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Aston on Trent leasehold conveyancing: Q and A’s

Estate agents have just been given the go-ahead to market my ground floor apartment in Aston on Trent.Conveyancing lawyers have not yet been instructed but I have just had a quarterly service charge invoice – Do I pay up?

Your conveyancing lawyer is likely to suggest that you should discharge the service charge 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 until 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.

Last month I purchased a leasehold flat in Aston on Trent. Do I have any liability for service charges for periods before completion of my purchase?

Where the service charge has already been demanded from the previous owner 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 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 am employed by a reputable estate agency in Aston on Trent where we have experienced a number of leasehold sales derailed due to short leases. I have received contradictory information from local Aston on Trent conveyancing solicitors. Can you clarify whether the owner of a flat can instigate the lease extension formalities for the buyer?

As long as the seller has been the owner for at least 2 years it is possible, to serve a Section 42 notice to 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 has to be done prior to, or simultaneously with completion of the disposal of the property.

An alternative approach is to agree the lease extension with the freeholder 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.

Can you provide any advice for leasehold conveyancing in Aston on Trent from the perspective of speeding up the sale process?

  • A significant proportion of the delay in leasehold conveyancing in Aston on Trent can be avoided where you appoint lawyers as soon as your agents start advertising the property and request that they start to collate the leasehold documentation needed by the purchasers’ solicitors.
  • Many freeholders or Management Companies in Aston on Trent levy fees for supplying management packs for a leasehold homes. You or your lawyers should find out the fee that they propose to charge. The management pack can be applied for as soon as you have a buyer, thus reducing delays. The typical amount of time it takes to receive management information is three weeks. It is the most frequent cause of delay in leasehold conveyancing in Aston on Trent.
  • If you have carried out any alterations to the premises would they have required Landlord’s approval? In particular have you installed wooden flooring? Most leases in Aston on Trent state that internal structural changes or installing wooden flooring necessitate a licence from the Landlord consenting to such changes. If you dont have the consents to hand do not communicate with the landlord without checking with your lawyer before hand.
  • If you have had any disputes with your freeholder or managing agents it is very important that these are resolved before the property is put on the market. The purchasers and their solicitors will be reluctant to purchase a flat where a dispute is unresolved. 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 details of the dispute to the buyers, but it is better to present the dispute as over as opposed to unsettled.
  • If you are supposed to have a share in the Management Company, you should make sure that you are holding the original share certificate. Obtaining a duplicate share certificate can be a lengthy formality and delays many a Aston on Trent conveyancing deal. Where a duplicate share certificate is necessary, do contact the company officers or managing agents (where applicable) for this sooner rather than later.

  • We expect to complete the sale of our £225000 maisonette in Aston on Trent next week. The freeholder has quoted £336 for Certificate of Compliance, insurance certificate and previous years statements of service charge. Is it legal for a freeholder to charge an administration fee for a leasehold conveyance in Aston on Trent?

    Aston on Trent conveyancing on leasehold apartments ordinarily involves fees being raised by managing agents :

    • Addressing conveyancing due diligence enquiries
    • Where consent is required before sale in Aston on Trent
    • Supplying insurance information
    • Deeds of covenant upon sale
    • Registering of the assignment of the change of lessee after a sale
    Your lawyer will have no control over the level of the charges for this information but the average costs for the information for Aston on Trent leasehold property is £350. For Aston on Trent conveyancing transactions it is customary for the seller to pay for these costs. The landlord or their agents are under no legal obligation to answer such questions most will be willing to do so - albeit often at exorbitant prices where the fees bear little relation to the work involved. Unfortunately there is no law that requires fixed charges for administrative tasks. Neither is there any legal time frame by which they are obliged to supply answers.

    Aston on Trent Conveyancing for Leasehold Flats - Examples of Queries Prior to buying

      Be sure to investigate if the the lease includes any adverse restrictions in the lease. For instance it is very common in Aston on Trent leases that pets are not permitted in certain buildings in Aston on Trent. If you like the flatin Aston on Trent but your cat is not allowed to move with you then you will be presented with a hard compromise. Are any of leasehold owners in dispute over their service charge liability? The answer will be helpful as a) areas can result in problems in the block as the common areas may start to deteriorate where maintenance remain unpaid b) if the leaseholders have a dispute with the managing agents you will wish to have complete disclosure

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Aston on Trent