Burnley leasehold conveyancing: Q and A’s
Having had my offer accepted I require leasehold conveyancing in Burnley. Before I set the wheels in motion I require certainty as to the number of years remaining on the lease.
If the lease is recorded at the land registry - and 99.9% are in Burnley - 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.
Estate agents have just been given the go-ahead to market my basement flat in Burnley.Conveyancing solicitors are to be appointed soon but I have just received a yearly service charge invoice – Do I pay up?
The sensible thing to do is clear the invoice 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 management companies 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. Having a clear account will assist your cause and will leave you no worse off financially.
Last month I purchased a leasehold house in Burnley. Do I have any liability for service charges for periods before my ownership?
In a situation 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 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 am a negotiator for a reputable estate agency in Burnley where we have witnessed a few leasehold sales jeopardised due to leases having less than 80 years remaining. I have been given contradictory information from local Burnley conveyancing firms. Could you clarify whether the owner of a flat can commence the lease extension formalities 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. 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 needs to be completed prior to, 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.
What advice can you give us when it comes to choosing a Burnley conveyancing firm to deal with our lease extension?
When appointing a property lawyer for lease extension works (regardless if they are a Burnley conveyancing firm) it is essential that they be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of conveyancing. We recommend that you talk with two or three firms including non Burnley conveyancing practices before you instructing a firm. If the firm is ALEP accredited then that’s a bonus. Some following of questions could be helpful:
- How experienced is the firm with lease extension legislation?
I inherited a leasehold flat in Burnley, conveyancing having been completed in 2002. Can you let me have an estimate of the premium that my landlord can legally expect in return for granting a renewal of my lease? Similar properties in Burnley with a long lease are worth £170,000. The average or mid-range amount of ground rent is £65 yearly. The lease finishes on 21st October 2080
You have 60 years left to run the likely cost is going to be between £20,900 and £24,200 plus professional fees.
The suggested premium range that we have given is a general guide to costs for extending a lease, but we are not able to provide the actual costs in the absence of detailed due diligence. 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. Please do not move forward placing reliance on this information before getting professional advice.