Frequently asked questions relating to Epping leasehold conveyancing
I have just started marketing my ground floor apartment in Epping.Conveyancing is yet to be initiated but I have just received a yearly maintenance charge invoice – should I leave it to the buyer to sort out?
Your conveyancing lawyer is likely to suggest that you should pay 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 managing agents 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 work for a reputable estate agent office in Epping where we see a number of flat sales derailed as a result of short leases. I have received conflicting advice from local Epping conveyancing solicitors. Please can you clarify whether the vendor of a flat can start the lease extension formalities for the buyer?
As long as 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 buyer need not have 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.
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 provide any top tips for leasehold conveyancing in Epping from the perspective of saving time on the sale process?
- A significant proportion of the frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Epping can be avoided if you instruct lawyers the minute you market your property and request that they start to put together the leasehold documentation needed by the purchasers’ conveyancers.
- The majority landlords or Management Companies in Epping charge for providing management packs for a leasehold homes. You or your lawyers should find out the actual amount of the charges. The management pack can be applied for on or before finding a buyer, thus accelerating the process. The average time it takes to obtain the necessary information is three weeks. It is the most usual cause of delay in leasehold conveyancing in Epping.
Completion in due on the sale of our £225000 flat in Epping in 10 days. The managing agents has quoted £300 for Certificate of Compliance, insurance certificate and 3 years service charge statements. Is it legal for a freeholder to charge exorbitant fees for a leasehold conveyance in Epping?
Epping conveyancing on leasehold maisonettes normally requires the buyer’s lawyer sending enquiries for the landlord to address. Although the landlord is under no legal obligation to respond to such questions the majority will be content to do so. They are at liberty levy a reasonable charge for answering questions or supplying documentation. There is no set fee. The average costs for the information that you are referring to is over three hundred pounds, in some cases it exceeds £800. The management information fee levied by the landlord must be sent together with a synopsis of rights and obligations in relation to administration fees, without which the charge is not strictly payable. In reality one has no option but to pay whatever is requested of you if you want to exchange contracts with the buyer.
What makes a Epping lease problematic?
Leasehold conveyancing in Epping is not unique. All leases are unique and legal mistakes in the legal wording can result in certain provisions are erroneous. The following missing provisions could result in a defective lease:
- A provision to repair to or maintain elements of the property
- A duty to insure the building
- Clauses dealing with recovering service charges for expenditure on the building or common parts.
- Service charge per centages that don't add up correctly leaving a shortfall
A defective lease can cause issues when trying to sell a property primarily because it impacts on the ability to obtain a mortgage on the property. Lloyds TSB Bank, Chelsea Building Society, and Clydesdale all have express requirements when it comes to what is expected in a lease. Where a lender has been advised by their lawyers that the lease is defective they may refuse to provide security, obliging the purchaser to withdraw.
Leasehold Conveyancing in Epping - Sample of Questions you should consider before buying
The majority of Epping leasehold apartments will have a service charge for maintenance of the block levied on behalf of the landlord. Should you purchase the property you will have to meet this charge, normally in instalments during the year. This could vary from several hundred pounds to thousands of pounds for blocks with lifts and large common areas. In all likelihood there will be a rentcharge to be met yearly, this is usually not a large amount, say about £50-£100 but you need to check as occasionally it can be many hundreds of pounds.
Where a Epping lease has less than eighty years it will have adverse implications on the salability of the apartment. Check with your mortgage company that they are willing to to proceed given the lease term. A short lease means that you will almost definitely need a lease extension at some point and it is worth discovering how much this would cost. For most Eppinglease extensions you would need to own the premises for two years in order to be entitled to extend the lease.
Please inform me if there are any major works anticipated that will likely add a premium to the service charges?