Guaranteed fixed fees for Leasehold Conveyancing in Waltham Abbey

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Top Five Questions relating to Waltham Abbey leasehold conveyancing

I am in need of some leasehold conveyancing in Waltham Abbey. Before I set the wheels in motion I would like to find out the unexpired term of the lease.

If the lease is recorded at the land registry - and almost all are in Waltham Abbey - then the leasehold title will always include the short particulars of the lease, namely the date; the term; and the original parties. From a conveyancing perspective such details then enable any prospective buyer and lender to confirm that any lease they are looking at is the one relevant to that title.For any other purpose, such as confirming how long the term was granted for and calculating what is left, then the register should be sufficient on it's own.

My wife and I purchased a leasehold flat in Waltham Abbey. Conveyancing and Norwich and Peterborough Building Society mortgage are in place. I have received a letter from someone saying they have taken over the reversionary interest in the property. Attached was a demand for arrears of ground rent dating back to 1993. The conveyancing practitioner in Waltham Abbey who acted for me is not around.Do I pay?

The first thing you should do is contact the Land Registry to make sure that this person is in fact the new freeholder. You do not need to instruct a Waltham Abbey conveyancing lawyer to do this as you can do this on the Land Registry website for less than a fiver. You should note that in any event, even if this is the legitimate freeholder, under the Limitation Act 1980 the limitation period for recovery of ground rent is six years.

Last month I purchased a leasehold flat in Waltham Abbey. Do I have any liability for service charges for periods before completion of my purchase?

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 work for a reputable estate agency in Waltham Abbey where we have experienced a number of leasehold sales jeopardised as a result of leases having less than 80 years remaining. I have been given inconsistent advice from local Waltham Abbey conveyancing firms. Can you shed some light as to whether the vendor of a flat can start the lease extension formalities for the purchaser on completion of the sale?

Provided that 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 buyer can avoid having to sit tight for 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 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 buyer.

I inherited a garden flat in Waltham Abbey. In the absence of agreement between myself and the freeholder, can the Leasehold valuation Tribunal determine the sum payable for the purchase of the freehold?

in cases where there is a missing landlord or if there is dispute about the premium for a lease extension, under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 it is possible to make an application to the First-tier Tribunal (Property Chamber) to determine the price payable.

An example of a Freehold Enfranchisement case for a Waltham Abbey residence 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 related to 2 flats. The unexpired term was 69.26 years.

When it comes to leasehold conveyancing in Waltham Abbey what are the most frequent lease defects?

There is nothing unique about leasehold conveyancing in Waltham Abbey. All leases are individual and drafting errors can result in certain sections are missing. The following missing provisions could result in a defective lease:

  • Repairing obligations to or maintain parts of the property
  • 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 will have a problem when selling your property if you have a defective lease as they can affect a potential buyer’s ability to obtain a mortgage. Yorkshire Building Society, Skipton Building Society, and Britannia all have very detailed requirements when it comes to what is expected in a lease. Where a lender has been advised by their lawyers that the lease does not cover certain provisions they may refuse to grant the mortgage, forcing the purchaser to withdraw.

Other Topics

Lease Extensions in Waltham Abbey