Chalfont St Giles leasehold conveyancing: Q and A’s
I am hoping to put an offer on a small detached house that appears to meet my requirements, at a reasonable price which is making it more attractive. I have subsequently found out that the title is leasehold as opposed to freehold. I would have thought that there are issues purchasing a leasehold house in Chalfont St Giles. Conveyancing solicitors have are about to be appointed. Will my lawyers set out the implications of buying a leasehold house in Chalfont St Giles ?
The majority of houses in Chalfont St Giles are freehold rather than leasehold. In this scenario it’s worth having a local solicitor who is familiar with the area can help the conveyancing process. It is clear that you are purchasing in Chalfont St Giles in which case you should be shopping around for a Chalfont St Giles conveyancing solicitor and check that they have experience in transacting on leasehold houses. As a matter of priority you will need to check the number of years remaining. Being a lessee you will not be at liberty to do whatever you want to the property. The lease comes with conditions such as obtaining the landlord’spermission to carry out alterations. You may also be required to pay a service charge towards the maintenance of the communal areas where the house is located on an estate. Your lawyer should appraise you on the various issues.
My wife and I purchased a leasehold house in Chalfont St Giles. Conveyancing and Accord Mortgages Ltd mortgage organised. A letter has just been received from someone claiming to own the reversionary interest in the property. It included a ground rent demand for rent dating back to 1996. The conveyancing solicitor in Chalfont St Giles who acted for me is not around.Do I pay?
The first thing you should do is make enquiries of the Land Registry to make sure that the individual claiming to own the freehold is indeed the registered owner of the freehold reversion. There is no need to instruct a Chalfont St Giles conveyancing lawyer to do this as it can be done on-line for a few pound. You should note that in any event, even if this is the legitimate landlord, under the Limitation Act 1980 no more than 6 years of rent can be collected.
I've recently bought a leasehold house in Chalfont St Giles. 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 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. It is an essential part 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 busy estate agency in Chalfont St Giles where we see a number of flat sales jeopardised as a result of leases having less than 80 years remaining. I have been given conflicting advice from local Chalfont St Giles conveyancing firms. Can you clarify whether the vendor of a flat can initiate the lease extension formalities for the purchaser on completion of the sale?
Provided that 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. This means that the proposed purchaser can avoid having to sit tight for 2 years for a lease extension. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment needs to be completed before, or simultaneously with completion of the sale.
An alternative approach is to extend the lease informally by agreement with the landlord 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 finding a Chalfont St Giles conveyancing practice to deal with our lease extension?
When appointing a property lawyer for your lease extension (regardless if they are a Chalfont St Giles conveyancing firm) it is essential that he or she should be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of work. We advise that you speak with two or three firms including non Chalfont St Giles conveyancing practices prior to instructing a firm. Where the conveyancing practice is ALEP accredited then that’s a bonus. Some following of questions might be useful:
- If the firm is not ALEP accredited then what is the reason?
I own a 2 bed flat in Chalfont St Giles, conveyancing having been completed 10 years ago. Can you please calculate a probable premium for a statutory lease extension? Corresponding properties in Chalfont St Giles with an extended lease are worth £270,000. The average or mid-range amount of ground rent is £50 charged once a year. The lease runs out on 21st October 2077
With only 56 years unexpired we estimate the premium for your lease extension to range between £31,400 and £36,200 plus legals.
The suggested premium range above a general guide to costs for renewing a lease, but we are not able to advice on the actual costs without more comprehensive investigations. Do not use the figures in tribunal or court proceedings. There may be other issues that need to be considered and you obviously want to be as accurate as possible in your negotiations. Neither should you move forward placing reliance on this information before seeking the advice of a professional.