Recently asked questions relating to Bradford leasehold conveyancing
I am on look out for some leasehold conveyancing in Bradford. Before I get started I want to be sure as to the unexpired term of the lease.
Assuming the lease is registered - and almost all are in Bradford - 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 only have 62 years unexpired on my flat in Bradford. I now wish to extend my lease but my freeholder is missing. What options are available to me?
If you qualify, under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 you can submit an application to the County Court for an order to dispense with the service of the initial notice. This will enable the lease to be granted an extra 90 years by the Court. You will be obliged to demonstrate that you have used your best endeavours to track down the lessor. On the whole a specialist should be useful to carry out a search and prepare a report which can be accepted by the court as evidence that the freeholder is indeed missing. It is wise to seek advice from a solicitor both on devolving into the landlord’s disappearance and the vesting order request to the County Court overseeing Bradford.
I am hoping to put an offer on a small detached house that seems to tick a lot of boxes, at a great figure which is making it all the more appealing. I have since been informed that the title is leasehold as opposed to freehold. I am assuming that there are issues buying a house with a leasehold title in Bradford. Conveyancing solicitors have not yet been instructed. Will my lawyers set out the risks of buying a leasehold house in Bradford ?
Most houses in Bradford 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 clear that you are buying in Bradford so you should seriously consider looking for a Bradford conveyancing practitioner and check that they have experience in advising on leasehold houses. First you will need to check the unexpired lease term. As a lessee you will not be at liberty to do whatever you want to the property. The lease comes with conditions for example requiring the freeholder’spermission to carry out changes to the property. You may also be required to pay a maintenance charge towards the upkeep of the estate where the property is part of an estate. Your lawyer should advise you fully on all the issues.
Last month I purchased a leasehold flat in Bradford. Do I have any liability for service charges relating to a period prior to my ownership?
In a situation 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 be sure 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).
What are your top tips when it comes to finding a Bradford conveyancing firm to deal with our lease extension?
When appointing a solicitor for your lease extension (regardless if they are a Bradford conveyancing practice) it is most important that they be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of work. We advise that you make enquires with two or three firms including non Bradford conveyancing practices prior to instructing a firm. If the firm is ALEP accredited then so much the better. Some following of questions could be helpful:
- How familiar is the firm with lease extension legislation?
Bradford Conveyancing for Leasehold Flats - A selection of Queries before Purchasing
Is there a share of the freehold?
How many of the leaseholders are in arrears for their service charge payments?
The best form of lease structure is if the freehold reversion is owned by the leaseholders. In this arrangement the leaseholders enjoy control and although a managing agent is often employed if the building is bigger than a house conversion, the managing agent retained by the leaseholders.