Top Five Questions relating to Woodford leasehold conveyancing
I am tempted by the attractive purchase price for a two maisonettes in Woodford both have approximately forty five years remaining on the lease term. Should I regard a short lease as a deal breaker?
There is no doubt about it. A leasehold apartment in Woodford is a wasting asset as a result of the reducing lease term. The closer the lease gets to zero years unexpired, the more it reduces the salability of the property. The majority of purchasers and lenders, leases with under eighty years become less and less marketable. 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 property 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 Woodford conveyancing experts who will explain the options available to you during an initial telephone conversation free of charge. More often than not it is possible to negotiate informally with the freeholder to extend the lease You may find he or she is happy to negotiate informally and willing to consider your offer straight off, without having to involve anyone else. This will save you time and money and it could help you reach a lower price on the lease. 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.
I've recently bought a leasehold property in Woodford. Am I liable to pay service charges for periods before my ownership?
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. 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).
Can you offer any advice when it comes to appointing a Woodford conveyancing firm to deal with our lease extension?
When appointing a property lawyer for your lease extension (regardless if they are a Woodford conveyancing practice) it is imperative that they be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of conveyancing. We suggested that you speak with two or three firms including non Woodford conveyancing practices before you instructing a firm. If the firm is ALEP accredited then that’s a bonus. Some following of questions might be useful:
- If the firm is not ALEP accredited then why not?
If all goes to plan we aim to complete the disposal of our £175000 maisonette in Woodford in nine days. The management company has quoted £384 for Certificate of Compliance, building insurance schedule and previous years statements of service charge. Is it legal for a freeholder to charge exorbitant fees for a leasehold conveyance in Woodford?
Woodford conveyancing on leasehold flats more often than not involves the buyer’s conveyancer sending enquiries for the landlord to address. Although the landlord is under no legal obligation to answer such questions the majority will be willing to assist. They are entitled charge a reasonable charge for responding to enquiries or supplying documentation. There is no set fee. The average costs for the paperwork that you are referring to is £350, in some cases it is above £800. The management information fee invoiced by the landlord must be sent together with a synopsis of rights and obligations in relation to administration fees, without which the charge is not strictly payable. In reality one has no choice but to pay whatever is demanded if you want to sell the property.
I am the proprietor of a ground flat in Woodford. In the absence of agreement between myself and the freeholder, can the Leasehold valuation Tribunal determine the amount due for the purchase of the freehold?
Most definitely. We can put you in touch with a Woodford conveyancing firm who can help.
An example of a Freehold Enfranchisement matter before the tribunal for a Woodford flat is 201 & 201a St. Barnabas Road in October 2013. The Tribunal decided that the price to be paid by the Applicants for the freehold interest is £20,071. This case was in relation to 2 flats. The the unexpired residue of the current lease was 69.26 years.
What makes a Woodford lease defective?
Leasehold conveyancing in Woodford is not unique. Most leases are individual and legal mistakes in the legal wording can sometimes mean that certain clauses are missing. For example, if your lease is missing any of the following, it could be defective:
- A provision to repair to or maintain parts of the building
- A duty to insure the building
- A provision for the recovery of money spent for the benefit of another party.
- Maintenance charge proportions which don’t add up to the correct percentage
A defective lease can cause problems when trying to sell a property as they can affect a potential buyer’s ability to obtain a mortgage. Barclays , Norwich and Peterborough Building Society, and Platform Home Loans Ltd all have express conveyancing instructions when it comes to what is expected in a lease. If a mortgage lender believes that the lease does not cover certain provisions they may refuse to provide security, obliging the buyer to pull out.