Top Five Questions relating to Christchurch leasehold conveyancing
I today plan to offer on a house that seems to tick a lot of boxes, at a reasonable figure which is making it more attractive. I have just found out that the title is leasehold as opposed to freehold. I am assuming that there are issues buying a house with a leasehold title in Christchurch. Conveyancing solicitors have are soon to be instructed. Will they explain the issues?
The majority of houses in Christchurch are freehold rather than leasehold. This is one of the situations where having a local conveyancer used to dealing with such properties who can assist with the conveyancing process. We note that you are buying in Christchurch in which case you should be shopping around for a Christchurch conveyancing solicitor and be sure that they have experience in advising on leasehold houses. As a matter of priority you will need to check the number of years remaining. Being a tenant you will not be entirely free to do whatever you want to the property. The lease comes with conditions such as requiring the freeholder’sconsent to conduct alterations. It may be necessary to pay a contribution towards the maintenance of the estate where the property is located on an estate. Your lawyer should report to you on the legal implications.
I own a leasehold house in Christchurch. Conveyancing and Barclays mortgage went though with no issue. I have received a letter from someone saying they have taken over the freehold. It included a demand for arrears of ground rent dating back to 1991. The conveyancing practitioner in Christchurch who acted for me is not around.Do I pay?
First make enquiries of HMLR to make sure that the individual claiming to own the freehold is in fact the new freeholder. It is not necessary to instruct a Christchurch conveyancing lawyer to do this as it can be done on-line for less than a fiver. Rest assured that regardless, even if this is the legitimate freeholder, under the Limitation Act 1980 no more than 6 years of rent can be collected.
I am looking at a couple of apartments in Christchurch both have approximately fifty years remaining on the lease term. Should I regard a short lease as a deal breaker?
There are no two ways about it. A leasehold flat in Christchurch is a wasting asset as a result of the reducing lease term. The closer the lease gets to zero years unexpired, the more it reduces the value of the premises. The majority of buyers and mortgage companies, leases with under 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 property 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. More often than not it is possible to negotiate informally with the freeholder to extend 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 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.
Can you offer any advice when it comes to choosing a Christchurch conveyancing firm to carry out our lease extension conveyancing?
When appointing a solicitor 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 suggested that you talk with two or three firms including non Christchurch conveyancing practices prior to instructing a firm. If the firm is ALEP accredited then that’s a bonus. Some following of questions could be of use:
- If the firm is not ALEP accredited then why not?
We expect to complete the disposal of our £175000 maisonette in Christchurch on Thursday in a week. The freeholder has quoted £348 for Certificate of Compliance, building insurance schedule and 3 years service charge statements. Is it legal for a freeholder to charge an administration fee for a leasehold conveyance in Christchurch?
Christchurch conveyancing on leasehold flats normally requires the purchaser’s lawyer sending enquiries for the landlord to answer. Although the landlord is under no legal obligation to answer such questions the majority will be content to do so. They are entitled levy a reasonable administration fee for responding to questions or supplying documentation. There is no set fee. The average costs for the information that you are referring to is over three hundred pounds, in some transactions it exceeds £800. The management information fee demanded by the landlord must be sent together with a synopsis of rights and obligations in respect of administration fees, otherwise the invoice is technically not due. Reality however dictates that you have little option but to pay whatever is requested of you if you want to sell the property.
Christchurch Leasehold Conveyancing - Sample of Questions you should consider Prior to buying
How many of the leaseholders are in arrears for their maintenance charge payments?
If a Christchurch lease has fewer than 80 years it will impact the marketability of the flat. It is worth checking with your lender that they are willing to to proceed given the lease term. A short lease means that you will almost definitely have to extend the lease sooner rather than later and it is worth finding out what this would cost. Remember, in most cases you would be required to have owned the premises for two years in order to be entitled to carry out a lease extension.
Make sure you discover if the the lease contains any unreasonable restrictions in the lease. By way of example it is fairly common in Christchurch leases that pets are not permitted in certain buildings in Christchurch. If you love the propertyin Christchurch yet your cat is not allowed to make the move with you then you have a very hard decision.