Dartmouth leasehold conveyancing: Q and A’s
I’m about to sell my ground floor flat in Dartmouth.Conveyancing is yet to be initiated but I have just received a half-yearly service charge demand – Do I pay up?
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 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.
I today plan to offer on a house that seems to be perfect, at a great price which is making it all the more appealing. I have since found out that the title is leasehold as opposed to freehold. I am assuming that there are particular concerns purchasing a leasehold house in Dartmouth. Conveyancing lawyers have not yet been instructed. Will my lawyers set out the implications of buying a leasehold house in Dartmouth ?
The majority of houses in Dartmouth are freehold and not leasehold. This is one of the situations where having a local solicitor who is familiar with the area can assist with the conveyancing process. It is clear that you are buying in Dartmouth so you should seriously consider looking for a Dartmouth conveyancing solicitor and check that they are used to advising on leasehold houses. As a matter of priority you will need to check the number of years remaining. 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 requiring the landlord’spermission to conduct changes to the property. You may also be required to pay a contribution towards the upkeep of the estate where the property is located on an estate. Your solicitor will report to you on the legal implications.
I own a leasehold house in Dartmouth. Conveyancing and Britannia mortgage are in place. I have received a letter from someone claiming to own the freehold. It included a ground rent demand for rent dating back to 1991. The conveyancing practitioner in Dartmouth who acted for me is not around.Do I pay?
The first thing you should do is contact the Land Registry to make sure that this person is indeed the registered owner of the freehold reversion. It is not necessary to instruct a Dartmouth conveyancing practitioner to do this as it can be done on-line for less than a fiver. You should note that in any event, even if this is the rightful freeholder, under the Limitation Act 1980 the limitation period for recovery of ground rent is six years.
I am a negotiator for a busy estate agency in Dartmouth where we have witnessed a few flat sales put at risk as a result of short leases. I have received contradictory information from local Dartmouth conveyancing solicitors. Can you confirm whether the vendor of a flat can start the lease extension process for the buyer?
Provided that 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. This means that the proposed purchaser 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 before, or simultaneously with 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 purchaser.
In relation to leasehold conveyancing in Dartmouth what are the most frequent lease problems?
There is nothing unique about leasehold conveyancing in Dartmouth. All leases are unique and legal mistakes in the legal wording can result in certain clauses are erroneous. For example, if your lease is missing any of the following, it could be defective:
- Repairing obligations to or maintain parts of the building
- A duty to insure the building
- A provision for the recovery of money spent for the benefit of another party.
- Service charge per centages that don't add up correctly leaving a shortfall
A defective lease will likely cause issues when trying to sell a property primarily because it impacts on the ability to obtain a mortgage on the property. Nationwide Building Society, The Mortgage Works, and Bank of Ireland all have very detailed requirements when it comes to what is expected in a lease. Where a lender has been advised by their lawyers that the lease is problematic they may refuse to grant the mortgage, obliging the purchaser to pull out.
I own a basement flat in Dartmouth, conveyancing formalities finalised 3 years ago. Can you give me give me an indication of the likely cost of a lease extension? Corresponding properties in Dartmouth with over 90 years remaining are worth £248,000. The average or mid-range amount of ground rent is £55 invoiced every year. The lease comes to an end on 21st October 2082
With 61 years left to run we estimate the price of your lease extension to range between £24,700 and £28,600 as well as legals.
The suggested premium range above a general guide to costs for renewing a lease, but we are not able to advice on the actual costs in the absence of comprehensive investigations. Do not use this information in tribunal or court proceedings. There are no doubt other issues that need to be considered and clearly you want to be as accurate as possible in your negotiations. Neither should you take any other action based on this information without first getting professional advice.