Questions and Answers: Calstock leasehold conveyancing
I have just started marketing my 2 bed apartment in Calstock.Conveyancing lawyers have not yet been instructed but I have just had a half-yearly maintenance charge invoice – Do I pay up?
The sensible thing to do is discharge 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 until 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.
I am hoping to put an offer on a small detached house that appears to tick a lot of boxes, at a reasonable price which is making it more attractive. I have just discovered that it's a leasehold as opposed to freehold. I would have thought that there are particular concerns purchasing a leasehold house in Calstock. Conveyancing advisers have are about to be appointed. Will they explain the issues?
Most houses in Calstock are freehold and not leasehold. This is one of the situations where having a local conveyancer who is familiar with the area can help the conveyancing process. It is clear that you are purchasing in Calstock so you should seriously consider shopping around for a Calstock conveyancing solicitor and check that they have experience in dealing with leasehold houses. As a matter of priority you will need to check the number of years remaining. As a lessee you will not be entirely free to do whatever you want to the property. The lease will likely included provisions such as requiring the freeholder’sconsent to conduct changes to the property. It may be necessary to pay a service charge towards the upkeep of the estate where the house is located on an estate. Your solicitor should appraise you on the various issues.
I am a negotiator for a busy estate agency in Calstock where we have experienced a number of flat sales derailed due to short leases. I have been given contradictory information from local Calstock conveyancing firms. Could you clarify whether the vendor of a flat can start 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. The benefit of this is that the buyer need not have to sit tight for 2 years for a lease extension. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment has to be done before, or at the same time as completion of the disposal of the property.
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 buyer.
What advice can you give us when it comes to finding a Calstock conveyancing firm to carry out our lease extension conveyancing?
If you are instructing a solicitor for lease extension works (regardless if they are a Calstock conveyancing practice) it is essential that they be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of conveyancing. We advise that you make enquires with two or three firms including non Calstock conveyancing practices prior to instructing a firm. If the firm is ALEP accredited then so much the better. Some following of questions could be of use:
- How familiar is the practice with lease extension legislation?
What makes a Calstock lease unacceptable for security purposes?
Leasehold conveyancing in Calstock is not unique. All leases are unique and drafting errors can sometimes mean that certain provisions are missing. For example, if your lease is missing any of the following, it could be defective:
- Repairing obligations to or maintain elements of the property
- A duty to insure the building
- A provision for the recovery of money spent for the benefit of another party.
- 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. National Westminster Bank, Bank of Scotland, and Platform Home Loans Ltd all have express requirements 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 grant the mortgage, obliging the purchaser to withdraw.
Calstock Leasehold Conveyancing - A selection of Queries before Purchasing
It would be sensible to find out as much as you can about the company managing the building as they will affect your use and enjoyment of the property. As the proprietor of a leasehold property you are frequently in the clutches of the managing agents both financially and when it comes to practical matters such as the tidiness of the communal areas. Ask other tenants what they think of their service. Finally, be sure you understand the dates that the maintenance fees are due to the relevant party and precisely how they are spending the funds.
How is the lease structured?
Where a Calstock lease has less than eighty years it will have adverse implications on the marketability of the flat. Check with your mortgage company that they are willing to lend given the lease term. A short lease means that you will most likely need a lease extension sooner rather than later and it is worth finding out how much this would cost. For most Calstocklease extensions you would be required to have owned the premises for 24 months in order to be eligible to extend the lease.