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Top Five Questions relating to St Leonard Shoreditch leasehold conveyancing

I have just started marketing my 2 bed flat in St Leonard Shoreditch.Conveyancing solicitors are to be appointed soon but I have just received a half-yearly service charge demand – Do I pay up?

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 until 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.

My wife and I purchased a leasehold flat in St Leonard Shoreditch. Conveyancing and Godiva Mortgages Ltd mortgage went though with no issue. I have received a letter from someone saying they have taken over the freehold. Attached was a ground rent demand for rent dating back to 1995. The conveyancing solicitor in St Leonard Shoreditch who acted for me is not around.What should I do?

First make enquiries of HMLR to be sure that this person is in fact the new freeholder. There is no need to incur the fees of a St Leonard Shoreditch conveyancing solicitor to do this as you can do this on the Land Registry website for less than a fiver. Rest assured that regardless, even if this is the legitimate landlord, under the Limitation Act 1980 the limitation period for recovery of ground rent is six years.

I've recently bought a leasehold flat in St Leonard Shoreditch. Do I have any liability for service charges for periods before 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. 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).

I am employed by a long established estate agency in St Leonard Shoreditch where we have experienced a number of leasehold sales jeopardised due to leases having less than 80 years remaining. I have been given conflicting advice from local St Leonard Shoreditch conveyancing firms. Could you shed some light as to whether the owner of a flat can commence the lease extension process for the buyer?

As long as the seller has been the owner 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. The benefit of this is that the proposed purchaser need not have to wait 2 years for a lease extension. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment needs to be completed before, or simultaneously with completion of the sale.

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 advice can you give us when it comes to appointing a St Leonard Shoreditch conveyancing firm to deal with our lease extension?

If you are instructing a property lawyer for lease extension works (regardless if they are a St Leonard Shoreditch conveyancing practice) it is essential that they be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of work. We advise that you make enquires with several firms including non St Leonard Shoreditch conveyancing practices prior to instructing a firm. Where the conveyancing practice is ALEP accredited then that’s a bonus. Some following of questions could be of use:

  • How experienced is the firm with lease extension legislation?
  • If they are not ALEP accredited then why not?

  • My wife and I have hit a brick wall in seeking a lease extension in St Leonard Shoreditch. Can the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal adjudicate on premiums?

    in cases where there is a absentee landlord or where there is dispute about what the lease extension should cost, under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 you can apply to the LVT to calculate the price payable.

    An example of a Lease Extension decision for a St Leonard Shoreditch 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 was in relation to 2 flats. The the number of years remaining on the existing lease(s) was 72.39 years.

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    Lease Extensions in St Leonard Shoreditch