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Frequently asked questions relating to Acocks Green leasehold conveyancing

I’m about to sell my garden apartment in Acocks Green.Conveyancing solicitors are to be appointed soon but I have just had a quarterly service charge demand – Do I pay up?

Your conveyancing lawyer is likely to suggest that you should pay the invoice as normal because all ground rent and service charges will be apportioned on completion, so you will be reimbursed by the buyer for the period running from after the completion date to the next payment date. Most management companies will not acknowledge the buyer unless the service charges have been paid and are up to date so it is important for both buyer and seller for the seller to show that they are up to date. This will smooth the conveyancing process.

My wife and I purchased a leasehold house in Acocks Green. Conveyancing and Skipton Building Society mortgage went though with no issue. I have received a letter from someone claiming to own the reversionary interest in the property. Attached was a ground rent demand for rent dating back to 1998. The conveyancing practitioner in Acocks Green who previously acted has now retired.Do I pay?

First contact the Land Registry to be sure that this person is in fact the registered owner of the freehold reversion. It is not necessary to incur the fees of a Acocks Green conveyancing lawyer to do this as you can do this on the Land Registry website for less than a fiver. Rest assured that regardless, even if this is the legitimate freeholder, under the Limitation Act 1980 no more than 6 years of rent can be collected.

I've recently bought a leasehold house in Acocks Green. Do I have any liability for service charges for periods before my ownership?

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. 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).

Our conveyancer has advised that he intends to complete and exchange simultaneously on the disposal of our £325000 maisonette in Acocks Green next week. The managing agents has quoted £312 for Landlord’s certificate, insurance certificate and previous years statements of service charge. Is it legal for a freeholder to charge exorbitant fees for a flat conveyance in Acocks Green?

Acocks Green conveyancing on leasehold apartments often necessitates the buyer’s conveyancer sending questions for the landlord to address. Although the landlord is not legally bound to answer these enquiries the majority will be willing to do so. They are at liberty invoice a reasonable charge for responding to questions or supplying documentation. There is no upper cap for such fees. The average fee for the paperwork that you are referring to is £350, in some cases it is above £800. The administration charge levied by the landlord must be sent together with a summary of entitlements and obligations in relation to administration charges, without which the charge is not strictly payable. Reality however dictates that one has no choice but to pay whatever is demanded should you wish to complete the sale of your home.

When it comes to leasehold conveyancing in Acocks Green what are the most common lease problems?

Leasehold conveyancing in Acocks Green is not unique. Most leases are individual and legal mistakes in the legal wording can sometimes mean that certain provisions 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 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 issues when trying to sell a property as they can affect a potential buyer’s ability to obtain a mortgage. Nationwide Building Society, Virgin Money, and Alliance & Leicester all have express conveyancing instructions 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, obliging the buyer to pull out.

I inherited a split level flat in Acocks Green, conveyancing formalities finalised 6 years ago. Can you let me have an estimate of the premium that my landlord can legally expect in return for granting a renewal of my lease? Equivalent properties in Acocks Green with a long lease are worth £186,000. The ground rent is £60 levied per year. The lease expires on 21st October 2086

With just 64 years unexpired we estimate the price of your lease extension to range between £14,300 and £16,400 as well as costs.

The suggested premium range that we have given is a general guide to costs for extending a lease, but we cannot give you the actual costs in the absence of detailed investigations. Do not use the figures in tribunal or court proceedings. There are no doubt other concerns that need to be taken into account and clearly you should be as accurate as possible in your negotiations. Please do not move forward based on this information without first seeking the advice of a professional.

Other Topics

Lease Extensions in Acocks Green