Frequently asked questions relating to Beverley leasehold conveyancing
I've found a house that seems to tick a lot of boxes, at a reasonable price which is making it more attractive. I have subsequently discovered that it's a leasehold rather than freehold. I am assuming that there are issues purchasing a house with a leasehold title in Beverley. Conveyancing solicitors have are soon to be appointed. Will my lawyers set out the implications of buying a leasehold house in Beverley ?
The majority of houses in Beverley are freehold rather than leasehold. This is one of the situations where having a local solicitor used to dealing with such properties who can assist with the conveyancing process. it is apparent that you are buying in Beverley so you should seriously consider shopping around for a Beverley conveyancing practitioner and be sure that they have experience in dealing with leasehold houses. As a matter of priority you will need to check the unexpired lease term. As a leaseholder you will not be entirely free to do whatever you want with the house. The lease comes with conditions such as obtaining the freeholder’spermission to conduct alterations. You may also be required to pay a contribution towards the maintenance of the communal areas where the house is located on an estate. Your lawyer will advise you fully on all the issues.
I am looking at a couple of apartments in Beverley which have about forty five years unexpired on the lease term. Should I regard a short lease as a deal breaker?
There are plenty of short leases in Beverley. The lease is a legal document that entitles you to use the property for a period of time. As the lease gets shorter the saleability of the lease decreases and results in it becoming more costly to extend the lease. For this reason it is generally wise to extend the lease term. It is often difficult to sell a property with a short lease as mortgage lenders may be unwilling to lend money on such properties. Lease extension can be a protracted process. We advise that you get professional assistance from a solicitor and surveyor with experience in this area
I've recently bought a leasehold property in Beverley. Am I liable to pay 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 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).
I work for a busy estate agent office in Beverley where we see a few flat sales jeopardised due to leases having less than 80 years remaining. I have been given inconsistent advice from local Beverley conveyancing firms. Please can you confirm whether the seller of a flat can instigate the lease extension formalities 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 kick-start 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 to extend their lease. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment has to be done before, 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 purchaser.
Can you offer any advice when it comes to choosing a Beverley conveyancing practice to carry out our lease extension conveyancing?
When appointing a conveyancer for your lease extension (regardless if they are a Beverley conveyancing firm) it is most important that they be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of conveyancing. We advise that you make enquires with two or three firms including non Beverley conveyancing practices before you instructing a firm. If the firm is ALEP accredited then that’s a bonus. Some following of questions might be helpful:
- How experienced is the firm with lease extension legislation?
I am the registered owner of a 2 bed flat in Beverley, conveyancing formalities finalised 2002. Can you please calculate a probable premium for a statutory lease extension? Equivalent properties in Beverley with an extended lease are worth £266,000. The average or mid-range amount of ground rent is £65 invoiced every year. The lease terminates on 21st October 2078
With 56 years remaining on your lease we estimate the premium for your lease extension to span between £24,700 and £28,600 as well as professional fees.
The suggested premium range that we have given is a general guide to costs for renewing a lease, but we cannot give you a more accurate figure without more comprehensive due diligence. Do not use this information in a Notice of Claim or as an informal offer. There may be other concerns that need to be considered and clearly you want to be as accurate as possible in your negotiations. Please do not take any other action placing reliance on this information without first getting professional advice.