Questions and Answers: Colchester leasehold conveyancing
Having had my offer accepted I require leasehold conveyancing in Colchester. Before I get started I want to be sure as to the unexpired term of the lease.
If the lease is recorded at the land registry - and 99.9% are in Colchester - then the leasehold title will always include the short particulars 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.
I am intending to let out my leasehold apartment in Colchester. Conveyancing solicitor who did the purchase is retired - so can't ask her. Is permission from the freeholder required?
A small minority of properties in Colchester do contain a provision to say that subletting is only permitted with prior consent from the landlord. The landlord cannot unreasonably refuse but, in such cases, they would need to see 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 permission.
Last month I purchased a leasehold property in Colchester. Do I have any liability for service charges relating to a period prior to my ownership?
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. It is an essential part 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).
I work for a reputable estate agent office in Colchester where we have experienced a few flat sales jeopardised as a result of leases having less than 80 years remaining. I have been given contradictory information from local Colchester conveyancing solicitors. Could you shed some light as to whether the seller of a flat can commence the lease extension process for the purchaser on completion of the sale?
As long as the seller has been the owner 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 proposed purchaser 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 has to be done prior to, or at the same time as completion of the sale.
An alternative approach is 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 buyer.
If all goes to plan we aim to complete the sale of our £400000 maisonette in Colchester in 10 days. The management company has quoted £408 for Certificate of Compliance, insurance certificate and previous years statements of service charge. Is the landlord entitled to charge such fees for a leasehold conveyance in Colchester?
Colchester conveyancing on leasehold apartments more often than not necessitates the purchaser’s lawyer sending questions for the landlord to address. Although the landlord is not legally bound to respond to such questions the majority will be willing to assist. They are at liberty invoice a reasonable charge for responding to enquiries or supplying documentation. There is no set fee. The average fee for the information that you are referring to is £350, in some transactions it is in excess of £800. The management information fee demanded by the landlord must be accompanied by a summary of rights and obligations in respect of administration charges, otherwise the invoice is not strictly payable. In reality one has no choice but to pay whatever is demanded if you want to complete the sale of your home.
Colchester Leasehold Conveyancing - A selection of Queries before buying
Make sure you investigate if there is anything that is prohibited in the lease. For example some leases prohibit pets being permitted in certain buildings in Colchester. If you love the propertyin Colchester but your cat can’t move with you then you will be presented with a hard determination.
How is the lease structured?
Best to be warned whether changing the roof or some other significant cost is coming up that will be shared between the leasehold owners and may well materially increase the the service charges or require a one off invoice.