West Ham leasehold conveyancing: Q and A’s
I am hoping to complete next month on a basement flat in West Ham. Conveyancing solicitors assured me that they are sending me a report on Monday. Are there areas in the report that I should be focusing on?
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 own a leasehold flat in West Ham. Conveyancing and Aldermore mortgage went though with no issue. I have received a letter from someone claiming to own the reversionary interest in the property. It included a demand for arrears of ground rent dating back to 1998. The conveyancing solicitor in West Ham who previously acted has long since retired.Do I pay?
The first thing you should do is make enquiries of HMLR to make sure that this person is in fact the registered owner of the freehold reversion. It is not necessary to incur the fees of a West Ham conveyancing solicitor to do this as it can be done on-line for a few pound. Rest assured that regardless, even if this is the rightful freeholder, under the Limitation Act 1980 the limitation period for recovery of ground rent is six years.
I am looking at a couple of apartments in West Ham both have in the region of 50 years remaining on the lease term. Will this present a problem?
There is no doubt about it. A leasehold flat in West Ham is a deteriorating asset as a result of the reducing lease term. The nearer the lease gets to zero years unexpired, the more it adversely affects the salability of the property. For most buyers and mortgage companies, leases with under 75 years become less and less marketable. On a more positive note, leaseholders can extend their leases by serving a Section 42 Notice. One stipulation is that they must have owned the premises 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 West Ham 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.
Last month I purchased a leasehold house in West Ham. Am I liable to pay service charges for periods before my ownership?
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).
What advice can you give us when it comes to choosing a West Ham conveyancing practice to deal with our lease extension?
When appointing a conveyancer for lease extension works (regardless if they are a West Ham conveyancing practice) it is most important that he or she should be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of work. We suggested that you speak with several firms including non West Ham conveyancing practices before you instructing a firm. If the firm is ALEP accredited then that’s a bonus. Some following of questions could be of use:
- How experienced is the practice with lease extension legislation?
We have reached the end of our tether in trying to reach an agreement for a lease extension in West Ham. Can the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal adjudicate on premiums?
You certainly can. We are happy to put you in touch with a West Ham conveyancing firm who can help.
An example of a Lease Extension decision 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 affected 1 flat. The unexpired term was 69.77 years.