Frequently asked questions relating to Darley Abbey leasehold conveyancing
I have just appointed agents to market my 2 bed flat in Darley Abbey.Conveyancing is yet to be initiated but I have just had a yearly service charge invoice – should I leave it to the buyer to sort out?
Your conveyancing lawyer is likely to suggest that you should clear the invoice 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 management companies will not acknowledge the buyer until 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. Having a clear account will assist your cause and will leave you no worse off financially.
I've found a house that seems to meet my requirements, at a reasonable figure which is making it more attractive. I have just been informed that the title is leasehold rather than freehold. I would have thought that there are particular concerns buying a leasehold house in Darley Abbey. Conveyancing advisers have are about to be instructed. Will they explain the issues?
Most houses in Darley Abbey are freehold and not leasehold. In this scenario it’s worth having a local solicitor used to dealing with such properties who can help the conveyancing process. We note that you are purchasing in Darley Abbey so you should seriously consider shopping around for a Darley Abbey conveyancing solicitor and be sure that they are used to advising on leasehold houses. First you will need to check the number of years remaining. Being a leaseholder you will not be at liberty to do whatever you want with the house. The lease will likely included provisions such as requiring the freeholder’sconsent to carry out changes to the property. You may also be required to pay a service charge towards the maintenance of the communal areas where the property is located on an estate. Your conveyancer should appraise you on the various issues.
My wife and I purchased a leasehold flat in Darley Abbey. Conveyancing and Bank of Ireland mortgage organised. A letter has just been received from someone saying they have taken over the reversionary interest in the property. Attached was a demand for arrears of ground rent dating back to 1991. The conveyancing solicitor in Darley Abbey who previously acted has long since retired.Do I pay?
First make enquiries of the Land Registry to be sure that the individual claiming to own the freehold is in fact the registered owner of the freehold reversion. There is no need to incur the fees of a Darley Abbey conveyancing practitioner to do this as it can be done on-line for a few pound. Rest assured that in any event, even if this is the legitimate freeholder, under the Limitation Act 1980 the limitation period for recovery of ground rent is six years.
I've recently bought a leasehold property in Darley Abbey. 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. A critical element 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 a negotiator for a long established estate agent office in Darley Abbey where we see a number of flat sales derailed due to leases having less than 80 years remaining. I have been given conflicting advice from local Darley Abbey conveyancing firms. Can you shed some light as to whether the vendor of a flat can instigate the lease extension formalities for the purchaser on completion of the sale?
Provided that the seller has owned the lease for at least 2 years it is possible, to serve a Section 42 notice to kick-start the lease extension process and assign the benefit of the notice to the purchaser. The benefit of this is that the proposed purchaser can avoid having to sit tight for 2 years for a lease extension. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment has to be done before, or simultaneously with completion of the disposal of the property.
An alternative approach is 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.
I own a garden flat in Darley Abbey, conveyancing having been completed 2005. Can you work out an approximate cost of a lease extension? Comparable flats in Darley Abbey with an extended lease are worth £196,000. The ground rent is £45 yearly. The lease runs out on 21st October 2096
With only 73 years unexpired we estimate the premium for your lease extension to span between £8,600 and £9,800 as well as professional fees.
The figure that we have given is a general guide to costs for extending a lease, but we cannot give you a more accurate figure in the absence of detailed investigations. Do not use this information in a Notice of Claim or as an informal offer. There may be other concerns that need to be taken into account and clearly you should be as accurate as possible in your negotiations. Please do not take any other action placing reliance on this information without first seeking the advice of a professional.