West Ham leasehold conveyancing: Q and A’s
There are only Seventy years remaining on my lease in West Ham. I now want to get lease extension but my landlord is absent. What should I do?
If you meet the appropriate requirements, under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 you can apply to the County Court for an order to dispense with the service of the initial notice. This will mean that your lease can be granted an extra 90 years by the Court. However, you will be required to prove that you or your lawyers have used your best endeavours to locate the freeholder. In some cases a specialist may be useful to carry out a search and prepare an expert document which can be used as evidence that the freeholder can not be located. It is advisable to get professional help from a solicitor both on investigating the landlord’s disappearance and the application to the County Court overseeing West Ham.
I am hoping to sign contracts shortly on a basement flat in West Ham. Conveyancing lawyers assured me that they are sending me a report tomorrow. What should I be looking out for?
Your report on title for your leasehold conveyancing in West Ham should include some of the following:
- You should receive a copy of the lease
I am hoping to put an offer on a small detached house that appears to meet my requirements, at a reasonable figure which is making it more attractive. I have subsequently discovered that the title is leasehold as opposed to freehold. I would have thought that there are particular concerns purchasing a leasehold house in West Ham. Conveyancing solicitors have are about to be appointed. Will my lawyers set out the implications of buying a leasehold house in West Ham ?
The majority of houses in West Ham are freehold and not leasehold. This is one of the situations where having a local conveyancer who is familiar with the area can help the conveyancing process. We note that you are buying in West Ham so you should seriously consider shopping around for a West Ham conveyancing solicitor and check that they have experience in dealing with leasehold houses. First you will need to check the unexpired lease term. As 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’spermission to conduct changes to the property. You may also be required to pay a maintenance charge towards the maintenance of the communal areas where the property is part of an estate. Your solicitor should report to you on the legal implications.
My wife and I purchased a leasehold flat in West Ham. Conveyancing and Britannia mortgage are in place. A letter has just been received from someone saying they have taken over the reversionary interest in the property. Attached was a demand for arrears of ground rent dating back to 1991. The conveyancing practitioner in West Ham who previously acted has long since retired.Do I pay?
First make enquiries of HMLR to make sure that this person is indeed the registered owner of the freehold reversion. You do not need to incur the fees of a West Ham conveyancing firm 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 am a negotiator for a busy estate agent office in West Ham where we have experienced a few flat sales put at risk due to short leases. I have been given inconsistent advice from local West Ham conveyancing firms. Can you confirm whether the seller of a flat can commence the lease extension formalities for the buyer?
Provided that the seller has owned the lease for at least 2 years it is possible, to serve a Section 42 notice to kick-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 to extend their lease. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment needs to be completed before, or simultaneously with 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 buyer.
I have had difficulty in trying to purchase the freehold in West Ham. Can this matter be resolved via the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal?
Most certainly. We can put you in touch with a West Ham conveyancing firm who can help.
An example of a Lease Extension matter before the tribunal for a West Ham property is 46 Credon Road in January 2014. On 11 September 2013 Deputy District Judge Price sitting at the Bow County Court made a vesting order that the freeholder surrender his lease and be granted a new lease of the Premises on such terms as may be determined by the First Tier Tribunal (Property Chamber).The appropriate sum as concluded by the Tribunal was £7225 This case was in relation to 1 flat. The unexpired term was 69.77 years.