Examples of recent questions relating to leasehold conveyancing in Danbury
I've found a house that appears to tick a lot of boxes, at a great price which is making it all the more appealing. I have subsequently discovered that the title is leasehold as opposed to freehold. I am assuming that there are particular concerns buying a leasehold house in Danbury. Conveyancing lawyers have are about to be appointed. Will my lawyers set out the implications of buying a leasehold house in Danbury ?
The majority of houses in Danbury are freehold and not leasehold. In this scenario it’s worth having a local conveyancer used to dealing with such properties who can assist with the conveyancing process. We note that you are purchasing in Danbury in which case you should be looking for a Danbury conveyancing practitioner and be sure that they have experience in dealing with leasehold houses. First you will need to check the unexpired lease term. As a lessee you will not be at liberty to do whatever you want with the house. The lease will likely included provisions such as obtaining the landlord’spermission to carry out alterations. It may be necessary to pay a maintenance charge towards the upkeep of the communal areas where the property is located on an estate. Your lawyer will report to you on the legal implications.
Last month I purchased a leasehold property in Danbury. Do I have any liability for service charges relating to a period prior to my ownership?
In a situation where the service charge has already been demanded from the previous lessee and they have not paid you would not usually be personally liable for the arrears. However, 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 be sure 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 am employed by a busy estate agency in Danbury where we have witnessed a few leasehold sales put at risk due to short leases. I have been given contradictory information from local Danbury conveyancing solicitors. Could you shed some light as to whether the seller of a flat can start the lease extension formalities 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 start 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 wait 2 years for a lease extension. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment needs to be completed prior to, or simultaneously with completion of the disposal of the property.
Alternatively, it may be possible to extend the lease informally by agreement with the landlord 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.
What are your top tips when it comes to appointing a Danbury conveyancing practice to deal with our lease extension?
When appointing a solicitor for lease extension works (regardless if they are a Danbury conveyancing practice) it is most important that they be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of work. We suggested that you speak with two or three firms including non Danbury conveyancing practices before you instructing a firm. Where the conveyancing practice is ALEP accredited then so much the better. Some following of questions might be helpful:
- How familiar is the practice with lease extension legislation?
If all goes to plan we aim to complete the disposal of our £250000 maisonette in Danbury in just under a week. The managing agents has quoted £396 for Landlord’s certificate, building insurance schedule and 3 years statements of service charge. Is the landlord entitled to charge exorbitant fees for a leasehold conveyance in Danbury?
Danbury conveyancing on leasehold flats normally necessitates the purchaser’s lawyer sending enquiries for the landlord to answer. Although the landlord is not legally bound to respond to these enquiries most will be willing to assist. They may invoice a reasonable charge for responding to questions or supplying documentation. There is no upper cap for such fees. The average costs for the paperwork that you are referring to is over three hundred pounds, in some cases it is in excess of £800. The management information fee invoiced by the landlord must be accompanied by a summary of rights and obligations in respect of administration charges, without which the invoice is technically not due. In reality one has no option but to pay whatever is requested of you if you want to sell the property.
Danbury Conveyancing for Leasehold Flats - Sample of Questions you should consider Prior to Purchasing
The best form of lease arrangement is where the freehold reversion is in the ownership of the leaseholders. In this scenario the lessees have being in charge if their destiny and even though a managing agent is usually employed if it is larger than a house conversion, the managing agent acts for the leaseholders themselves.
Best to be warned if window replacement or some other major work is anticipated that will be shared by the leaseholders and will materially impact the level of the maintenance charges or require a one time payment.
You should want to discover as much as you can regarding the managing agents as they will either make your living at the property much easier or much more difficult. As the proprietor of a leasehold property you are frequently in the clutches of the managing agents from a financial perspective and when it comes to day to day matters such as the upkeep of the common parts. Don't be afraid to ask other people if they are happy with their service. In conclusion, find out the dates that the service charges are due to the relevant party and specifically what you get for your money.