Questions and Answers: Eastbourne leasehold conveyancing
I am in need of some leasehold conveyancing in Eastbourne. Before I get started I would like to find out the number of years remaining on the lease.
Assuming the lease is recorded at the land registry - and almost all are in Eastbourne - then the leasehold title will always include the basic details of the lease, namely the date; the term; and the original parties. From a conveyancing perspective such details then enable any prospective buyer and lender to confirm that any lease they are looking at is the one relevant to that title.For any other purpose, such as confirming how long the term was granted for and calculating what is left, then the register should be sufficient on it's own.
I’m about to sell my garden flat in Eastbourne.Conveyancing solicitors are to be appointed soon but I have just received a yearly service charge demand – Do I pay up?
It best that you discharge 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 managing agents 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 am looking at a couple of maisonettes in Eastbourne which have approximately fifty years remaining on the lease term. Should I regard a short lease as a deal breaker?
There is no doubt about it. A leasehold apartment in Eastbourne is a wasting asset as a result of the shortening lease. The closer the lease gets to zero years unexpired, the more it adversely affects the value of the property. The majority of purchasers and mortgage companies, leases with less than 75 years become less and less attractive. On a more positive note, leaseholders can extend their leases by serving a Section 42 Notice. One stipulation is that they must have owned the property for two years (unlike a Section 13 notice for purchasing the freehold, when leaseholders can participate from day one of ownership). When successful, they will have the right to an extension of 90 years to the current term and ground rent is effectively reduced to zero. Before moving forward with a purchase of a residence with a short lease term remaining you should talk to a solicitor specialising in lease extensions and leasehold enfranchisement. We are are happy to put you in touch with Eastbourne conveyancing experts who will explain the options available to you during an initial telephone conversation free of charge. A more straightforward and quicker method of extending would be to contact your landlord directly and sound him out on the prospect of extending the lease You may find he or she is happy to negotiate informally and willing to consider your offer straight off, without having to involve anyone else. This will save you time and money and it could help you reach a lower price on the lease. You need to ensure that the agreed terms represent good long-term value compared with the standard benefits of the Section 42 Notice and that onerous clauses are not inserted into any redrafting of the lease.
I've recently bought a leasehold property in Eastbourne. Am I liable to pay 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. Strange as it may seem, 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).
What advice can you give us when it comes to choosing a Eastbourne conveyancing practice to deal with our lease extension?
If you are instructing a solicitor for your lease extension (regardless if they are a Eastbourne conveyancing practice) it is imperative that they be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of work. We advise that you speak with two or three firms including non Eastbourne conveyancing practices prior to instructing a firm. Where the conveyancing practice is ALEP accredited then that’s a bonus. Some following of questions might be of use:
- How many lease extensions have they carried out in Eastbourne in the last year?
I own a ground floor flat in Eastbourne, conveyancing was carried out 1998. Can you give me give me an indication of the likely cost of a lease extension? Corresponding flats in Eastbourne with an extended lease are worth £265,000. The ground rent is £55 levied per year. The lease terminates on 21st October 2089
With just 69 years remaining on your lease the likely cost is going to be between £9,500 and £11,000 plus costs.
The figure above a general guide to costs for extending a lease, but we cannot give you the actual costs in the absence of comprehensive due diligence. Do not use this information in tribunal or court proceedings. There are no doubt additional concerns that need to be taken into account and clearly you should be as accurate as possible in your negotiations. Neither should you move forward based on this information before seeking the advice of a professional.