Frequently asked questions relating to Bradley Stoke leasehold conveyancing
I have just appointed agents to market my basement apartment in Bradley Stoke.Conveyancing is yet to be initiated but I have just had a yearly service charge demand – what should I do?
The sensible thing to do is clear 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.
Back In 2007, I bought a leasehold flat in Bradley Stoke. Conveyancing and Leeds Building Society mortgage went though with no issue. A letter has just been received from someone claiming to own the freehold. It included a demand for arrears of ground rent dating back to 1997. The conveyancing practitioner in Bradley Stoke who acted for me is not around.Any advice?
First contact the Land Registry to be sure that the individual claiming to own the freehold is in fact the new freeholder. There is no need to incur the fees of a Bradley Stoke conveyancing solicitor to do this as you can do this on the Land Registry website for less than a fiver. Rest assured that in any event, even if this is the legitimate freeholder, under the Limitation Act 1980 the limitation period for recovery of ground rent is six years.
I am a negotiator for a long established estate agent office in Bradley Stoke where we have witnessed a number of leasehold sales put at risk due to leases having less than 80 years remaining. I have received conflicting advice from local Bradley Stoke conveyancing solicitors. Could you shed some light as to whether the seller of a flat can commence the lease extension process for the buyer?
Provided that 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 wait 2 years to extend their lease. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment needs to be completed prior to, or at the same time as completion of the disposal of the property.
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 purchaser.
Can you offer any advice when it comes to finding a Bradley Stoke conveyancing practice to deal with our lease extension?
When appointing a solicitor for your lease extension (regardless if they are a Bradley Stoke conveyancing firm) it is imperative that he or she should 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 Bradley Stoke conveyancing practices prior to instructing a firm. Where the conveyancing practice is ALEP accredited then so much the better. Some following of questions might be of use:
- How experienced is the firm with lease extension legislation?
What are the frequently found defects that you come across in leases for Bradley Stoke properties?
There is nothing unique about leasehold conveyancing in Bradley Stoke. All leases are individual and legal mistakes in the legal wording can result in certain provisions are erroneous. The following missing provisions could result in a defective lease:
- A provision to repair to or maintain parts of the property
- Insurance obligations
- Clauses dealing with recovering service charges for expenditure on the building or common parts.
- Service charge per centages that don't add up correctly leaving a shortfall
You will encounter 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. Lloyds TSB Bank, Chelsea Building Society, and Platform Home Loans Ltd all have express conveyancing instructions when it comes to what is expected in a lease. Where a lender has been advised by their lawyers that the lease is problematic they may refuse to provide security, forcing the buyer to withdraw.
Bradley Stoke Conveyancing for Leasehold Flats - Sample of Questions you should ask Prior to Purchasing
Who takes charge for maintaining and repairing the building?
How many of the leaseholders are in arrears for their maintenance charge payments?
How much is the ground rent and service charge?