Questions and Answers: Frenchay leasehold conveyancing
Estate agents have just been given the go-ahead to market my 2 bed apartment in Frenchay.Conveyancing has not commenced but I have just received a quarterly maintenance charge invoice – what should I do?
Your conveyancing lawyer is likely to suggest that you should clear 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 managing agents 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. This will smooth the conveyancing process.
I today plan to offer on a house that appears to be perfect, at a great price which is making it all the more appealing. I have since discovered that it's a leasehold as opposed to freehold. I am assuming that there are particular concerns purchasing a leasehold house in Frenchay. Conveyancing solicitors have are about to be instructed. Will they explain the issues?
The majority of houses in Frenchay are freehold rather than leasehold. This is one of the situations where having a local conveyancer used to dealing with such properties who can help the conveyancing process. We note that you are buying in Frenchay so you should seriously consider shopping around for a Frenchay conveyancing solicitor and be sure that they are used to dealing with leasehold houses. As a matter of priority you will need to check the unexpired lease term. Being a tenant you will not be at liberty to do whatever you want to the property. The lease will likely included provisions for example obtaining the landlord’sconsent 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 conveyancer should appraise you on the various issues.
I own a leasehold flat in Frenchay. Conveyancing and Virgin Money mortgage are in place. 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 1992. The conveyancing solicitor in Frenchay who acted for me is not around.What should I do?
First make enquiries of the Land Registry to be sure that the individual purporting to own the freehold is in fact the registered owner of the freehold reversion. It is not necessary to incur the fees of a Frenchay conveyancing practitioner to do this as it can be done on-line for less than a fiver. Rest assured that regardless, even if this is the rightful landlord, under the Limitation Act 1980 no more than 6 years of rent can be collected.
Last month I purchased a leasehold flat in Frenchay. Am I liable to pay service charges for periods before completion of my purchase?
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).
Are there common defects that you see in leases for Frenchay properties?
There is nothing unique about leasehold conveyancing in Frenchay. All leases are unique and drafting errors can sometimes mean that certain sections are missing. For example, if your lease is missing any of the following, it could be defective:
- A provision to repair to or maintain parts of the premises
- A duty to insure the building
- Clauses dealing with recovering service charges for expenditure on the building or common parts.
- Maintenance charge proportions which don’t add up to the correct percentage
You may have a problem when selling your property if you have a defective lease as they can affect a potential buyer’s ability to obtain a mortgage. National Westminster Bank, Coventry Building Society, and Nottingham Building Society all have very detailed conveyancing instructions when it comes to what is expected in a lease. If a mortgage lender believes that the lease is problematic they may refuse to grant the mortgage, forcing the purchaser to withdraw.
Frenchay Conveyancing for Leasehold Flats - Examples of Queries before buying
How much is the ground rent and service charge?
It would be a good idea to enquire if there are any onerous restrictions in the lease. By way of example it is reasonably common in Frenchay leases that pets are not permitted in in a block in Frenchay. If you like the apartmentin Frenchay but your dog can’t move with you then you have a very difficult decision.
How many years remain on the lease?