Questions and Answers: Fenny Stratford leasehold conveyancing
I’m about to sell my ground floor flat in Fenny Stratford.Conveyancing solicitors are to be appointed soon but I have just had a yearly maintenance charge invoice – should I leave it to the buyer to sort out?
The sensible thing to do is clear 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 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've found a house that appears to tick a lot of boxes, at a great price which is making it all the more appealing. I have since found out that it's a leasehold rather than freehold. I am assuming that there are issues purchasing a house with a leasehold title in Fenny Stratford. Conveyancing advisers have not yet been appointed. Will they explain the issues?
The majority of houses in Fenny Stratford are freehold rather than leasehold. In this scenario it’s worth having a local solicitor used to dealing with such properties who can assist with the conveyancing process. It is clear that you are buying in Fenny Stratford so you should seriously consider looking for a Fenny Stratford conveyancing practitioner and check that they have experience in dealing with leasehold houses. First you will need to check the number of years remaining. Being a leaseholder you will not be entirely free to do whatever you want with the house. The lease will likely included provisions for example requiring the landlord’spermission to carry out alterations. You may also be required to pay a service charge towards the maintenance of the estate where the house is part of an estate. Your solicitor should appraise you on the various issues.
I've recently bought a leasehold property in Fenny Stratford. 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. 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).
Can you provide any top tips for leasehold conveyancing in Fenny Stratford from the perspective of expediting the sale process?
- A significant proportion of the frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Fenny Stratford can be avoided if you appoint lawyers the minute your agents start marketing the property and request that they start to collate the leasehold information needed by the purchasers’ representatives.
- In the event that you altered the property did you need the Landlord’s consent? In particular have you laid down wooden flooring? Fenny Stratford leases often stipulate that internal structural alterations or addition of wooden flooring require a licence from the Landlord consenting to such works. Should you fail to have the consents in place you should not contact the landlord without checking with your conveyancer in the first instance.
Our conveyancer has advised that he intends to complete and exchange simultaneously on the disposal of our £400000 garden flat in Fenny Stratford next week. The management company has quoted £360 for Landlord’s certificate, building insurance schedule and 3 years service charge statements. Is the landlord entitled to charge exorbitant fees for a flat conveyance in Fenny Stratford?
Fenny Stratford conveyancing on leasehold apartments usually necessitates the buyer’s conveyancer submitting questions for the landlord to address. Although the landlord is not legally bound to answer these enquiries the majority will be content to do so. They are entitled invoice a reasonable administration fee for answering enquiries or supplying documentation. There is no set fee. The average fee for the paperwork that you are referring to is over three hundred pounds, in some cases it exceeds £800. The administration charge levied by the landlord must be sent together with a synopsis of entitlements and obligations in relation to administration fees, otherwise the invoice is technically not due. Reality however dictates that you have no choice but to pay whatever is requested of you if you want to complete the sale of your home.
Fenny Stratford Conveyancing for Leasehold Flats - Sample of Queries before buying
If a Fenny Stratford lease has fewer than eighty years it will impact the salability of the flat. It is worth checking with your bank that they are willing to to proceed given the lease term. Leases with fewer than 80 years remaining means that you will most likely have to extend the lease at some point and you need to have some idea of how much this would cost. For most Fenny Stratfordlease extensions you would be required to have been the owner of the premises for a couple of years in order to be entitled to extend the lease.
Plenty Fenny Stratford leasehold properties will be liable to pay a service charge for maintenance of the block levied on behalf of the management company. Where you purchase the flat you will have to meet this charge, usually quarterly during the year. This could be anything from a few hundred pounds to thousands of pounds for large purpose-built blocks. There will also be a rentcharge to be met annual, this is usually not a large sum, say around £25-£75 but you should to check as on occasion it could be many hundreds of pounds.
Are any of leasehold owners in dispute over their service charge payments?