Blackwood leasehold conveyancing: Q and A’s
I am hoping to put an offer on a small detached house that seems to meet my requirements, at a great figure which is making it all the more appealing. I have subsequently discovered that it's a leasehold rather than freehold. I am assuming that there are particular concerns buying a house with a leasehold title in Blackwood. Conveyancing lawyers have not yet been appointed. Will my lawyers set out the implications of buying a leasehold house in Blackwood ?
Most houses in Blackwood are freehold and not leasehold. This is one of the situations where having a local solicitor used to dealing with such properties who can help the conveyancing process. We note that you are buying in Blackwood so you should seriously consider shopping around for a Blackwood conveyancing practitioner and check that they are used to transacting on leasehold houses. First you will need to check the unexpired lease term. As a lessee you will not be at liberty to do whatever you want with the house. The lease comes with conditions for example requiring the landlord’spermission to carry out changes to the property. You may also be required to pay a maintenance charge towards the upkeep of the estate where the property is located on an estate. Your conveyancer will appraise you on the various issues.
Back In 2000, I bought a leasehold house in Blackwood. Conveyancing and Santander mortgage are in place. A letter has just been received from someone claiming to own the freehold. It included a demand for arrears of ground rent dating back to 1995. The conveyancing practitioner in Blackwood who acted for me is not around.Any advice?
The first thing you should do is contact HMLR to make sure that the individual claiming to own the freehold is indeed the new freeholder. There is no need to instruct a Blackwood conveyancing practitioner to do this as you can do this on the Land Registry website for less than a fiver. You should note that in any event, even if this is the legitimate freeholder, under the Limitation Act 1980 no more than 6 years of rent can be collected.
I work for a reputable estate agency in Blackwood where we have experienced a few leasehold sales jeopardised as a result of leases having less than 80 years remaining. I have been given conflicting advice from local Blackwood conveyancing solicitors. Could you clarify whether the vendor of a flat can commence the lease extension formalities for the purchaser on completion of the sale?
Provided that 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 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 sale.
Alternatively, it may be possible 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.
Do you have any top tips for leasehold conveyancing in Blackwood with the purpose of saving time on the sale process?
- Much of the frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Blackwood can be reduced if you appoint lawyers as soon as your agents start marketing the property and ask them to collate the leasehold information which will be required by the buyers lawyers.
- Many landlords or managing agents in Blackwood levy fees for supplying management packs for a leasehold property. You or your lawyers should enquire as to the actual amount of the charges. The management information sought as soon as you have a buyer, thus reducing delays. The typical amount of time it takes to obtain the necessary information is three weeks. It is the most common cause of delay in leasehold conveyancing in Blackwood.
What makes a Blackwood lease unacceptable for security purposes?
There is nothing unique about leasehold conveyancing in Blackwood. Most leases is drafted differently and legal mistakes in the legal wording can result in certain clauses are not included. The following missing provisions could result in a defective lease:
- Repairing obligations to or maintain elements of the property
- A duty to insure the building
- Clauses dealing with recovering service charges for expenditure on the building or common parts.
- Maintenance charge proportions which don’t add up to the correct percentage
A defective lease can cause problems when trying to sell a property primarily because it impacts on the ability to obtain a mortgage on the property. Nationwide Building Society, Skipton Building Society, and Barclays Direct all have express requirements when it comes to what is expected in a lease. Where a lender has been advised by their lawyers that the lease does not cover certain provisions they may refuse to grant the mortgage, forcing the purchaser to pull out.
Blackwood Conveyancing for Leasehold Flats - Sample of Queries before Purchasing
This information is important as a) areas can result in problems in the block as the communal areas may start to deteriorate if maintenance remain unpaid b) if the tenants have an issue with the running of the building you will want to know about it
Is the freehold owned collectively by the tenants?
What is the maintenance charge and ground rent on the apartment?