Questions and Answers: Dymock leasehold conveyancing
I have just started marketing my ground floor flat in Dymock.Conveyancing is yet to be initiated but I have just had a yearly service charge invoice – what should I do?
Your conveyancing lawyer is likely to suggest that you should pay 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 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. Having a clear account will assist your cause and will leave you no worse off financially.
I've found a house that seems to tick a lot of boxes, at a reasonable price which is making it all the more appealing. I have subsequently discovered that the title is leasehold as opposed to freehold. I would have thought that there are particular concerns buying a leasehold house in Dymock. Conveyancing advisers have not yet been instructed. Will they explain the issues?
Most houses in Dymock are freehold rather than leasehold. In this scenario it’s worth having a local conveyancer used to dealing with such properties who can help the conveyancing process. It is clear that you are buying in Dymock in which case you should be looking for a Dymock conveyancing solicitor and check that they have experience in advising on leasehold houses. First you will need to check the number of years remaining. As a lessee you will not be at liberty to do whatever you want to the property. The lease comes with conditions for example obtaining the freeholder’spermission to carry out changes to the property. You may also be required to pay a maintenance charge towards the upkeep of the communal areas where the property is part of an estate. Your solicitor should report to you on the legal implications.
Back In 2009, I bought a leasehold flat in Dymock. Conveyancing and Barnsley Building Society mortgage went though with no issue. I have received a letter from someone claiming to own the freehold. It included a demand for arrears of ground rent dating back to 1994. The conveyancing practitioner in Dymock who acted for me is not around.Any advice?
First contact HMLR to be sure that this person is in fact the new freeholder. You do not need to instruct a Dymock conveyancing solicitor to do this as you can do this on the Land Registry website 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 employed by a reputable estate agency in Dymock where we have experienced a few flat sales jeopardised due to leases having less than 80 years remaining. I have been given inconsistent advice from local Dymock conveyancing firms. Could you confirm whether the vendor of a flat can instigate 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. The benefit of this is that the proposed purchaser can avoid having to sit tight for 2 years to extend their lease. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment needs to be completed prior to, or simultaneously with completion of the sale.
Alternatively, it may be possible 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.
Can you offer any advice when it comes to choosing a Dymock conveyancing practice to carry out our lease extension conveyancing?
When appointing a property lawyer for your lease extension (regardless if they are a Dymock conveyancing firm) it is most important that he or she should be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of work. We suggested that you talk with two or three firms including non Dymock conveyancing practices before you instructing a firm. If the firm is ALEP accredited then that’s a bonus. Some following of questions could be of use:
- How familiar is the firm with lease extension legislation?
Leasehold Conveyancing in Dymock - A selection of Queries before Purchasing
How many of the leaseholders are in arrears for their service charge payments?
The best form of lease arrangement is where the freehold interest is in the ownership of the leaseholders. In this arrangement the leaseholders enjoy control and although a managing agent is usually retained if it is larger than a house conversion, the managing agent retained by the leaseholders.
In the main the cost for major works are not built into the maintenance charges, albeit that there some managing agents in Dymock obliged tenants to pay into a reserve fund and this is used to offset against major repairs or maintenance.