Exmouth leasehold conveyancing: Q and A’s
Having checked my lease I have discovered that there are only Sixty One years left on my lease in Exmouth. I now want to get lease extension but my freeholder is missing. What should I do?
If you qualify, under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 you can apply to the County Court for for permission to dispense with the service of the initial notice. This will enable the lease to be lengthened by the Court. You will be obliged to prove that you have used your best endeavours to locate the lessor. On the whole a specialist should be helpful to carry out a search and to produce a report to be used as evidence that the landlord is indeed missing. It is advisable to get professional help from a solicitor both on investigating the landlord’s disappearance and the vesting order request to the County Court covering Exmouth.
I am looking at a couple of maisonettes in Exmouth which have in the region of forty five years remaining on the leases. Do I need to be concerned?
A lease is a legal document that entitles you to use the property for a period of time. As a lease gets shorter the value of the lease deteriorate and results in it becoming more costly to acquire a lease extension. This is why it is often a good idea to increase the term of the lease. More often than not it is difficulties arise selling premises with a short lease because mortgage lenders may be reluctant to lend money on properties of this type. Lease extension can be a protracted process. We advise that you seek professional assistance from a conveyancer and surveyor with experience in this arena
Last month I purchased a leasehold house in Exmouth. Do I have any liability for 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. A critical element of leasehold conveyancing for your conveyancer to ensure 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 agent office in Exmouth where we have witnessed a few leasehold sales derailed as a result of leases having less than 80 years remaining. I have been given conflicting advice from local Exmouth conveyancing firms. Please can you confirm whether the seller of a flat can start the lease extension process for the purchaser on completion of the sale?
As long as the seller has been the owner for at least 2 years it is possible, to serve a Section 42 notice to commence the lease extension process and assign the benefit of the notice to the purchaser. The benefit of this is that the proposed purchaser need not have to wait 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.
Do you have any top tips for leasehold conveyancing in Exmouth with the aim of saving time on the sale process?
- A significant proportion of the frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Exmouth can be avoided if you instruct lawyers the minute your agents start marketing the property and request that they start to put together the leasehold documentation needed by the buyers solicitors.
- The majority landlords or Management Companies in Exmouth levy fees for supplying management packs for a leasehold homes. You or your lawyers should find out the fee that they propose to charge. The management pack can be applied for on or before finding a buyer, thus accelerating the process. The average time it takes to receive management information is three weeks. It is the most common cause of delay in leasehold conveyancing in Exmouth.
Exmouth Conveyancing for Leasehold Flats - Examples of Queries Prior to Purchasing
How many years are left on the lease?
How many of the leaseholders are in arrears for their service charge payments?
The majority of Exmouth leasehold flats will incur a service bill for the upkeep of the building set by the freeholder. Should you buy the property you will have to meet this liability, usually quarterly throughout the year. This may differ from a few hundred pounds to thousands of pounds for large purpose-built blocks. In all probability there will be a ground rent for you to pay yearly, normally this is not a significant figure, say approximately £25-£75 but you should to enquire it because sometimes it can be many hundreds of pounds.