Sample questions relating to Westminster leasehold conveyancing
I've found a house that appears to meet my requirements, at a reasonable figure which is making it all the more appealing. I have since discovered that the title is leasehold rather than freehold. I am assuming that there are particular concerns purchasing a house with a leasehold title in Westminster. Conveyancing advisers have are soon to be appointed. Will my lawyers set out the implications of buying a leasehold house in Westminster ?
Most houses in Westminster are freehold and not leasehold. In this scenario it’s worth having a local conveyancer who is familiar with the area can assist with the conveyancing process. We note that you are purchasing in Westminster so you should seriously consider looking for a Westminster conveyancing practitioner 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. Being a tenant you will not be entirely free to do whatever you want to the property. The lease comes with conditions such as obtaining the freeholder’sconsent to carry out changes to the property. It may be necessary to pay a service charge towards the upkeep of the estate where the house is part of an estate. Your solicitor should report to you on the legal implications.
My wife and I purchased a leasehold house in Westminster. Conveyancing and Coventry Building Society mortgage went though with no issue. I have received a letter from someone saying they have taken over the reversionary interest in the property. It included a demand for arrears of ground rent dating back to 1995. The conveyancing solicitor in Westminster 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 make sure that this person is in fact the new freeholder. It is not necessary to incur the fees of a Westminster conveyancing solicitor to do this as it can be done on-line for less than a fiver. Rest assured that in any event, even if this is the legitimate landlord, under the Limitation Act 1980 the limitation period for recovery of ground rent is six years.
I work for a busy estate agent office in Westminster where we have witnessed a few leasehold sales derailed due to short leases. I have been given conflicting advice from local Westminster conveyancing solicitors. Please can you shed some light as to whether the seller of a flat can start the lease extension formalities for the purchaser on completion of the sale?
As long as the seller has been the owner 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. This means that the proposed purchaser can avoid having to sit tight for 2 years for a lease extension. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment needs to be completed prior to, or simultaneously with completion of the disposal of the property.
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.
Can you provide any advice for leasehold conveyancing in Westminster from the point of view of saving time on the sale process?
- A significant proportion of the frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Westminster can be reduced where you get in touch lawyers as soon as you market your property and ask them to put together the leasehold information which will be required by the buyers representatives.
- The majority landlords or managing agents in Westminster charge for providing management packs for a leasehold homes. You or your lawyers should discover the actual amount of the charges. The management information can be applied for as soon as you have a buyer, thus reducing delays. The average time it takes to receive management information is three weeks. It is the most frequent reason for delay in leasehold conveyancing in Westminster.
Completion in due on the sale of our £175000 maisonette in Westminster in just under a week. The managing agents has quoted £360 for Landlord’s certificate, building insurance schedule and 3 years statements of service charge. Is it legal for a freeholder to charge such fees for a leasehold conveyance in Westminster?
For most leasehold sales in Westminster conveyancing will involve, queries regarding the management of a building inevitably needing to be answered directly by the freeholder or its agent, this includes :
- Answering pre-contract questions
- Where consent is required before sale in Westminster
- Copies of the building insurance and schedule
- Deeds of covenant upon sale
- Registering of the assignment of the change of lessee after a sale
I have had difficulty in trying to purchase the freehold in Westminster. Can the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal adjudicate on premiums?
if 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 LVT to assess the price.
An example of a Lease Extension case for a Westminster residence is Flats 12A & 19, Evelyn Mansions Carlisle Place in June 2009. The Tribunal held that the price to be paid for the new lease of Flat 12A is £168,824, For the other flat the price was set at £169,110 This case was in relation to 2 flats. The unexpired lease term was 56 years.