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Warfield leasehold conveyancing: Q and A’s

Expecting to complete next month on a ground floor flat in Warfield. Conveyancing lawyers have said that they are sending me a report within the next couple of days. Are there areas in the report that I should be focusing on?

The report on title for your leasehold conveyancing in Warfield should include some of the following:

  • How long the lease is You should be advised as what happens when the lease expires, and informed of the importance of the 80 year mark
  • Setting out your rights in respect of common areas in the block.For example, does the lease include a right of way over a path or hallways?
  • Ground rent - how much and when you need to pay, and also know whether this will change in the future
  • Whether the landlord has obligations to ensure rights of quiet enjoyment over your premises and do you know what it means in practice?
  • The landlord’s obligations to repair and maintain the building. It is important that you know who is responsible for the repair and maintenance of every part of the building
  • Responsibility for repairing the window frames
  • What options are open to you if a neighbour is in violation of a provision in their lease? For details of the information to be contained in your report on your leasehold property in Warfield please enquire of your lawyer in ahead of your conveyancing in Warfield

  • My wife and I purchased a leasehold flat in Warfield. Conveyancing and Clydesdale mortgage organised. A letter has just been received from someone saying they have taken over the freehold. It included a demand for arrears of ground rent dating back to 1994. The conveyancing solicitor in Warfield who previously acted has now retired.What should I do?

    The first thing you should do is contact the Land Registry to be sure that the individual claiming to own the freehold is indeed the new freeholder. You do not need to instruct a Warfield conveyancing solicitor to do this as it can be done on-line 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.

    I work for a long established estate agency in Warfield where we have witnessed a few flat sales derailed as a result of short leases. I have been given conflicting advice from local Warfield conveyancing firms. Please can you clarify 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 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 need not have to wait 2 years to extend their lease. 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 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 purchaser.

    Do you have any top tips for leasehold conveyancing in Warfield from the perspective of saving time on the sale process?

    • A significant proportion of the frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Warfield can be bypassed where you get in touch lawyers as soon as your agents start advertising the property and ask them to put together the leasehold documentation which will be required by the buyers lawyers.
    • Some Warfield leases require Landlord’s consent to the sale and approval of the buyers. If this is the case, it would be prudent to notify your estate agents to make sure that the purchasers obtain bank and professional references. The bank reference should make it clear that the buyer is able to meet the annual service charge and the actual amount of the service charge should be quoted in the bank’s letter. You will therefore need to provide your estate agents with the actual amount of the service charge so that they can pass this information on to the buyers or their solicitors.
  • If there is a history of conflict with your freeholder or managing agents it is essential that these are settled before the property is put on the market. The buyers and their solicitors will be reluctant to purchase a property where there is an ongoing dispute. You may need to swallow your pride and pay any arrears of service charge or settle the dispute prior to completion of the sale. It is therefore preferable to have any dispute settled ahead of the contract papers being issued to the buyers’ solicitors. You will still have to reveal particulars of the dispute to the buyers, but it is clearly preferable to reveal the dispute as over rather than unsettled.
  • If you have the benefit of shareholding in the freehold, you should ensure that you are holding the original share certificate. Obtaining a re-issued share certificate is often a lengthy process and delays many a Warfield conveyancing transaction. Where a duplicate share certificate is required, you should approach the company officers or managing agents (if applicable) for this sooner rather than later.
  • You may think that you are aware of the number of years left on your lease but it would be wise to double-check via your lawyers. A purchaser's conveyancer will be unlikely to recommend their client to proceed with the purchase of a leasehold property the remaining number of years is below 80 years. It is therefore important at an as soon as possible that you consider whether the lease requires a lease extension. If it does, contact your solicitors before you put your property on the market for sale.

  • What makes a Warfield lease defective?

    Leasehold conveyancing in Warfield is not unique. Most leases are unique and legal mistakes in the legal wording can sometimes mean that certain provisions are erroneous. For example, if your lease is missing any of the following, it could be defective:

    • Repairing obligations to or maintain elements of the property
    • Insurance obligations
    • 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

    A defective lease can cause problems when trying to sell a property as they can affect a potential buyer’s ability to obtain a mortgage. HSBC Bank, The Mortgage Works, and TSB all have express requirements when it comes to what is expected in a lease. Where a lender has been advised by their lawyers that the lease is defective they may refuse to grant the mortgage, obliging the buyer to withdraw.

    Leasehold Conveyancing in Warfield - A selection of Questions you should consider Prior to Purchasing

      Can you tell me if there are any major works in the planning that will increase the maintenance costs? It is important to be aware whether window replacement or some other major work is pending to be shared between the tenants and may well materially increase the the maintenance fees or require a specific payment. How much is the ground rent and service charge?

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Warfield