Top Five Questions relating to Blakeney leasehold conveyancing
Back In 2006, I bought a leasehold house in Blakeney. Conveyancing and Yorkshire Building Society mortgage are in place. I have received a letter from someone saying they have taken over the freehold. It included a ground rent demand for rent dating back to 1996. The conveyancing practitioner in Blakeney who acted for me is not around.What should I do?
First make enquiries of the Land Registry to make sure that the individual claiming to own the freehold is in fact the registered owner of the freehold reversion. There is no need to instruct a Blakeney conveyancing solicitor to do this as you can do this on the Land Registry website for £3. You should note that in any event, even if this is the rightful landlord, under the Limitation Act 1980 the limitation period for recovery of ground rent is six years.
I work for a reputable estate agent office in Blakeney where we have witnessed a few flat sales derailed as a result of short leases. I have received conflicting advice from local Blakeney conveyancing solicitors. Please can you shed some light as to whether the seller of a flat can start the lease extension process for the buyer?
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. This means that the proposed purchaser can avoid having 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 prior to, or simultaneously with completion of the sale.
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 buyer.
What are your top tips when it comes to appointing a Blakeney conveyancing firm to carry out our lease extension conveyancing?
If you are instructing a property lawyer for your lease extension (regardless if they are a Blakeney conveyancing practice) it is imperative that they be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of work. We recommend that you talk with two or three firms including non Blakeney conveyancing practices before you instructing a firm. If the firm is ALEP accredited then so much the better. Some following of questions might be useful:
- How familiar is the firm with lease extension legislation?
If all goes to plan we aim to complete the disposal of our £500000 flat in Blakeney on Wednesday in a week. The managing agents has quoted £360 for Landlord’s certificate, insurance certificate and previous years statements of service charge. Is the landlord entitled to charge such fees for a leasehold conveyance in Blakeney?
Blakeney conveyancing on leasehold apartments often necessitates the buyer’s solicitor sending questions for the landlord to answer. Although the landlord is under no legal obligation to answer such questions most will be content to assist. They are at liberty invoice a reasonable administration fee for responding to enquiries or supplying documentation. There is no set fee. The average fee for the information that you are referring to is over three hundred pounds, in some transactions it exceeds £800. The administration charge levied by the landlord must be sent together with a summary of rights and obligations in respect of administration fees, otherwise the invoice is not strictly payable. Reality however dictates that one has little option but to pay whatever is demanded if you want to complete the sale of your home.
What makes a Blakeney lease problematic?
There is nothing unique about leasehold conveyancing in Blakeney. Most leases are individual and drafting errors can sometimes mean that certain sections are missing. The following missing provisions could result in a defective lease:
- A provision to repair to or maintain parts of the property
- A duty to insure the building
- Clauses dealing with recovering service charges for expenditure on the building or common parts.
- Service charge per centages that don't add up correctly leaving a shortfall
A defective lease will likely cause issues when trying to sell a property primarily because it impacts on the ability to obtain a mortgage on the property. Nationwide Building Society, Leeds Building Society, and Alliance & Leicester all have very detailed conveyancing instructions when it comes to what is expected in a lease. If a mortgage lender believes that the lease is defective they may refuse to provide security, obliging the buyer to withdraw.
Blakeney Conveyancing for Leasehold Flats - Sample of Questions you should consider before buying
Make sure you investigate if there is anything that is prohibited in the lease. For instance it is reasonably common in Blakeney leases that pets are not permitted in in a block in Blakeney. If you like the apartmentin Blakeney however your dog is not allowed to make the move with you then you will be presented with a hard decision.
The answer will be important as a) areas may result in problems in the building as the communal areas may begin to deteriorate if maintenance are not paid for b) if the leasehold owners have a dispute with the managing agents you will wish to have complete disclosure
The prefered form of lease arrangement is if the freehold title is owned by the leaseholders. In this scenario the lessees enjoy control and even though a managing agent is usually retained where it is bigger than a house conversion, the managing agent is directed by the tenants.