we simply can't agree with our landlord on how much the lease extension should cost for our flat in Wanstead. Does the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal have jurisdiction to calculate the appropriate figures?
Where there is a missing freeholder or where 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 Leasehold Valuation Tribunal to judgment on the price payable.
An example of a Freehold Enfranchisement matter before the tribunal for a Wanstead residence is 36 New Wanstead in August 2010. The Tribunal arrived at a valuation of the premium for the freehold of £22,359. This case related to 2 flats. The unexpired term was 73.92 years.