Questions and Answers: Clacton On Sea leasehold conveyancing
I today plan to offer on a house that appears to tick a lot of boxes, at a great price which is making it more attractive. I have just discovered that the title is leasehold as opposed to freehold. I am assuming that there are particular concerns buying a leasehold house in Clacton On Sea. Conveyancing solicitors have are soon to be appointed. Will my lawyers set out the risks of buying a leasehold house in Clacton On Sea ?
The majority of houses in Clacton On Sea are freehold and not leasehold. This is one of the situations where having a local conveyancer used to dealing with such properties who can help the conveyancing process. We note that you are buying in Clacton On Sea in which case you should be looking for a Clacton On Sea conveyancing solicitor and be sure that they are used to dealing with leasehold houses. As a matter of priority you will need to check the unexpired lease term. Being a leaseholder you will not be entirely free to do whatever you want to the property. The lease comes with conditions such as requiring the landlord’sconsent to conduct changes to the property. You may also be required to pay a contribution towards the upkeep of the communal areas where the house is located on an estate. Your conveyancer will report to you on the legal implications.
I work for a busy estate agent office in Clacton On Sea where we have witnessed a few flat sales jeopardised due to short leases. I have been given inconsistent advice from local Clacton On Sea conveyancing firms. Could you clarify whether the owner of a flat can start the lease extension process for the purchaser on completion of the sale?
As long as the seller has owned the lease for at least 2 years it is possible, to serve a Section 42 notice to commence the lease extension process and assign the benefit of the notice to the purchaser. The benefit of this is that the buyer need not have to sit tight for 2 years to extend their lease. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment needs to be completed before, or simultaneously with completion of the sale.
Alternatively, it may be possible 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.
Can you offer any advice when it comes to finding a Clacton On Sea conveyancing practice to carry out our lease extension conveyancing?
If you are instructing a conveyancer for lease extension works (regardless if they are a Clacton On Sea conveyancing firm) it is essential that he or she should be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of conveyancing. We recommend that you speak with several firms including non Clacton On Sea conveyancing practices before you instructing a firm. Where the conveyancing practice is ALEP accredited then so much the better. Some following of questions could be of use:
- How familiar is the firm with lease extension legislation?
Our conveyancer has advised that he intends to complete and exchange simultaneously on the disposal of our £475000 garden flat in Clacton On Sea in nine days. The landlords agents has quoted £360 for Landlord’s certificate, insurance certificate and previous years statements of service charge. Is it legal for a freeholder to charge an administration fee for a flat conveyance in Clacton On Sea?
Clacton On Sea conveyancing on leasehold flats usually necessitates the buyer’s solicitor sending questions for the landlord to answer. Although the landlord is under no legal obligation to respond to such questions the majority will be willing to assist. They are at liberty charge a reasonable administration fee for answering enquiries or supplying documentation. There is no upper cap for such fees. 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 required by the landlord must be sent together with a synopsis of rights and obligations in respect of administration charges, without which the charge is technically not due. In reality one has little option but to pay whatever is demanded should you wish to complete the sale of your home.
What makes a Clacton On Sea lease unacceptable for security purposes?
Leasehold conveyancing in Clacton On Sea is not unique. Most leases are unique and drafting errors can sometimes mean that certain clauses are wrong. For example, if your lease is missing any of the following, it could be defective:
- Repairing obligations to or maintain elements of the building
- A duty to insure the building
- Clauses dealing with recovering service charges for expenditure on the building or common parts.
- Service charge per centages that don't add up correctly leaving a shortfall
You could encounter difficulties when selling your property if you have a defective lease as they can affect a potential buyer’s ability to obtain a mortgage. Santander, Leeds Building Society, and Aldermore all have very detailed conveyancing instructions when it comes to what is expected in a lease. If a mortgage lender believes that the lease is problematic they may refuse to provide security, forcing the purchaser to withdraw.
Clacton On Sea Conveyancing for Leasehold Flats - Examples of Questions you should consider before buying
This question is useful as a) areas can cause problems for the building as the communal areas may start to deteriorate if services are not paid for b) if the leasehold owners have a dispute with the managing agents you will want to know about it
Its a good idea to discover as much as possible regarding the company managing the block as they can either make living at the property much simpler or much more difficult. Being a leasehold owner you will be at the mercy of the managing agents both financially and when it comes to day to day issues such as the tidiness of the communal areas. Ask prospective neighbours if they are happy with their management. In conclusion, find out the dates that the service charges are due to the managing agents and precisely what it includes.
It is important to be aware if window replacement or some other significant cost is due in the foreseeable future to be shared between the leaseholders and may well dramatically impact the level of the service fees or result in a one time payment.