Sample questions relating to Whetstone leasehold conveyancing
Back In 2009, I bought a leasehold house in Whetstone. Conveyancing and Alliance & Leicester mortgage went though with no issue. I have received a letter from someone saying they have taken over the freehold. Attached was a demand for arrears of ground rent dating back to 1997. The conveyancing practitioner in Whetstone who previously acted has long since retired.What should I do?
First make enquiries of the Land Registry to be sure that this person is in fact the new freeholder. It is not necessary to incur the fees of a Whetstone conveyancing lawyer to do this as it can be done on-line for £3. 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.
Last month I purchased a leasehold house in Whetstone. Am I liable to pay service charges relating to a period prior to completion of my purchase?
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 employed by a busy estate agent office in Whetstone where we see a few leasehold sales put at risk as a result of short leases. I have received inconsistent advice from local Whetstone conveyancing solicitors. Could you confirm whether the seller of a flat can start the lease extension process for the buyer?
As long as 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. This means that the buyer need not have to sit tight for 2 years to extend their lease. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment needs to be completed before, or at the same time as completion of the disposal of the property.
Alternatively, it may be possible to agree the lease extension with the freeholder 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.
What are your top tips when it comes to appointing a Whetstone conveyancing firm to carry out our lease extension conveyancing?
When appointing a solicitor for lease extension works (regardless if they are a Whetstone conveyancing firm) it is essential that he or she should be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of conveyancing. We advise that you talk with two or three firms including non Whetstone conveyancing practices prior to instructing a firm. If the firm is ALEP accredited then that’s a bonus. Some following of questions might be of use:
- How familiar is the firm with lease extension legislation?
Do you have any advice for leasehold conveyancing in Whetstone with the aim of expediting the sale process?
- A significant proportion of the delay in leasehold conveyancing in Whetstone can be bypassed if you instruct lawyers the minute you market your property and request that they start to put together the leasehold documentation needed by the buyers representatives.
- A minority of Whetstone leases require Landlord’s consent to the sale and approval of the buyers. If this is the case, it would be prudent to place the estate agents on notice to make sure that the purchasers put in hand bank and professional references. The bank reference should make it clear that the buyer is able to meet the annual service charge and the actual amount of the service charge should be quoted in the bank’s letter. You will therefore need to provide your estate agents with the service charge figures so that they can pass this information on to the buyers or their solicitors.
We have reached the end of our tether in negotiating a lease extension in Whetstone. Can the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal adjudicate on premiums?
You certainly can. We can put you in touch with a Whetstone conveyancing firm who can help.
An example of a Lease Extension case for a Whetstone residence is Flat 2 2 Netherfield Road in April 2010. The Tribunale held that premium payable for a 90 year extension to the existing Lease should be £7,705. This case was in relation to 1 flat. The the unexpired term as at the valuation date was 76 years.