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Questions and Answers: Bournemouth leasehold conveyancing

I am in need of some leasehold conveyancing in Bournemouth. Before I set the wheels in motion I require certainty as to the unexpired term of the lease.

If the lease is recorded at the land registry - and 99.9% are in Bournemouth - then the leasehold title will always include the basic details of the lease, namely the date; the term; and the original parties. From a conveyancing perspective such details then enable any prospective buyer and lender to confirm that any lease they are looking at is the one relevant to that title.For any other purpose, such as confirming how long the term was granted for and calculating what is left, then the register should be sufficient on it's own.

I today plan to offer on a house that appears to tick a lot of boxes, at a reasonable figure which is making it all the more appealing. I have just discovered that it's a leasehold as opposed to freehold. I would have thought that there are issues purchasing a house with a leasehold title in Bournemouth. Conveyancing advisers have not yet been appointed. Will my lawyers set out the risks of buying a leasehold house in Bournemouth ?

Most houses in Bournemouth are freehold and not leasehold. In this scenario it’s worth having a local solicitor used to dealing with such properties who can assist with the conveyancing process. It is clear that you are buying in Bournemouth in which case you should be shopping around for a Bournemouth conveyancing practitioner and check that they have experience in advising on leasehold houses. As a matter of priority you will need to check the unexpired lease term. As a leaseholder you will not be entirely free to do whatever you want to the property. The lease will likely included provisions for example requiring the freeholder’spermission to carry out changes to the property. You may also be required to pay a contribution towards the upkeep of the communal areas where the property is located on an estate. Your lawyer will appraise you on the various issues.

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

We expect to complete our sale of a £375000 garden flat in Bournemouth in 8 days. The managing agents has quoted £336 for Certificate of Compliance, building insurance schedule and 3 years statements of service charge. Is it legal for a freeholder to charge an administration fee for a leasehold conveyance in Bournemouth?

Bournemouth conveyancing on leasehold maisonettes often involves the purchaser’s solicitor submitting questions for the landlord to answer. Although the landlord is under no legal obligation to address these enquiries the majority will be content to do so. They are at liberty charge a reasonable charge for answering questions or supplying documentation. There is no upper cap for such fees. The average costs for the information that you are referring to is over three hundred pounds, in some transactions it exceeds £800. The management information fee demanded by the landlord must be accompanied by a summary of rights and obligations in relation to administration fees, without which the invoice is not strictly payable. In reality one has no option but to pay whatever is demanded if you want to exchange contracts with the buyer.

Are there common deficiencies that you encounter in leases for Bournemouth properties?

Leasehold conveyancing in Bournemouth is not unique. All leases are individual and legal mistakes in the legal wording can result in certain provisions are missing. The following missing provisions could result in a defective lease:

  • Repairing obligations to or maintain parts of the premises
  • 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

You could have a problem when selling your property if you have a defective lease primarily because it impacts on the ability to obtain a mortgage on the property. Birmingham Midshires, Skipton Building Society, and Nottingham Building Society 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 problematic they may refuse to grant the mortgage, obliging the purchaser to withdraw.

I bought a split level flat in Bournemouth, conveyancing was carried out in 1996. Can you please calculate a probable premium for a statutory lease extension? Similar properties in Bournemouth with over 90 years remaining are worth £245,000. The ground rent is £65 invoiced annually. The lease expires on 21st October 2098

With only 77 years unexpired we estimate the premium for your lease extension to span between £12,400 and £14,200 plus professional fees.

The suggested premium range that we have given is a general guide to costs for extending a lease, but we cannot give you the actual costs in the absence of comprehensive investigations. Do not use the figures in tribunal or court proceedings. There may be additional concerns that need to be taken into account and you obviously want to be as accurate as possible in your negotiations. You should not take any other action based on this information without first seeking the advice of a professional.

Other Topics

Lease Extensions in Bournemouth