Questions and Answers: Fairford leasehold conveyancing
I am in need of some leasehold conveyancing in Fairford. Before I get started I want to be sure as to the number of years remaining on the lease.
Assuming the lease is recorded at the land registry - and most are in Fairford - then the leasehold title will always include the short particulars 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 am attracted to a two apartments in Fairford which have in the region of fifty years remaining on the leases. Should I regard a short lease as a deal breaker?
A lease is a legal document that entitles you to use the property for a prescribed time frame. As a lease shortens the marketability 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. Sometimes it is difficult to sell a property with a short lease because mortgage lenders may be unwilling to lend money on such properties. Lease enfranchisement can be a protracted process. We recommend you get professional help from a solicitor and surveyor with experience in this area
I've recently bought a leasehold house in Fairford. Am I liable to pay service charges for periods before 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. However, 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 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 long established estate agency in Fairford where we have experienced a few leasehold sales derailed due to short leases. I have received contradictory information from local Fairford conveyancing firms. Can you shed some light as to whether the vendor of a flat can instigate the lease extension formalities 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 commence 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 disposal of the property.
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 buyer.
What advice can you give us when it comes to choosing a Fairford conveyancing firm to deal with our lease extension?
If you are instructing a solicitor for lease extension works (regardless if they are a Fairford conveyancing practice) it is essential that they be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of work. We recommend that you make enquires with two or three firms including non Fairford conveyancing practices prior to instructing a firm. If the firm is ALEP accredited then so much the better. Some following of questions might be useful:
- Can they put you in touch with client in Fairford who can give a testimonial?
I am the registered owner of a leasehold flat in Fairford, conveyancing having been completed half a dozen years ago. Can you please calculate a probable premium for a statutory lease extension? Comparable flats in Fairford with an extended lease are worth £231,000. The average or mid-range amount of ground rent is £55 yearly. The lease runs out on 21st October 2102
With just 78 years remaining on your lease the likely cost is going to span between £11,400 and £13,200 plus costs.
The figure that we have given is a general guide to costs for extending a lease, but we cannot give you a more accurate figure without more comprehensive investigations. You should not use this information in tribunal or court proceedings. There may be additional concerns that need to be considered and you obviously want to be as accurate as possible in your negotiations. Neither should you move forward based on this information before getting professional advice.