Purfleet leasehold conveyancing: Q and A’s
I am hoping to sign contracts shortly on a basement flat in Purfleet. Conveyancing lawyers have said that they report fully next week. Are there areas in the report that I should be focusing on?
Your report on title for your leasehold conveyancing in Purfleet should include some of the following:
- How long the lease is You should be advised as what happens when the lease expires, and aware of the importance of not letting the lease term falling below eighty years
I am looking at a couple of flats in Purfleet both have about 50 years remaining on the leases. Should I regard a short lease as a deal breaker?
There are no two ways about it. A leasehold apartment in Purfleet is a wasting asset as a result of the reducing lease term. The nearer the lease gets to its expiry date, the more it reduces the value of the property. For most purchasers and mortgage companies, leases with less than eighty 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 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 Purfleet 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.
I've recently bought a leasehold flat in Purfleet. 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 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. 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).
I work for a busy estate agent office in Purfleet where we see a few flat sales jeopardised as a result of short leases. I have been given inconsistent advice from local Purfleet conveyancing firms. Could you shed some light as to whether the owner of a flat can initiate the lease extension process for the purchaser on completion of the sale?
As long as the seller has owned the lease for at least 2 years it is possible, to serve a Section 42 notice to start the lease extension process and assign the benefit of the notice to the purchaser. This means that the buyer can avoid having to sit tight for 2 years to extend their lease. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment has to be done prior to, 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 buyer.
Can you offer any advice when it comes to choosing a Purfleet conveyancing firm to carry out our lease extension conveyancing?
When appointing a conveyancer for lease extension works (regardless if they are a Purfleet conveyancing firm) it is imperative that he or she should be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of conveyancing. We recommend that you speak with two or three firms including non Purfleet conveyancing practices prior to instructing a firm. Where the conveyancing practice is ALEP accredited then that’s a bonus. Some following of questions might be helpful:
- How familiar is the firm with lease extension legislation?
I have attempted and failed to negotiate with my landlord to extend my lease without any joy. Can the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal decide on such matters? Can you recommend a Purfleet conveyancing firm to help?
if there is a absentee landlord or if there is dispute about the premium for a lease extension, under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 you can apply to the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal to arrive at the price.
An example of a Lease Extension case for a Purfleet property is Various @ Colombus Square in January 2012. the Tribunal calculated the premiums to be paid for new leases for each of the flats in Mariners Walk to be £3822 and the premium to be paid for the new lease of 2 Knights Court to be £4439. This case related to 13 flats. The the unexpired term as at the valuation date was 76 years.