Fixed-fee leasehold conveyancing in Bootle:

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Frequently asked questions relating to Bootle leasehold conveyancing

I’m about to sell my ground floor apartment in Bootle.Conveyancing is yet to be initiated but I have just had a quarterly service charge invoice – should I leave it to the buyer to sort out?

The sensible thing to do is pay the service charge 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 meet my requirements, at a reasonable figure which is making it all the more appealing. I have since been informed that the title is leasehold rather than freehold. I would have thought that there are particular concerns buying a leasehold house in Bootle. Conveyancing advisers have are about to be appointed. Will my lawyers set out the risks of buying a leasehold house in Bootle ?

The majority of houses in Bootle are freehold and not leasehold. In this scenario it’s worth having a local conveyancer who is familiar with the area can assist with the conveyancing process. it is apparent that you are buying in Bootle in which case you should be looking for a Bootle conveyancing solicitor 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. As a leaseholder you will not be at liberty to do whatever you want with the house. The lease comes with conditions such as requiring the landlord’sconsent to conduct alterations. It may be necessary to pay a maintenance charge towards the upkeep of the communal areas where the house is part of an estate. Your conveyancer will advise you fully on all the issues.

Back In 2004, I bought a leasehold flat in Bootle. Conveyancing and Halifax mortgage are in place. I have received a letter from someone saying they have taken over the freehold. It included a demand for arrears of ground rent dating back to 1993. The conveyancing solicitor in Bootle who previously acted has now retired.What should I do?

The first thing you should do is make enquiries of the Land Registry to be sure that the individual purporting to own the freehold is in fact the new freeholder. It is not necessary to instruct a Bootle conveyancing practitioner to do this as you can do this on the Land Registry website for less than a fiver. Rest assured that regardless, even if this is the legitimate landlord, under the Limitation Act 1980 no more than 6 years of rent can be collected.

I've recently bought a leasehold property in Bootle. Am I liable to pay service charges for periods before 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. However, 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).

I work for a busy estate agent office in Bootle where we have witnessed a number of leasehold sales jeopardised as a result of short leases. I have received inconsistent advice from local Bootle conveyancing firms. Can you clarify whether the owner of a flat can start the lease extension formalities 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 start 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 to extend their lease. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment has to be done before, or at the same time as 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.

I purchased a 1 bedroom flat in Bootle, conveyancing formalities finalised 4 years ago. Can you shed any light on how much the price could be for a 90 year extension to my lease? Comparable flats in Bootle with an extended lease are worth £178,000. The ground rent is £45 charged once a year. The lease comes to an end on 21st October 2076

With only 56 years left to run the likely cost is going to range between £25,700 and £29,600 as well as plus your own and the landlord's "reasonable" professional fees.

The suggested premium range above a general guide to costs for extending a lease, but we are not able to advice on the actual costs in the absence of detailed due diligence. You should not use the figures in tribunal or court proceedings. There are no doubt additional issues that need to be considered and you obviously should be as accurate as possible in your negotiations. Neither should you take any other action placing reliance on this information before seeking the advice of a professional.

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Lease Extensions in Bootle