Questions and Answers: Chalfont St Giles leasehold conveyancing
I have just appointed agents to market my garden apartment in Chalfont St Giles.Conveyancing solicitors are to be appointed soon but I have just received a quarterly service charge demand – 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 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. Having a clear account will assist your cause and will leave you no worse off financially.
I own a leasehold house in Chalfont St Giles. Conveyancing and Coventry Building Society mortgage went though with no issue. I have received a letter from someone saying they have taken over the reversionary interest in the property. It included a demand for arrears of ground rent dating back to 1996. The conveyancing practitioner in Chalfont St Giles who acted for me is not around.Any advice?
First make enquiries of HMLR to be sure that this person is in fact the registered owner of the freehold reversion. There is no need to instruct a Chalfont St Giles conveyancing firm to do this as it can be done on-line for a few pound. You should note that regardless, even if this is the legitimate freeholder, under the Limitation Act 1980 the limitation period for recovery of ground rent is six years.
I've recently bought a leasehold flat in Chalfont St Giles. Do I have any liability for service charges relating to a period prior to completion of my purchase?
In a situation where the service charge has already been demanded from the previous lessee 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 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 am employed by a reputable estate agency in Chalfont St Giles where we have experienced a few flat sales derailed as a result of leases having less than 80 years remaining. I have been given inconsistent advice from local Chalfont St Giles conveyancing solicitors. Please can you shed some light as to whether the seller of a flat can instigate the lease extension formalities for the buyer?
Provided that 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. This means that the buyer 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 prior to, or simultaneously with completion of the sale.
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 buyer.
In relation to leasehold conveyancing in Chalfont St Giles what are the most frequent lease problems?
Leasehold conveyancing in Chalfont St Giles is not unique. Most leases is drafted differently and legal mistakes in the legal wording 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 parts of the building
- A duty to insure the building
- Clauses dealing with recovering service charges for expenditure on the building or common parts.
- Maintenance charge proportions which don’t add up to the correct percentage
You could encounter a problem when selling your property if you have a defective lease as they can affect a potential buyer’s ability to obtain a mortgage. Accord Mortgages Ltd, The Mortgage Works, and Barclays Direct all have very detailed requirements when it comes to what is expected in a lease. If a mortgage lender believes that the lease does not cover certain provisions they may refuse to grant the mortgage, obliging the purchaser to withdraw.
I purchased a basement flat in Chalfont St Giles, conveyancing was carried out half a dozen years ago. Can you shed any light on how much the price could be for a 90 year extension to my lease? Similar flats in Chalfont St Giles with an extended lease are worth £226,000. The ground rent is £65 per annum. The lease expires on 21st October 2078
With 54 years unexpired we estimate the price of your lease extension to range between £29,500 and £34,000 as well as costs.
The figure above a general guide to costs for renewing a lease, but we cannot give you the actual costs without more detailed due diligence. You should not use the figures in a Notice of Claim or as an informal offer. There are no doubt additional issues that need to be considered and clearly you want to be as accurate as possible in your negotiations. Neither should you move forward based on this information without first seeking the advice of a professional.