Top Five Questions relating to Whitefield leasehold conveyancing
I am on look out for some leasehold conveyancing in Whitefield. Before diving in I require certainty as to the number of years remaining on the lease.
If the lease is registered - and most are in Whitefield - 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 am hoping to put an offer on a small detached house that seems to meet my requirements, at a reasonable figure which is making it all the more appealing. I have just been informed that it's a leasehold as opposed to freehold. I am assuming that there are particular concerns purchasing a leasehold house in Whitefield. Conveyancing lawyers have not yet been instructed. Will they explain the issues?
Most houses in Whitefield are freehold rather than leasehold. In this scenario it’s worth having a local conveyancer used to dealing with such properties who can help the conveyancing process. We note that you are buying in Whitefield in which case you should be looking for a Whitefield conveyancing solicitor and check that they have experience in advising on leasehold houses. As a matter of priority you will need to check the unexpired lease term. Being a tenant you will not be entirely free to do whatever you want with the house. The lease will likely included provisions for example obtaining the freeholder’spermission to conduct alterations. You may also be required to pay a contribution towards the maintenance of the estate where the house is located on an estate. Your conveyancer will report to you on the legal implications.
My wife and I purchased a leasehold flat in Whitefield. Conveyancing and Nationwide Building Society mortgage organised. A letter has just been received from someone claiming to own the freehold. Attached was a demand for arrears of ground rent dating back to 1991. The conveyancing practitioner in Whitefield who acted for me is not around.What should I do?
The first thing you should do is make enquiries of the Land Registry to be sure that the individual purporting to own the freehold is in fact the registered owner of the freehold reversion. It is not necessary to incur the fees of a Whitefield conveyancing lawyer to do this as you can do this on the Land Registry website for a few pound. Rest assured that regardless, even if this is the rightful freeholder, under the Limitation Act 1980 no more than 6 years of rent can be collected.
I've recently bought a leasehold house in Whitefield. Do I have any liability for service charges for periods before 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. 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 work for a busy estate agency in Whitefield where we have experienced a few flat sales jeopardised as a result of short leases. I have received contradictory information from local Whitefield conveyancing firms. Could you shed some light as to whether the seller of a flat can instigate 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 commence the lease extension process and assign the benefit of the notice to the purchaser. The benefit of this is that the proposed purchaser 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 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.
I invested in buying a ground floor flat in Whitefield, conveyancing was carried out 7 years ago. Can you please calculate a probable premium for a statutory lease extension? Comparable flats in Whitefield with a long lease are worth £188,000. The average or mid-range amount of ground rent is £55 charged once a year. The lease expires on 21st October 2087
With just 64 years remaining on your lease we estimate the premium for your lease extension to be between £17,100 and £19,800 plus legals.
The suggested premium range above a general guide to costs for renewing a lease, but we cannot give you a more accurate figure without more comprehensive due diligence. You should not use this information in a Notice of Claim or as an informal offer. There are no doubt additional concerns that need to be taken into account and clearly you should be as accurate as possible in your negotiations. Neither should you take any other action based on this information without first seeking the advice of a professional.