Common questions relating to Birkenhead leasehold conveyancing
Looking forward to exchange soon on a studio apartment in Birkenhead. Conveyancing lawyers have said that they will have a report out to me tomorrow. Are there areas in the report that I should be focusing on?
Your report on title for your leasehold conveyancing in Birkenhead should include some of the following:
- Details of the parties to the lease, for example these could be the leaseholder (you), head lessor, freeholder
I own a leasehold flat in Birkenhead. Conveyancing and Coventry Building Society mortgage went though with no issue. A letter has just been received from someone claiming to own the freehold. It included a ground rent demand for rent dating back to 1993. The conveyancing solicitor in Birkenhead who previously acted has long since retired.What should I do?
The first thing you should do is make enquiries of HMLR to make sure that the individual purporting to own the freehold is in fact the registered owner of the freehold reversion. It is not necessary to incur the fees of a Birkenhead conveyancing solicitor to do this as you can do this on the Land Registry website for less than a fiver. You should note 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've recently bought a leasehold house in Birkenhead. Am I liable to pay 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. However, 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).
Do you have any advice for leasehold conveyancing in Birkenhead from the perspective of speeding up the sale process?
- A significant proportion of the delay in leasehold conveyancing in Birkenhead can be avoided if you appoint lawyers as soon as your agents start advertising the property and ask them to put together the leasehold information needed by the buyers conveyancers.
- If you have carried out any alterations to the premises would they have required Landlord’s consent? In particular have you laid down wooden flooring? Birkenhead leases often stipulate that internal structural changes or addition of wooden flooring calls for a licence from the Landlord acquiescing to such changes. If you fail to have the approvals in place do not communicate with the landlord without contacting your solicitor in the first instance.
In relation to leasehold conveyancing in Birkenhead what are the most common lease defects?
There is nothing unique about leasehold conveyancing in Birkenhead. All leases is drafted differently and legal mistakes in the legal wording can result in certain provisions are missing. For example, if your lease is missing any of the following, it could be defective:
- A provision to repair to or maintain elements of the premises
- Insurance obligations
- A provision for the recovery of money spent for the benefit of another party.
- Service charge per centages that don't add up correctly leaving a shortfall
A defective lease will likely cause problems when trying to sell a property as they can affect a potential buyer’s ability to obtain a mortgage. Nationwide Building Society, Skipton Building Society, and Barclays Direct all have very detailed conveyancing instructions when it comes to what is expected in a lease. Where a lender has been advised by their lawyers that the lease is problematic they may refuse to grant the mortgage, obliging the buyer to withdraw.
Birkenhead Leasehold Conveyancing - Examples of Questions you should ask before buying
Who takes responsibility for maintaining and repairing the block?
Be sure to investigate if the the lease includes any onerous restrictions in the lease. For example some leases prohibit pets being permitted in in a block in Birkenhead. If you like the apartmentin Birkenhead but your cat is not allowed to make the move with you then you will be presented with a hard choice.
Many Birkenhead leasehold apartments will have a service charge for the upkeep of the building set by the landlord. Where you purchase the apartment you will have to pay this amount, usually in instalments accross the year. This can be anything from a few hundred pounds to thousands of pounds for large purpose-built blocks. There will also be a ground rent for you to pay annual, ordinarily this is not a significant sum, say around £50-£100 but you need to enquire as occasionally it could be prohibitively expensive.