Fixed-fee leasehold conveyancing in Eaglescliffe:

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Recently asked questions relating to Eaglescliffe leasehold conveyancing

Estate agents have just been given the go-ahead to market my 2 bed apartment in Eaglescliffe.Conveyancing solicitors are to be appointed soon but I have just had a half-yearly service charge demand – should I leave it to the buyer to sort out?

Your conveyancing lawyer is likely to suggest that you should discharge 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. This will smooth the conveyancing process.

I today plan to offer on a house that appears to be perfect, at a reasonable figure which is making it more attractive. I have subsequently been informed that the title is leasehold rather than freehold. I would have thought that there are particular concerns buying a house with a leasehold title in Eaglescliffe. Conveyancing advisers have are about to be instructed. Will they explain the issues?

Most houses in Eaglescliffe are freehold rather than leasehold. In this scenario it’s worth having a local conveyancer who is familiar with the area can assist with the conveyancing process. We note that you are purchasing in Eaglescliffe so you should seriously consider looking for a Eaglescliffe conveyancing practitioner and check that they are used to dealing with leasehold houses. First you will need to check the number of years remaining. Being a tenant you will not be entirely free to do whatever you want to the property. The lease will likely included provisions for example requiring the freeholder’spermission to conduct changes to the property. It may be necessary to pay a contribution towards the upkeep of the communal areas where the house is part of an estate. Your solicitor will advise you fully on all the issues.

I've recently bought a leasehold flat in Eaglescliffe. Am I liable to pay service charges for periods before completion of my purchase?

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. 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 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 reputable estate agency in Eaglescliffe where we have witnessed a few flat sales derailed as a result of short leases. I have been given inconsistent advice from local Eaglescliffe conveyancing firms. Can you confirm whether the seller of a flat can initiate 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 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 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.

What makes a Eaglescliffe lease defective?

Leasehold conveyancing in Eaglescliffe is not unique. All leases is drafted differently and legal mistakes in the legal wording can sometimes mean that certain provisions are wrong. For example, if your lease is missing any of the following, it could be defective:

  • A provision to repair to or maintain elements of the property
  • A duty to insure the building
  • A provision for the recovery of money spent for the benefit of another party.
  • Maintenance charge proportions which don’t add up to the correct percentage

You will have a problem when selling your property if you have a defective lease as they can affect a potential buyer’s ability to obtain a mortgage. Santander, Chelsea Building Society, and Britannia all have very detailed requirements when it comes to what is expected in a lease. If a mortgage lender believes that the lease is defective they may refuse to grant the mortgage, forcing the purchaser to withdraw.

Leasehold Conveyancing in Eaglescliffe - Sample of Queries Prior to Purchasing

    The best form of lease structure is where the freehold title is in the ownership of the leaseholders. In this arrangement the tenants have control and even though a managing agent is often employed if it is larger than a house conversion, the managing agent retained by the leaseholders. Many Eaglescliffe leasehold properties will incur a service charge for maintenance of the block set by the landlord. If you acquire the apartment you will have to pay this amount, normally periodically accross the year. This could vary from a couple of hundred pounds to thousands of pounds for large purpose-built buildings. There will also be a ground rent for you to pay yearly, this is usually not a large amount, say around £50-£100 but you need to check as sometimes it could be many hundreds of pounds. It is important to be aware if a new roof is being put on or some other major work is coming up that will be shared between the tenants and will materially impact the level of the maintenance charges or necessitate a one time payment.

Other Topics

Lease Extensions in Eaglescliffe