Sample questions relating to Christchurch leasehold conveyancing
I would like to let out my leasehold apartment in Christchurch. Conveyancing solicitor who did the purchase is retired - so can't ask him. Is permission from the freeholder required?
Some leases for properties in Christchurch do contain a provision to say that subletting is only permitted with prior consent from the landlord. The landlord is not entitled to unreasonably refuse but, in such cases, they would need to review references. Experience suggests that problems are usually caused by unsatisfactory tenants rather than owner-occupiers and for that reason you can expect the freeholder to take up the references and consider them carefully before granting consent.
I’m about to sell my 2 bed apartment in Christchurch.Conveyancing has not commenced but I have just received a yearly service charge invoice – Do I pay up?
It best that you clear the service charge 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 Christchurch. Conveyancing and Britannia mortgage organised. I have received a letter 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 Christchurch who previously acted has long since retired.What should I do?
The first thing you should do is make enquiries of the Land Registry to be sure that this person is in fact the new freeholder. It is not necessary to instruct a Christchurch conveyancing practitioner to do this as you can do this on the Land Registry website for less than a fiver. 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 am tempted by the attractive purchase price for a couple of apartments in Christchurch both have in the region of forty five years left on the lease term. should I be concerned?
There is no doubt about it. A leasehold flat in Christchurch is a deteriorating asset as a result of the reducing lease term. The closer the lease gets to zero years unexpired, the more it adversely affects the value of the premises. The majority of buyers and mortgage companies, leases with under 75 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 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 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 Christchurch 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 They may agree to a smaller lump sum and an increase in the ground rent, but to shorter extension terms in return. 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.
Can you offer any advice when it comes to choosing a Christchurch conveyancing firm to deal with our lease extension?
When appointing a conveyancer for lease extension works (regardless if they are a Christchurch conveyancing practice) it is essential that they be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of work. We recommend that you talk with two or three firms including non Christchurch conveyancing practices before you instructing a firm. Where the conveyancing practice is ALEP accredited then so much the better. Some following of questions might be useful:
- Can they put you in touch with client in Christchurch who can give a testimonial?
Christchurch Leasehold Conveyancing - Sample of Questions you should ask Prior to buying
Who are the managing agents?
Plenty Christchurch leasehold flats will incur a service charge for the upkeep of the building set on behalf of the management company. Where you buy the flat you will have to meet this contribution, normally in instalments throughout the year. This may be anything from a few hundred pounds to thousands of pounds for large purpose-built blocks. There will also be a ground rent for you to pay yearly, this is usually not a large sum, say about £25-£75 but you should to check it because on occasion it can be prohibitively expensive.
For most Christchurch leaseholds the outlay for major works are not included within service charges, although some managing agents in Christchurch ask tenants to pay into a reserve fund created for the specific purpose of establishing a fund for larger repairs or maintenance.