Questions and Answers: Christchurch leasehold conveyancing
I am in need of some leasehold conveyancing in Christchurch. Before I get started I require certainty as to the remaining lease term.
Assuming the lease is registered - and almost all are in Christchurch - then the leasehold title will always include the basic details 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.
There are only 68 years left on my flat in Christchurch. I am keen to get lease extension but my freeholder is missing. What options are available to me?
If you meet the appropriate requirements, under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 you can apply to the County Court for for permission to dispense with the service of the initial notice. This will enable the lease to be extended by the magistrate. You will be obliged to demonstrate that you or your lawyers have used your best endeavours to find the landlord. For most situations a specialist may be useful to conduct investigations and to produce a report which can be accepted by the court as evidence that the freeholder is indeed missing. It is advisable to get professional help from a conveyancer both on devolving into the landlord’s disappearance and the application to the County Court overseeing Christchurch.
I am tempted by the attractive purchase price for a couple of flats in Christchurch both have in the region of forty five years remaining on the leases. Should I regard a short lease as a deal breaker?
A lease is a right to use the premises for a period of time. As a lease gets shorter the value of the lease decreases and it becomes more costly to acquire a lease extension. This is why it is generally wise to extend the lease term. It is often difficult to sell a property with a short lease because mortgage companies may be reluctant to lend money on such properties. Lease enfranchisement can be a difficult process. We advise that you seek professional assistance from a conveyancer and surveyor with experience in this arena
Last month I purchased a leasehold house in Christchurch. Am I liable to pay 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 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. 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).
Can you provide any advice for leasehold conveyancing in Christchurch from the point of view of expediting the sale process?
- A significant proportion of the delay in leasehold conveyancing in Christchurch can be bypassed where you instruct lawyers as soon as you market your property and request that they start to put together the leasehold information which will be required by the purchasers’ conveyancers.
- The majority freeholders or managing agents in Christchurch charge for supplying management packs for a leasehold property. You or your lawyers should enquire as to the fee that they propose to charge. The management pack sought as soon as you have a buyer, thus reducing delays. The average time it takes to receive management information is three weeks. It is the most common reason for delay in leasehold conveyancing in Christchurch.
I inherited a 2 bed flat in Christchurch, conveyancing formalities finalised half a dozen years ago. Can you let me have an estimate of the premium that my landlord can legally expect in return for granting a renewal of my lease? Equivalent flats in Christchurch with an extended lease are worth £173,000. The average or mid-range amount of ground rent is £55 per annum. The lease finishes on 21st October 2077
You have 55 years remaining on your lease we estimate the price of your lease extension to span between £28,500 and £33,000 plus plus your own and the landlord's "reasonable" professional fees.
The figure above a general guide to costs for extending a lease, but we cannot give you the actual costs without more comprehensive due diligence. Do not use this information in tribunal or court proceedings. There may be additional concerns that need to be considered and you obviously should be as accurate as possible in your negotiations. You should not take any other action based on this information before getting professional advice.