Recently asked questions relating to White City leasehold conveyancing
I am hoping to complete next month on a ground floor flat in White City. Conveyancing solicitors assured me that they will have a report out to me tomorrow. Are there areas in the report that I should be focusing on?
Your report on title for your leasehold conveyancing in White City should include some of the following:
- The length of the lease term You should be advised as what happens when the lease expires, and informed of the importance of not letting the lease term falling below eighty years
Estate agents have just been given the go-ahead to market my garden apartment in White City.Conveyancing is yet to be initiated but I have just had a half-yearly service charge invoice – what should I do?
Your conveyancing lawyer is likely to suggest that you should pay the invoice as normal because all ground rent and service charges will be apportioned on completion, so you will be reimbursed by the buyer for the period running from after the completion date to the next payment date. Most management companies will not acknowledge the buyer unless the service charges have been paid and are up to date so it is important for both buyer and seller for the seller to show that they are up to date. Having a clear account will assist your cause and will leave you no worse off financially.
I am looking at a two maisonettes in White City which have about forty five years unexpired on the lease term. Will this present a problem?
There are no two ways about it. A leasehold flat in White City is a wasting asset as a result of the shortening lease. The nearer the lease gets to zero years unexpired, the more it adversely affects the marketability of the premises. For most purchasers and mortgage companies, leases with less than 75 years become less and less attractive. On a more upbeat note, leaseholders can extend their leases by serving a Section 42 Notice. One stipulation is that they must have owned the property 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 White City 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 White City. Am I liable to pay service charges relating to a period prior to my ownership?
In a situation where the service charge has already been demanded from the previous lessee 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. It is an essential part 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).
Our conveyancer has advised that he intends to complete and exchange simultaneously on the sale of our £425000 apartment in White City on Thursday in a week. The managing agents has quoted £396 for Landlord’s certificate, building insurance schedule and 3 years statements of service charge. Is the landlord entitled to charge such fees for a flat conveyance in White City?
White City conveyancing on leasehold apartments more often than not involves the buyer’s lawyer sending enquiries for the landlord to answer. Although the landlord is under no legal obligation to address such questions the majority will be content to do so. They are at liberty invoice a reasonable administration fee for answering questions or supplying documentation. There is no set fee. The average fee for the information that you are referring to is £350, in some transactions it exceeds £800. The management information fee demanded by the landlord must be sent together with a summary of rights and obligations in respect of administration fees, otherwise the invoice is technically not due. Reality however dictates that one has no choice but to pay whatever is demanded should you wish to exchange contracts with the buyer.
I have had difficulty in trying to reach an agreement for a lease extension in White City. Can the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal adjudicate on premiums?
Where there is a absentee landlord or if there is dispute about the premium for a lease extension, under the relevant legislation it is possible to make an application to the First-tier Tribunal (Property Chamber) to determine the price.
An example of a Freehold Enfranchisement decision for a White City premises 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 related to 2 flats. The the unexpired residue of the current lease was 64.5 years.