Common questions relating to Bodmin leasehold conveyancing
I am hoping to put an offer on a small detached house that appears to tick a lot of boxes, at a great figure which is making it more attractive. I have just found out that it's a leasehold as opposed to freehold. I am assuming that there are particular concerns purchasing a leasehold house in Bodmin. Conveyancing solicitors have are soon to be appointed. Will they explain the issues?
Most houses in Bodmin are freehold and not leasehold. In this scenario it’s worth having a local solicitor who is familiar with the area can help the conveyancing process. We note that you are buying in Bodmin in which case you should be looking for a Bodmin conveyancing solicitor and check that they are used to transacting on leasehold houses. As a matter of priority you will need to check the unexpired lease term. Being a tenant you will not be entirely free to do whatever you want with the house. The lease comes with conditions for example requiring the freeholder’spermission to carry out alterations. You may also be required to pay a maintenance charge towards the upkeep of the communal areas where the house is part of an estate. Your solicitor should report to you on the legal implications.
I own a leasehold flat in Bodmin. Conveyancing and Alliance & Leicester mortgage are in place. I have received a letter from someone claiming to own the reversionary interest in the property. Attached was a demand for arrears of ground rent dating back to 1992. The conveyancing practitioner in Bodmin who acted for me is not around.What should I do?
The first thing you should do is make enquiries of HMLR to make sure that this person is indeed the registered owner of the freehold reversion. There is no need to instruct a Bodmin conveyancing firm to do this as it can be done on-line for less than a fiver. You should note that regardless, even if this is the rightful freeholder, under the Limitation Act 1980 no more than 6 years of rent can be collected.
Last month I purchased a leasehold flat in Bodmin. 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 lessee 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 ensure 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 Bodmin with the intention of speeding up the sale process?
- Much of the delay in leasehold conveyancing in Bodmin can be avoided if you instruct lawyers the minute you market your property and ask them to put together the leasehold documentation which will be required by the buyers lawyers.
- Some Bodmin leases require Landlord’s consent to the sale and approval of the buyers. If this is the case, you should notify your estate agents to make sure that the purchasers put in hand bank and professional references. Any bank reference should make it clear that the buyer is financially capable of paying the annual service charge and the actual amount of the service charge should be quoted in the bank’s letter. You will therefore need to provide your estate agents with the actual amount of the service charge so that they can pass this information on to the buyers or their lawyers.
What are the frequently found defects that you encounter in leases for Bodmin properties?
There is nothing unique about leasehold conveyancing in Bodmin. Most leases is drafted differently and drafting errors can sometimes mean that certain provisions are wrong. The following missing provisions could result in a defective lease:
- Repairing obligations to or maintain elements of the premises
- Insurance obligations
- A provision for the recovery of money spent for the benefit of another party.
- Maintenance charge proportions which don’t add up to the correct percentage
A defective lease will likely cause issues when trying to sell a property as they can affect a potential buyer’s ability to obtain a mortgage. Santander, Coventry Building Society, and Godiva Mortgages Ltd all have very detailed requirements when it comes to what is expected in a lease. If a mortgage lender believes that the lease is defective they may refuse to grant the mortgage, forcing the buyer to pull out.
Bodmin Leasehold Conveyancing - A selection of Queries Prior to buying
How much is the yearly maintenance fee and ground rent?
Best to be warned if changing the roof or some other major work is coming up to be shared between the leaseholders and could well dramatically impact the level of the service costs or result in a one time invoice.
Are there any major works in the near future that will likely increase the service fees?