Top Five Questions relating to Forest Row leasehold conveyancing
I have just started marketing my basement flat in Forest Row.Conveyancing is yet to be initiated but I have just received a half-yearly maintenance charge invoice – what should I do?
Your conveyancing lawyer is likely to suggest that you should 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 until 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 today plan to offer on a house that seems to be perfect, at a great figure which is making it more attractive. I have subsequently been informed that it's a leasehold rather than freehold. I am assuming that there are issues purchasing a house with a leasehold title in Forest Row. Conveyancing solicitors have are soon to be instructed. Will they explain the issues?
The majority of houses in Forest Row are freehold and not leasehold. This is one of the situations where having a local conveyancer who is familiar with the area can help the conveyancing process. It is clear that you are purchasing in Forest Row so you should seriously consider looking for a Forest Row 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 to the property. The lease will likely included provisions for example obtaining the freeholder’spermission to conduct alterations. It may be necessary to pay a maintenance charge towards the maintenance of the estate where the property is located on an estate. Your lawyer should report to you on the legal implications.
I've recently bought a leasehold house in Forest Row. 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. However, your landlord may still be able to take action to forfeit the lease. A critical element of leasehold conveyancing for your conveyancer to be sure 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 work for a reputable estate agency in Forest Row where we see a number of flat sales put at risk as a result of short leases. I have been given contradictory information from local Forest Row conveyancing firms. Could you confirm whether the seller of a flat can initiate the lease extension process for the buyer?
Provided that the seller has been the owner for at least 2 years it is possible, to serve a Section 42 notice to kick-start the lease extension process and assign the benefit of the notice to the purchaser. This means that the proposed purchaser 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 prior to, or simultaneously with completion of the sale.
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 purchaser.
If all goes to plan we aim to complete the sale of our £300000 maisonette in Forest Row in just under a week. The management company has quoted £396 for Certificate of Compliance, insurance certificate and 3 years service charge statements. Is it legal for a freeholder to charge such fees for a flat conveyance in Forest Row?
Forest Row conveyancing on leasehold maisonettes more often than not requires the purchaser’s solicitor submitting questions for the landlord to answer. Although the landlord is not legally bound to answer such questions the majority will be content to do so. They are at liberty charge a reasonable administration fee for responding to questions or supplying documentation. There is no set fee. The average fee for the paperwork that you are referring to is £350, in some cases it is above £800. The administration charge demanded by the landlord must be accompanied by a synopsis of rights and obligations in relation to administration fees, otherwise the invoice is technically not due. In reality you have no choice but to pay whatever is demanded should you wish to complete the sale of your home.
I bought a 1 bedroom flat in Forest Row, conveyancing was carried out half a dozen years ago. Can you let me have an estimated range of the fair premium for a lease extension? Comparable flats in Forest Row with a long lease are worth £243,000. The ground rent is £50 yearly. The lease terminates on 21st October 2079
With only 56 years left to run the likely cost is going to be between £31,400 and £36,200 plus professional fees.
The figure that we have given is a general guide to costs for renewing a lease, but we are not able to advice on a more accurate figure without more comprehensive due diligence. Do not use the figures in a Notice of Claim or as an informal offer. There may be additional issues that need to be taken into account and clearly you should be as accurate as possible in your negotiations. Please do not move forward based on this information before getting professional advice.