Questions and Answers: White City leasehold conveyancing
I am hoping to put an offer on a small detached house that seems to be perfect, at a great figure which is making it all the more appealing. I have subsequently found out that the title is leasehold rather than freehold. I am assuming that there are particular concerns buying a leasehold house in White City. Conveyancing advisers have are about to be appointed. Will my lawyers set out the implications of buying a leasehold house in White City ?
The majority of houses in White City are freehold rather than leasehold. In this scenario it’s worth having a local solicitor used to dealing with such properties who can help the conveyancing process. It is clear that you are buying in White City in which case you should be shopping around for a White City conveyancing practitioner and check that they are used to dealing with leasehold houses. As a matter of priority you will need to check the unexpired lease term. Being a leaseholder you will not be entirely free to do whatever you want to the property. The lease comes with conditions for example requiring the freeholder’sconsent to carry out alterations. You may also be required to pay a maintenance charge towards the upkeep of the estate where the house is located on an estate. Your solicitor should advise you fully on all the issues.
Back In 2006, I bought a leasehold flat in White City. Conveyancing and The Mortgage Works mortgage are in place. A letter has just been received from someone saying they have taken over the freehold. It included a demand for arrears of ground rent dating back to 1992. The conveyancing practitioner in White City who previously acted has long since retired.Do I pay?
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 White City conveyancing practitioner to do this as it can be done on-line for a few pound. You should note that regardless, even if this is the rightful landlord, under the Limitation Act 1980 no more than 6 years of rent can be collected.
Last month I purchased a leasehold house in White City. Am I liable to pay service charges relating to a period prior to completion of my purchase?
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. Strange as it may seem, your landlord may still be able to take action to forfeit the lease. A critical element 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).
Do you have any top tips for leasehold conveyancing in White City with the intention of speeding up the sale process?
- Much of the frustration in leasehold conveyancing in White City can be bypassed if you appoint lawyers the minute your agents start advertising the property and ask them to collate the leasehold information which will be required by the buyers lawyers.
- Some White City leases require Landlord’s consent to the sale and approval of the buyers. If this applies to your lease, you should notify your estate agents to make sure that the purchasers put in hand financial (bank) and professional references. The bank reference should make it clear that the buyer is financially capable of paying the yearly 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 actual amount of the service charge so that they can pass this information on to the purchasers or their lawyers.
We expect to complete the sale of our £225000 flat in White City next Friday . The landlords agents has quoted £300 for Landlord’s certificate, insurance certificate and 3 years statements of service charge. Is it legal for a freeholder to charge such fees for a leasehold conveyance in White City?
White City conveyancing on leasehold apartments often requires the purchaser’s lawyer submitting enquiries for the landlord to address. Although the landlord is not legally bound to address such questions the majority will be willing to do so. They are entitled levy a reasonable charge for answering enquiries or supplying documentation. There is no upper cap for such fees. The average fee for the information that you are referring to is £350, in some situations it is above £800. The administration charge required by the landlord must be accompanied by a summary of rights and obligations in relation to administration charges, otherwise the charge is technically not due. Reality however dictates that you have no option but to pay whatever is requested of you should you wish to exchange contracts with the buyer.
I am the registered owner of a basement flat in White City. In the absence of agreement between myself and the freeholder, can the Leasehold valuation Tribunal make a decision on the amount due for a lease extension?
if there is a absentee landlord or if there is disagreement about the premium for a lease extension, under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 it is possible to make an application to the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal to judgment on the amount due.
An example of a Freehold Enfranchisement decision for a White City flat is 23 & 23A Collingbourne Road in June 2013. Tribunal was dealing with the assessment of the value of the freehold reversion and determination of the terms of the acquisition pursuant to an Order of District Judge Lightman dated 25 February 2013 vesting the freehold interest in the property in the applicant. The tribunal assessed the price of the freehold (to which any arrears or other sums due to the missing landlord under the leases should be added) at £81,638. This case affected 2 flats. The the unexpired term as at the valuation date was 64.5 years.