Barnstaple leasehold conveyancing: Q and A’s
Having had my offer accepted I require leasehold conveyancing in Barnstaple. Before I set the wheels in motion I require certainty as to the remaining lease term.
If the lease is registered - and almost all are in Barnstaple - 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 intending to sublet my leasehold apartment in Barnstaple. Conveyancing solicitor who did the purchase is retired - so can't ask her. Do I need to ask my freeholder for their consent?
Even though your previous Barnstaple conveyancing lawyer is no longer available you can review your lease to check if it allows you to sublet the property. The rule is that if the deeds are silent, subletting is permitted. There may be a precondition that you must obtain permission from your landlord or other appropriate person before subletting. The net result is that you cannot sublet without prior consent. The consent should not be unreasonably refused ore delayed. If your lease prohibits you from subletting the property you will need to ask your landlord if they are willing to waive this restriction.
Back In 2003, I bought a leasehold flat in Barnstaple. Conveyancing and Yorkshire Building Society mortgage went though with no issue. A letter has just been received from someone saying they have taken over the freehold. Attached was a demand for arrears of ground rent dating back to 1996. The conveyancing practitioner in Barnstaple who previously acted has long since retired.Any advice?
First make enquiries of the Land Registry to be sure that this person is indeed the registered owner of the freehold reversion. It is not necessary to incur the fees of a Barnstaple conveyancing lawyer to do this as you can do this on the Land Registry website for £3. Rest assured that regardless, even if this is the rightful landlord, under the Limitation Act 1980 no more than 6 years of rent can be collected.
I am attracted to a couple of flats in Barnstaple both have approximately 50 years left on the lease term. Should I regard a short lease as a deal breaker?
There is no doubt about it. A leasehold flat in Barnstaple is a wasting asset as a result of the shortening lease. The closer the lease gets to zero years unexpired, the more it reduces the value of the property. For most buyers and lenders, leases with under eighty years become less and less attractive. On a more positive note, leaseholders can extend their leases by serving a Section 42 Notice. One stipulation is that they must have owned the property for two years (unlike a Section 13 notice for purchasing the freehold, when leaseholders can participate from day one of ownership). When successful, they will have the right to an extension of 90 years to the current term and ground rent is effectively reduced to zero. Before moving forward with a purchase of a residence with a short lease term remaining you should talk to a solicitor specialising in lease extensions and leasehold enfranchisement. We are are happy to put you in touch with Barnstaple conveyancing experts who will explain the options available to you during an initial telephone conversation free of charge. A more straightforward and quicker method of extending would be to contact your landlord directly and sound him out on the prospect of extending the lease They may agree to a smaller lump sum and an increase in the ground rent, but to shorter extension terms in return. You need to ensure that any new terms represent good long-term value compared with the standard benefits of the Section 42 Notice and that onerous clauses are not inserted into any redrafting of the lease.
I've recently bought a leasehold house in Barnstaple. Do I have any liability for service charges for periods before my ownership?
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. It is an essential part 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).
Leasehold Conveyancing in Barnstaple - Sample of Questions you should consider Prior to Purchasing
Plenty Barnstaple leasehold properties will incur a service charge for maintenance of the block levied by the management company. Should you purchase the flat you will have to pay this charge, normally periodically throughout the year. This could vary from several hundred pounds to thousands of pounds for buildings with lifts and large common grounds. There will also be a ground rent for you to pay yearly, this is usually not a significant figure, say around £50-£100 but you should to enquire it because occasionally it could be surprisingly expensive.
How much is the service charge and ground rent on the flat?
Does this lease have more than 90 years remaining?