Top Five Questions relating to Bridport leasehold conveyancing
I am on look out for some leasehold conveyancing in Bridport. Before diving in I require certainty as to the remaining lease term.
Assuming the lease is recorded at the land registry - and most are in Bridport - 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 am hoping to put an offer on a small detached house that seems to tick a lot of boxes, at a great price which is making it more attractive. I have subsequently been informed that the title is leasehold as opposed to freehold. I would have thought that there are particular concerns purchasing a house with a leasehold title in Bridport. Conveyancing solicitors have not yet been instructed. Will my lawyers set out the implications of buying a leasehold house in Bridport ?
The majority of houses in Bridport are freehold rather than leasehold. In this scenario it’s worth having a local solicitor used to dealing with such properties who can help the conveyancing process. It is clear that you are purchasing in Bridport so you should seriously consider shopping around for a Bridport conveyancing practitioner and check that they are used to dealing with leasehold houses. First you will need to check the number of years remaining. As a tenant you will not be entirely free to do whatever you want to the property. The lease will likely included provisions for example obtaining the freeholder’sconsent to conduct changes to the property. You may also be required to pay a service charge towards the maintenance of the communal areas where the house is part of an estate. Your conveyancer will appraise you on the various issues.
Last month I purchased a leasehold flat in Bridport. Do I have any liability for 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. 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 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).
I work for a reputable estate agent office in Bridport where we have witnessed a number of flat sales derailed as a result of leases having less than 80 years remaining. I have been given inconsistent advice from local Bridport conveyancing firms. Can you shed some light as to whether the seller of a flat can initiate the lease extension formalities for the purchaser on completion of the sale?
As long as the seller has been the owner for at least 2 years it is possible, to serve a Section 42 notice to kick-start 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 wait 2 years to extend their lease. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment has to be done before, or simultaneously with 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.
Can you offer any advice when it comes to finding a Bridport conveyancing practice to carry out our lease extension conveyancing?
If you are instructing a conveyancer for your lease extension (regardless if they are a Bridport conveyancing firm) it is most important that he or she should be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of conveyancing. We recommend that you make enquires with two or three firms including non Bridport conveyancing practices prior to instructing a firm. Where the conveyancing practice is ALEP accredited then that’s a bonus. Some following of questions could be helpful:
- How experienced is the firm with lease extension legislation?
Bridport Leasehold Conveyancing - A selection of Queries Prior to Purchasing
Who is in charge of the building?
If a Bridport lease has no more than eighty years it will affect the value of the property. Check with your bank that they are happy with residual term of the lease. Leases with fewer than 80 years remaining means that you will most likely have to extend the lease sooner rather than later and it is worth discovering what this will be. Remember, in most cases you would need to own the residence for a couple of years before you are eligible to carry out a lease extension.
You should want to find out as much as possible about the managing agents as they will either make life much simpler or uncomfortable. Being a leasehold owner you are often in the clutches of the managing agents from a financial perspective and when it comes to every day issues like the tidiness of the common parts. Enquire of other tenants if they are happy with their management. On a final note, investigate as to the dates that you are obliged pay the maintenance charge to the managing agents and specifically what it includes.