Frequently asked questions relating to Clifton leasehold conveyancing
I have recently realised that I have 72 years left on my lease in Clifton. I now want to get lease extension but my freeholder is can not be found. What are my options?
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 mean that your lease can be lengthened by the Court. However, you will be required to demonstrate that you have made all reasonable attempts to find the landlord. On the whole an enquiry agent may be helpful to conduct investigations and prepare a report to be accepted by the court as evidence that the freeholder can not be located. It is wise to seek advice from a property lawyer in relation to proving the landlord’s disappearance and the application to the County Court covering Clifton.
I have just appointed agents to market my 2 bed apartment in Clifton.Conveyancing lawyers have not yet been instructed but I have just received a yearly maintenance charge invoice – Do I pay up?
The sensible thing to do is 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. This will smooth the conveyancing process.
Do you have any top tips for leasehold conveyancing in Clifton with the purpose of expediting the sale process?
- A significant proportion of the frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Clifton can be avoided where you instruct lawyers the minute you market your property and ask them to collate the leasehold information needed by the purchasers’ representatives.
- If you have carried out any alterations to the premises would they have required Landlord’s approval? Have you, for example laid down wooden flooring? Most leases in Clifton state that internal structural changes or laying down wooden flooring require a licence issued by the Landlord approving such alterations. If you fail to have the paperwork to hand do not contact the landlord without checking with your conveyancer in advance.
Completion in due on the disposal of our £250000 flat in Clifton next Thursday . The landlords agents has quoted £348 for Certificate of Compliance, insurance certificate and previous years statements of service charge. Is it legal for a freeholder to charge an administration fee for a leasehold conveyance in Clifton?
Clifton conveyancing on leasehold maisonettes often necessitates the buyer’s lawyer submitting enquiries for the landlord to address. Although the landlord is under no legal obligation to answer these enquiries the majority will be content to do so. They are at liberty invoice a reasonable charge 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 situations it is in excess of £800. The administration charge demanded by the landlord must be sent together with a synopsis of entitlements and obligations in relation to administration charges, otherwise the invoice is technically not due. Reality however dictates that you have little choice but to pay whatever is demanded should you wish to complete the sale of your home.
What are the frequently found defects that you witness in leases for Clifton properties?
Leasehold conveyancing in Clifton is not unique. Most leases are unique and drafting errors can sometimes mean that certain sections are wrong. For example, if your lease is missing any of the following, it could be defective:
- A provision to repair to or maintain parts of the building
- Insurance obligations
- A provision for the recovery of money spent for the benefit of another party.
- Maintenance charge proportions which don’t add up to the correct percentage
A defective lease can cause issues when trying to sell a property primarily because it impacts on the ability to obtain a mortgage on the property. Santander, Skipton Building Society, and Alliance & Leicester all have express conveyancing instructions when it comes to what is expected in a lease. If a mortgage lender believes that the lease is defective they may refuse to provide security, obliging the buyer to pull out.
Clifton Conveyancing for Leasehold Flats - A selection of Queries before Purchasing
Most Clifton leasehold properties will be liable to pay a service charge for maintenance of the building levied on behalf of the freeholder. If you acquire the flat you will have to pay this liability, normally periodically accross the year. This can vary from a few hundred pounds to thousands of pounds for buildings with lifts and large common areas. In all probability there will be a ground rent to be met yearly, this is usually not a large amount, say about £50-£100 but you should to check it because sometimes it could be surprisingly expensive.
The prefered form of lease structure is where the freehold interest is owned by the leaseholders. In this scenario the leaseholders have control and although a managing agent is frequently retained if it is bigger than a house conversion, the managing agent retained by the leaseholders.
How much is the ground rent and service charge?