Recently asked questions relating to Bootle leasehold conveyancing
I have just appointed agents to market my garden flat in Bootle.Conveyancing solicitors are to be appointed soon but I have just received a quarterly service charge invoice – should I leave it to the buyer to sort out?
The sensible thing to do is clear 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 managing agents 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 found a house that seems to tick a lot of boxes, at a great figure which is making it all the more appealing. I have just found out that the title is leasehold as opposed to freehold. I am assuming that there are issues purchasing a leasehold house in Bootle. Conveyancing advisers have are soon to be instructed. Will my lawyers set out the risks of buying a leasehold house in Bootle ?
Most houses in Bootle are freehold and not leasehold. In this scenario it’s worth having a local conveyancer used to dealing with such properties who can assist with the conveyancing process. It is clear that you are buying in Bootle in which case you should be looking for a Bootle conveyancing practitioner and be sure that they are used to dealing with leasehold houses. As a matter of priority you will need to check the unexpired lease term. Being a lessee you will not be at liberty to do whatever you want with the house. The lease comes with conditions for example obtaining the freeholder’spermission to carry out changes to the property. It may be necessary to pay a service charge towards the maintenance of the communal areas where the house is part of an estate. Your solicitor should appraise you on the various issues.
I've recently bought a leasehold flat in Bootle. Am I liable to pay service charges relating to a period prior to completion of my purchase?
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. A critical element 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).
I am employed by a long established estate agency in Bootle where we have witnessed a number of flat sales derailed as a result of short leases. I have been given contradictory information from local Bootle conveyancing firms. Could you clarify whether the seller of a flat can commence the lease extension formalities for the purchaser on completion of the sale?
Provided that the seller has been the owner 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 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 advice can you give us when it comes to choosing a Bootle conveyancing firm to carry out our lease extension conveyancing?
When appointing a conveyancer for lease extension works (regardless if they are a Bootle conveyancing practice) it is imperative that he or she should be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of conveyancing. We suggested that you make enquires with several firms including non Bootle conveyancing practices before you instructing a firm. If the firm is ALEP accredited then so much the better. Some following of questions could be useful:
- How familiar is the firm with lease extension legislation?
Bootle Conveyancing for Leasehold Flats - Sample of Queries before buying
The best form of lease arrangement is a share of the freehold. In this scenario the leaseholders enjoy control and even though a managing agent is frequently employed if the building is bigger than a house conversion, the managing agent retained by the leaseholders.
Who is in charge of the building?
On the whole the outlay for major works tend not to be incorporated into the maintenance charges, although a few managing agents in Bootle obliged leaseholders to pay into a sinking fund created for the specific intention of establishing a fund for major works.