Questions and Answers: Birkenhead leasehold conveyancing
I am in need of some leasehold conveyancing in Birkenhead. Before I set the wheels in motion I want to be sure as to the number of years remaining on the lease.
If the lease is registered - and most are in Birkenhead - 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’m about to sell my basement apartment in Birkenhead.Conveyancing lawyers have not yet been instructed but I have just received a quarterly maintenance charge invoice – what should I do?
The sensible thing to do is discharge 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.
I've recently bought a leasehold house in Birkenhead. Do I have any liability for service charges relating to a period prior to 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 am a negotiator for a long established estate agency in Birkenhead where we have experienced a number of leasehold sales derailed due to short leases. I have been given contradictory information from local Birkenhead conveyancing solicitors. Can you confirm whether the seller of a flat can start the lease extension formalities for the purchaser on completion of the sale?
As long as the seller has owned the lease for at least 2 years it is possible, to serve a Section 42 notice to commence the lease extension process and assign the benefit of the notice to the purchaser. The benefit of this is that the proposed purchaser need not have to sit tight for 2 years for a lease extension. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment has to be done before, or at the same time as completion of the disposal of the property.
An alternative approach is to extend the lease informally by agreement with the landlord 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.
Our conveyancer has advised that he intends to complete and exchange simultaneously on our sale of a £325000 apartment in Birkenhead on Friday in a week. The management company has quoted £360 for Certificate of Compliance, insurance certificate and 3 years service charge statements. Is it legal for a freeholder to charge exorbitant fees for a flat conveyance in Birkenhead?
For most leasehold sales in Birkenhead conveyancing will involve, questions about the management of a building inevitably needing to be answered directly by the freeholder or its agent, this includes :
- Addressing pre-contract questions
- Where consent is required before sale in Birkenhead
- Supplying insurance information
- Deeds of covenant upon sale
- Registering of the assignment of the change of lessee after a sale
Leasehold Conveyancing in Birkenhead - Examples of Questions you should ask before buying
Best to be warned if a new roof is being put on or some other significant cost is coming up that will be shared between the leaseholders and will dramatically impact the level of the maintenance fees or necessitate a specific payment.
The prefered form of lease arrangement is if the freehold title is in the ownership of the leaseholders. In this arrangement the tenants enjoy being in charge if their destiny and even though a managing agent is frequently retained if the building is larger than a house conversion, the managing agent acts for the leaseholders themselves.
How many of the leaseholders are in arrears for their maintenance charge payments?