Top Five Questions relating to Gamlingay leasehold conveyancing
I've found a house that appears to be perfect, at a reasonable figure which is making it more attractive. I have subsequently discovered that the title is leasehold rather than freehold. I would have thought that there are particular concerns purchasing a leasehold house in Gamlingay. Conveyancing advisers have are about to be instructed. Will my lawyers set out the risks of buying a leasehold house in Gamlingay ?
The majority of houses in Gamlingay are freehold rather than leasehold. This is one of the situations where having a local conveyancer who is familiar with the area can help the conveyancing process. We note that you are buying in Gamlingay in which case you should be shopping around for a Gamlingay conveyancing solicitor and be sure that they are used to transacting on leasehold houses. As a matter of priority you will need to check the number of years remaining. As a lessee you will not be entirely free to do whatever you want to the property. The lease comes with conditions such as obtaining the freeholder’spermission to carry out changes to the property. It may be necessary to pay a maintenance charge towards the maintenance of the estate where the property is part of an estate. Your solicitor will appraise you on the various issues.
I own a leasehold flat in Gamlingay. Conveyancing and Birmingham Midshires mortgage went though with no issue. I have received a letter from someone claiming to own the freehold. Attached was a ground rent demand for rent dating back to 1991. The conveyancing solicitor in Gamlingay who acted for me is not around.What should I do?
The first thing you should do is contact the Land Registry to be sure that the individual claiming to own the freehold is indeed the registered owner of the freehold reversion. It is not necessary to incur the fees of a Gamlingay conveyancing firm to do this as you can do this on the Land Registry website for £3. Rest assured that in any event, even if this is the rightful freeholder, under the Limitation Act 1980 the limitation period for recovery of ground rent is six years.
I am attracted to a couple of maisonettes in Gamlingay both have about forty five years left on the leases. Do I need to be concerned?
There are no two ways about it. A leasehold flat in Gamlingay is a wasting asset as a result of the shortening lease. The closer the lease gets to zero years unexpired, the more it reduces the salability of the premises. For most purchasers and mortgage companies, leases with less than eighty years become less and less attractive. On a more positive note, leaseholders can extend their leases by serving a Section 42 Notice. One stipulation is that they must have owned the property for two years (unlike a Section 13 notice for purchasing the freehold, when leaseholders can participate from day one of ownership). When successful, they will have the right to an extension of 90 years to the current term and ground rent is effectively reduced to zero. Before moving forward with a purchase of property with a short lease term remaining you should talk to a solicitor specialising in lease extensions and leasehold enfranchisement. We are are happy to put you in touch with Gamlingay conveyancing experts who will explain the options available to you during an initial telephone conversation free of charge. More often than not it is possible to negotiate informally with the freeholder to extend the lease They may agree to a smaller lump sum and an increase in the ground rent, but to shorter extension terms in return. You need to ensure that any new terms represent good long-term value compared with the standard benefits of the Section 42 Notice and that onerous clauses are not inserted into any redrafting of the lease.
I am a negotiator for a reputable estate agent office in Gamlingay where we see a number of flat sales jeopardised as a result of short leases. I have received conflicting advice from local Gamlingay conveyancing firms. Please can you shed some light as to whether the owner of a flat can instigate the lease extension process for the purchaser on completion of the sale?
As long as the seller has owned the lease 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. This means that the buyer 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 prior to, or at the same time as completion of the disposal of the property.
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 purchaser.
Are there common defects that you see in leases for Gamlingay properties?
Leasehold conveyancing in Gamlingay is not unique. Most leases is drafted differently and legal mistakes in the legal wording can sometimes mean that certain provisions are not included. The following missing provisions could result in a defective lease:
- Repairing obligations to or maintain elements of the property
- Insurance obligations
- 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
A defective lease can cause problems when trying to sell a property as they can affect a potential buyer’s ability to obtain a mortgage. Accord Mortgages Ltd, Norwich and Peterborough Building Society, and Britannia 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.
Leasehold Conveyancing in Gamlingay - Examples of Queries Prior to Purchasing
Are any of leasehold owners in arrears of their service charge payments?
It is important to be aware whether redecorating or some other significant cost is anticipated that will be shared between the leasehold owners and will dramatically increase the the service fees or require a one off payment.
Make sure you enquire if the the lease contains any unreasonable restrictions in the lease. For instance it is fairly common in Gamlingay leases that pets are not permitted in certain buildings in Gamlingay. If you love the apartmentin Gamlingay however your dog can’t live with you then you will be presented with a hard decision.