Common questions relating to Caversham leasehold conveyancing
I am tempted by the attractive purchase price for a couple of apartments in Caversham both have in the region of 50 years left on the lease term. Will this present a problem?
There is no doubt about it. A leasehold flat in Caversham is a wasting asset as a result of the shortening lease. The nearer the lease gets to its expiry date, the more it adversely affects the marketability of the premises. For most buyers and lenders, leases with under eighty years become less and less attractive. On a more upbeat note, leaseholders can extend their leases by serving a Section 42 Notice. One stipulation is that they must have owned the property for two years (unlike a Section 13 notice for purchasing the freehold, when leaseholders can participate from day one of ownership). When successful, they will have the right to an extension of 90 years to the current term and ground rent is effectively reduced to zero. Before moving forward with a purchase of a residence with a short lease term remaining you should talk to a solicitor specialising in lease extensions and leasehold enfranchisement. We are are happy to put you in touch with Caversham conveyancing experts who will explain the options available to you during an initial telephone conversation free of charge. More often than not it is possible to negotiate informally with the freeholder to extend the lease You may find he or she is happy to negotiate informally and willing to consider your offer straight off, without having to involve anyone else. This will save you time and money and it could help you reach a lower price on the lease. You need to ensure that any new terms represent good long-term value compared with the standard benefits of the Section 42 Notice and that onerous clauses are not inserted into any redrafting of the lease.
Last month I purchased a leasehold flat in Caversham. Am I liable to pay service charges for periods before completion of my purchase?
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. A critical element of leasehold conveyancing for your conveyancer to ensure 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 Caversham where we have witnessed a few flat sales put at risk due to leases having less than 80 years remaining. I have received conflicting advice from local Caversham conveyancing solicitors. Please can you shed some light as to whether the vendor of a flat can instigate the lease extension process for the buyer?
As long as the seller has been the owner 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 to extend their lease. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment needs to be completed before, 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.
What advice can you give us when it comes to choosing a Caversham conveyancing practice to deal with our lease extension?
When appointing a conveyancer for your lease extension (regardless if they are a Caversham conveyancing firm) it is imperative that they be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of conveyancing. We suggested that you speak with several firms including non Caversham conveyancing practices prior to instructing a firm. If the firm is ALEP accredited then that’s a bonus. Some following of questions could be useful:
- If the firm is not ALEP accredited then why not?
Completion in due on our sale of a £300000 garden flat in Caversham in seven days. The management company has quoted £312 for Certificate of Compliance, building insurance schedule and 3 years statements of service charge. Is it legal for a freeholder to charge an administration fee for a flat conveyance in Caversham?
Caversham conveyancing on leasehold apartments often necessitates the buyer’s solicitor sending enquiries for the landlord to answer. Although the landlord is not legally bound to answer these enquiries the majority will be willing to do so. They are at liberty invoice a reasonable charge for responding to questions or supplying documentation. There is no set fee. The average fee for the paperwork that you are referring to is over three hundred pounds, in some situations it is above £800. The administration charge demanded by the landlord must be sent together with a summary of rights and obligations in respect of administration charges, otherwise the invoice is not strictly payable. Reality however dictates that one has no choice but to pay whatever is requested of you if you want to exchange contracts with the buyer.
Leasehold Conveyancing in Caversham - A selection of Queries before buying
Who takes responsibility for maintaining and repairing the block?
Make sure you discover if there are any onerous restrictions in the lease. For example it is fairly common in Caversham leases that pets are not permitted in in a block in Caversham. If you like the flatin Caversham however your cat is not allowed to make the move with you then you have a very difficult determination.
The prefered form of lease arrangement is a share of the freehold. In this arrangement the leaseholders have being in charge if their destiny and notwithstanding that a managing agent is often retained where the building is larger than a house conversion, the managing agent retained by the leaseholders.