Wapping leasehold conveyancing: Q and A’s
I have just started marketing my 2 bed apartment in Wapping.Conveyancing lawyers have not yet been instructed but I have just had a half-yearly service charge demand – should I leave it to the buyer to sort out?
Your conveyancing lawyer is likely to suggest that you should clear the invoice 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. Having a clear account will assist your cause and will leave you no worse off financially.
I today plan to offer on a house that seems to tick a lot of boxes, at a reasonable price which is making it more attractive. I have just been informed that it's a leasehold rather than freehold. I would have thought that there are particular concerns buying a house with a leasehold title in Wapping. Conveyancing lawyers have are soon to be appointed. Will my lawyers set out the risks of buying a leasehold house in Wapping ?
The majority of houses in Wapping are freehold rather than leasehold. This is one of the situations where having a local conveyancer used to dealing with such properties who can help the conveyancing process. It is clear that you are purchasing in Wapping so you should seriously consider shopping around for a Wapping conveyancing solicitor and check that they have experience in dealing with leasehold houses. As a matter of priority you will need to check the number of years remaining. As a tenant you will not be at liberty to do whatever you want with the house. The lease comes with conditions for example obtaining the freeholder’sconsent to conduct changes to the property. You may also be required to pay a maintenance charge towards the maintenance of the estate where the house is located on an estate. Your lawyer should advise you fully on all the issues.
I am attracted to a couple of flats in Wapping both have about fifty years unexpired on the lease term. Should I regard a short lease as a deal breaker?
There are plenty of short leases in Wapping. The lease is a legal document that entitles you to use the property for a prescribed time frame. As the lease gets shorter the marketability of the lease deteriorate and it becomes more costly to extend the lease. This is why it is often a good idea to increase the term of the lease. It is often difficulties arise selling premises with a short lease as mortgage lenders less inclined to grant a loan on properties of this type. Lease enfranchisement can be a difficult process. We advise that you get professional assistance from a solicitor and surveyor with experience in this area
I've recently bought a leasehold property in Wapping. Am I liable to pay service charges for periods before 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. 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 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 work for a reputable estate agency in Wapping where we have experienced a number of leasehold sales derailed due to leases having less than 80 years remaining. I have been given contradictory information from local Wapping conveyancing solicitors. Can you clarify whether the seller of a flat can instigate the lease extension process for the buyer?
As long as 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. This means that the proposed purchaser can avoid having 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 prior to, or at the same time as completion of the disposal of the property.
Alternatively, it may be possible 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.
I have attempted and failed to negotiate with my landlord to extend my lease without any joy. Can one apply to the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal? Can you recommend a Wapping conveyancing firm to help?
Most definitely. We are happy to put you in touch with a Wapping conveyancing firm who can help.
An example of a Freehold Enfranchisement case for a Wapping 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 affected 41 flats. The the unexpired term as at the valuation date was 107 years.