Recently asked questions relating to Exeter leasehold conveyancing
I have just appointed agents to market my 2 bed apartment in Exeter.Conveyancing has not commenced but I have just received a yearly maintenance charge demand – should I leave it to the buyer to sort out?
It best that you 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 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 own a leasehold flat in Exeter. Conveyancing and Chelsea Building Society mortgage went though with no issue. I have received a letter from someone saying they have taken over the freehold. Attached was a demand for arrears of ground rent dating back to 1996. The conveyancing solicitor in Exeter who previously acted has long since retired.What should I do?
The first thing you should do is contact HMLR to be sure that the individual purporting to own the freehold is in fact the new freeholder. It is not necessary to instruct a Exeter conveyancing practitioner to do this as you can do this on the Land Registry website for a few pound. You should note that in any event, even if this is the rightful landlord, under the Limitation Act 1980 the limitation period for recovery of ground rent is six years.
I am a negotiator for a long established estate agent office in Exeter where we have witnessed a number of flat sales derailed due to short leases. I have been given contradictory information from local Exeter conveyancing solicitors. Can you shed some light as to whether the vendor of a flat can commence the lease extension process for the purchaser on completion of the sale?
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 can avoid having to wait 2 years for a lease extension. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment has to be done before, or at the same time as completion of the sale.
An alternative approach is to extend the lease informally by agreement with the landlord 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 are your top tips when it comes to choosing a Exeter conveyancing firm to deal with our lease extension?
If you are instructing a solicitor for your lease extension (regardless if they are a Exeter conveyancing firm) it is most important that he or she should be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of work. We recommend that you make enquires with several firms including non Exeter conveyancing practices prior to 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 practice with lease extension legislation?
When it comes to leasehold conveyancing in Exeter what are the most common lease problems?
Leasehold conveyancing in Exeter is not unique. Most leases is drafted differently and legal mistakes in the legal wording can sometimes mean that certain provisions are missing. The following missing provisions could result in a defective lease:
- Repairing obligations to or maintain parts of the premises
- Insurance obligations
- 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 can 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, Barnsley Building Society, and Platform Home Loans Ltd all have very detailed requirements when it comes to what is expected in a lease. If a mortgage lender believes that the lease does not cover certain provisions they may refuse to grant the mortgage, forcing the buyer to pull out.
Exeter Leasehold Conveyancing - Examples of Queries before buying
Does the lease have onerous restrictions?
Generally speaking the outlay for major works tend not to be wrapped into the maintenance charges, albeit that some managing agents in Exeter ask tenants to pay into a sinking fund and this is used to offset against major repairs or maintenance.
It is important to be aware whether changing the roof or some other significant cost is due shortly to be shared between the leasehold owners and may well materially increase the the maintenance charges or result in a one off invoice.