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Add loft conversion to lease deeds retrospectively

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  • Add loft conversion to lease deeds retrospectively

    Hello All,

    I am in the process if buying a leasehold property with aloft conversion. The loft is being used as another bedroom.

    My solicitors advised me today that the lease does not include the loft conversion.

    I now understand that it is possible for the seller to get a deed of variation from the freeholder for the loft conversion.

    The problem is that this process will take a few weeks. We are part of a long chain and a few weeks delay will most likely end this chain.

    My question is, can I go ahead and buy the property now and apply for the deed of variation retrospectively to include the loft conversion?

    What are my risks? Is there a possibility that legally I will never be able to apply for the deed of variation and thus have problems selling the property in the future?

    Thanks in advance!

    Regards,
    Robin

  • #2
    Re: Add loft conversion to lease deeds retrospectively

    The seller will have to sort this out because nobody sensibly advised by a solicitor is going to buy it unless the conversion is undone and the flat is sold more cheaply without the "extra" bedroom.

    If you are getting a mortgage then the loft must be added to the lease.

    If you are buying cash you could take the risk.

    The freeholder doesn't have to agree to it and in practice he will hold you to ransom, so don't go there, buy another flat.
    RICHARD WEBSTERwww.rwco.co.uk
    As a conveyancing solicitor I want to be helpful (England/Wales only) but can't accept liability for this.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Add loft conversion to lease deeds retrospectively

      Thanks a lot for your advise and quick response.

      I have now asked the seller to get the loft added to the deeds through the freeholder. The whole chain is now worried that this will take a few weeks and I believe some of them have put up their properties back on the market while they wait for this process to finish. I don't mind waiting until this is sorted.

      There is also the problem of lease extension. The lease has about 84 years left. The seller has managed to secure a letter from the freeholder assuring him that the new buyer should be able to apply and get the benefit of lease extension immediately after exchange.

      My solicitor says that this is just "comfort" and the freeholder can turn back on their words.

      Are you aware of such cases happening? I am aware of the law about not being able to enforce lease extension until I live in the property for 2 years.

      After all these issues I am questioning the agreed purchase price of the property as I had agreed to bear the cost of lease extension as well. The freeholder has given a quote of 4k + lawyers charges.

      Confused and concerned.

      Any advise/suggestion appreciated.

      Thanks.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Add loft conversion to lease deeds retrospectively

        If the loft is going to take a few weeks to be included then why can't the seller get the lease extended at the same time?

        Possibly you might have to pay more for the flat to cover the cost but at least you would have the certainty that it was done.
        RICHARD WEBSTERwww.rwco.co.uk
        As a conveyancing solicitor I want to be helpful (England/Wales only) but can't accept liability for this.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Add loft conversion to lease deeds retrospectively

          Thanks for your reply Richard.

          I am trying to get another question answered now. Is it possible to register the Deed of Variation after exchange? I understand the registeration of the deed with the Land Registry takes 10 working days.

          Is there a time limit for registration and can a non-owner start the registration process?

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Add loft conversion to lease deeds retrospectively

            If the Deed is made between landlord and present Lessee then present lessee can register it between exchange and completion if he wants to (assuming he doesn't need consent of his mortgage lender).

            However in this sort of case it is usually all done after completion - the seller's solicitors providing the deed and LR AP1 form completed and the relevant fee and the buyer's solicitor sends it off with his application for the registration of the transfer to his client which should include reference to the lease as varied by the deed of variation.
            RICHARD WEBSTERwww.rwco.co.uk
            As a conveyancing solicitor I want to be helpful (England/Wales only) but can't accept liability for this.

            Comment

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