Examples of recent questions relating to leasehold conveyancing in Chester
I've found a house that seems to be perfect, at a great price which is making it all the more appealing. I have since discovered that it's a leasehold rather than freehold. I would have thought that there are issues purchasing a house with a leasehold title in Chester. Conveyancing advisers have not yet been instructed. Will they explain the issues?
Most houses in Chester 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 apparent that you are purchasing in Chester so you should seriously consider looking for a Chester conveyancing practitioner and check that they have experience in dealing with leasehold houses. First you will need to check the number of years remaining. As a leaseholder you will not be at liberty to do whatever you want with the house. The lease will likely included provisions such as requiring the freeholder’spermission to conduct alterations. It may be necessary to pay a maintenance charge towards the upkeep of the communal areas where the property is located on an estate. Your solicitor should advise you fully on all the issues.
I've recently bought a leasehold property in Chester. Do I have any liability for service charges for periods before my ownership?
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. However, 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).
I work for a long established estate agent office in Chester where we see a few leasehold sales jeopardised as a result of leases having less than 80 years remaining. I have been given contradictory information from local Chester conveyancing solicitors. Could you clarify whether the seller of a flat can start the lease extension process 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 kick-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 wait 2 years to extend their lease. 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 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 purchaser.
What are your top tips when it comes to choosing a Chester conveyancing firm to deal with our lease extension?
When appointing a conveyancer for your lease extension (regardless if they are a Chester conveyancing firm) it is most important that they be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of work. We advise that you make enquires with several firms including non Chester conveyancing practices prior to instructing a firm. Where the conveyancing practice is ALEP accredited then so much the better. Some following of questions could be useful:
- How many lease extensions has the firm carried out in Chester in the last 12 months?
Can you provide any top tips for leasehold conveyancing in Chester with the purpose of expediting the sale process?
- A significant proportion of the frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Chester can be avoided where you appoint lawyers the minute your agents start advertising the property and request that they start to collate the leasehold information which will be required by the buyers lawyers.
- In the event that you altered the property did you need the Landlord’s consent? In particular have you installed wooden flooring? Most leases in Chester state that internal structural alterations or addition of wooden flooring necessitate a licence issued by the Landlord acquiescing to such alterations. If you dont have the consents to hand you should not contact the landlord without contacting your lawyer before hand.
Leasehold Conveyancing in Chester - Sample of Questions you should consider before Purchasing
Please note that where the lease has less than 80 years it will affect the salability of the property. Check with your mortgage company that they are content with residual term of the lease. Leases with less than 80 years remaining means that you will almost definitely require a lease extension sooner rather than later and it is worth discovering what this would cost. Remember, in most cases you would be be obliged to have owned the property for 24 months in order to be entitled to extend the lease.
How much is the ground rent and service charge?
What prohibitions are there in the Chester Lease?