Frequently asked questions relating to Walton leasehold conveyancing
I am on look out for some leasehold conveyancing in Walton. Before I get started I want to be sure as to the unexpired term of the lease.
Assuming the lease is recorded at the land registry - and most are in Walton - 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.
I would like to let out my leasehold flat in Walton. Conveyancing solicitor who did the purchase is retired - so can't ask her. Is permission from the freeholder required?
Even though your previous Walton conveyancing solicitor is no longer around you can check your lease to check if it allows you to sublet the apartment. The rule is that if the deeds are non-specific, subletting is allowed. Quite often there is a prerequisite that you are obliged to obtain permission via your landlord or some other party prior to subletting. The net result is you not allowed to sublet in the absence of first obtaining permission. The consent should not be unreasonably refused ore delayed. If your lease prohibits you from letting out the property you will need to ask your landlord if they are willing to waive this restriction.
Last month I purchased a leasehold property in Walton. Do I have any liability for service charges relating to a period prior to completion of my purchase?
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. However, 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 reputable estate agency in Walton where we have witnessed a number of leasehold sales jeopardised due to leases having less than 80 years remaining. I have received inconsistent advice from local Walton conveyancing firms. Please can you confirm whether the seller of a flat can start the lease extension process for the purchaser on completion of the sale?
As long as the seller has been the owner 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 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 needs to be completed before, or simultaneously with completion of the sale.
An alternative approach is to extend the lease informally by agreement with the landlord 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.
Following months of negotiations we cannot agree with our landlord on how much the lease extension should cost for our flat in Walton. Can we issue an application to the Residential Property Tribunal Service?
in cases where there is a missing freeholder 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 make a decision on the sum to be paid.
An example of a Lease Extension matter before the tribunal for a Walton flat is 147 Redford Close in June 2012. The Tribunal determined the lease extension premium to be at £4,200 This case affected 1 flat. The the unexpired term as at the valuation date was 82.93 years.
Are there common deficiencies that you witness in leases for Walton properties?
There is nothing unique about leasehold conveyancing in Walton. All leases are unique and legal mistakes in the legal wording can sometimes mean that certain clauses are wrong. 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 premises
- 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
You may encounter 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. Accord Mortgages Ltd, Bank of Scotland, and Nottingham Building Society 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 is problematic they may refuse to grant the mortgage, obliging the purchaser to withdraw.