Frequently asked questions relating to Charmouth leasehold conveyancing
I am in need of some leasehold conveyancing in Charmouth. Before I get started I would like to find out the unexpired term of the lease.
If the lease is registered - and almost all are in Charmouth - then the leasehold title will always include the short particulars 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.
I am looking at a two flats in Charmouth which have about forty five years remaining on the leases. should I be concerned?
There is no doubt about it. A leasehold flat in Charmouth is a deteriorating asset as a result of the reducing lease term. The closer the lease gets to its expiry date, the more it adversely affects the marketability of the premises. For most purchasers and lenders, leases with less than eighty years become less and less marketable. On a more positive note, leaseholders can extend their leases by serving a Section 42 Notice. One stipulation is that they must have owned the premises 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 premises 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 Charmouth conveyancing experts who will explain the options available to you during an initial telephone conversation free of charge. A more straightforward and quicker method of extending would be to contact your landlord directly and sound him out on the prospect of extending 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 the agreed 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.
I've recently bought a leasehold flat in Charmouth. Am I liable to pay service charges relating to a period prior to my ownership?
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. 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 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).
What advice can you give us when it comes to appointing a Charmouth conveyancing firm to deal with our lease extension?
If you are instructing a solicitor for your lease extension (regardless if they are a Charmouth conveyancing practice) it is most important that they be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of conveyancing. We suggested that you talk with two or three firms including non Charmouth conveyancing practices prior to instructing a firm. If the firm is ALEP accredited then that’s a bonus. Some following of questions might be of use:
- How familiar is the practice with lease extension legislation?
Can you provide any top tips for leasehold conveyancing in Charmouth from the perspective of saving time on the sale process?
- Much of the delay in leasehold conveyancing in Charmouth can be bypassed where you instruct lawyers as soon as you market your property and ask them to collate the leasehold documentation needed by the buyers representatives.
- Many landlords or managing agents in Charmouth levy fees for supplying management packs for a leasehold premises. You or your lawyers should find out the actual amount of the charges. The management pack can be applied for on or before finding a buyer, thus accelerating the process. The typical amount of time it takes to obtain the necessary information is three weeks. It is the most common cause of frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Charmouth.
Charmouth Conveyancing for Leasehold Flats - Examples of Questions you should consider before buying
You should want to discover as much as you can about the managing agents as they will either make your life much easier or uncomfortable. Being a leasehold owner you are often at the mercy of the managing agents from a financial perspective and when it comes to day to day matters such as the upkeep of the communal areas. Enquire of other tenants what they think of their management. Finally, be sure you discover the dates that you are obliged pay the maintenance charge to the managing agents and precisely what it includes.
Generally speaking the outlay for major works are not included within maintenance charges, although some managing agents in Charmouth ask leaseholders to pay into a reserve fund and this is used to offset against larger repairs or maintenance.
Most Charmouth leasehold apartments will have a service charge for maintenance of the block invoiced by the landlord. If you buy the apartment you will have to pay this liability, usually periodically throughout the year. This could differ from two or three hundred pounds to thousands of pounds for bigger purpose-built blocks. In all probability there will be a ground rent to be met yearly, this is usually not a large amount, say around £25-£75 but you need to check as sometimes it could be prohibitively expensive.