Fixed-fee leasehold conveyancing in Moorgate:

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Examples of recent questions relating to leasehold conveyancing in Moorgate

Back In 2002, I bought a leasehold flat in Moorgate. Conveyancing and Santander mortgage organised. A letter has just been received from someone saying they have taken over the freehold. Attached was a ground rent demand for rent dating back to 1996. The conveyancing solicitor in Moorgate who previously acted has long since retired.Do I pay?

First make enquiries of HMLR to make sure that the individual claiming to own the freehold is in fact the registered owner of the freehold reversion. You do not need to instruct a Moorgate conveyancing solicitor to do this as you can do this on the Land Registry website for a few pound. Rest assured that in any event, even if this is the rightful landlord, under the Limitation Act 1980 the limitation period for recovery of ground rent is six years.

Last month I purchased a leasehold property in Moorgate. Do I have any liability for service charges for periods before my ownership?

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 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 a negotiator for a long established estate agency in Moorgate where we have witnessed a few leasehold sales put at risk as a result of short leases. I have received contradictory information from local Moorgate conveyancing firms. Can you clarify whether the seller of a flat can initiate the lease extension process for the buyer?

Provided that 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 proposed purchaser can avoid having to wait 2 years for a lease extension. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment has to be done 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 finding a Moorgate conveyancing practice to deal with our lease extension?

If you are instructing a property lawyer for your lease extension (regardless if they are a Moorgate conveyancing firm) it is imperative that he or she should be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of work. We suggested that you talk with two or three firms including non Moorgate 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:

  • How experienced is the practice with lease extension legislation?
  • Can they put you in touch with client in Moorgate who can give a testimonial?

  • After years of negotiations we are unable to agree with our landlord on how much the lease extension should cost for our flat in Moorgate. Can we issue an application to the Residential Property Tribunal Service?

    Most definitely. We can put you in touch with a Moorgate conveyancing firm who can help.

    An example of a Lease Extension matter before the tribunal for a Moorgate property is 137 & 139 Haberdasher Street in December 2013. The Tribunal determines in accordance with section 48 and Schedule 13 of the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 that the premium for the extended lease for each Property should be £12,350.00. This case affected 2 flats. The the unexpired residue of the current lease was 72.39 years.

    Are there common defects that you encounter in leases for Moorgate properties?

    Leasehold conveyancing in Moorgate is not unique. Most leases are individual and legal mistakes in the legal wording can result in certain clauses are erroneous. The following missing provisions could result in a defective lease:

    • Repairing obligations to or maintain parts of the building
    • A duty to insure the building
    • Clauses dealing with recovering service charges for expenditure on the building or common parts.
    • Service charge per centages that don't add up correctly leaving a shortfall

    You could have difficulties when selling your property if you have a defective lease as they can affect a potential buyer’s ability to obtain a mortgage. Halifax, Skipton Building Society, and TSB all have express requirements when it comes to what is expected in a lease. If a mortgage lender believes that the lease is problematic they may refuse to grant the mortgage, obliging the purchaser to pull out.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Moorgate