Questions and Answers: Glossop leasehold conveyancing
I’m about to sell my garden flat in Glossop.Conveyancing solicitors are to be appointed soon but I have just received a quarterly service charge demand – Do I pay up?
Your conveyancing lawyer is likely to suggest that you should pay 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 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 seems to meet my requirements, at a reasonable price which is making it more attractive. I have subsequently been informed that the title is leasehold as opposed to freehold. I would have thought that there are issues buying a house with a leasehold title in Glossop. Conveyancing solicitors have are soon to be instructed. Will my lawyers set out the risks of buying a leasehold house in Glossop ?
Most houses in Glossop are freehold and not leasehold. In this scenario it’s worth having a local solicitor used to dealing with such properties who can assist with the conveyancing process. We note that you are purchasing in Glossop in which case you should be shopping around for a Glossop 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 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 landlord’spermission to carry out changes to the property. You may also be required to pay a contribution towards the maintenance of the estate where the house is located on an estate. Your conveyancer will appraise you on the various issues.
Last month I purchased a leasehold property in Glossop. 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. Strange as it may seem, your landlord may still be able to take action to forfeit the lease. A critical element 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 work for a busy estate agent office in Glossop where we have experienced a number of flat sales derailed due to leases having less than 80 years remaining. I have received inconsistent advice from local Glossop conveyancing solicitors. Can you shed some light as to whether the vendor 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 kick-start the lease extension process and assign the benefit of the notice to the purchaser. This means that the proposed purchaser can avoid having to wait 2 years for a lease extension. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment has to be done before, or at the same time as completion of the sale.
Alternatively, it may be possible to extend the lease informally by agreement with the landlord 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 are the frequently found deficiencies that you encounter in leases for Glossop properties?
Leasehold conveyancing in Glossop is not unique. All leases are individual 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 parts of the premises
- A duty to insure the building
- A provision for the recovery of money spent for the benefit of another party.
- Maintenance charge proportions which don’t add up to the correct percentage
A defective lease can cause problems when trying to sell a property primarily because it impacts on the ability to obtain a mortgage on the property. HSBC Bank, Coventry Building Society, and TSB 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 defective they may refuse to provide security, forcing the buyer to pull out.
Glossop Conveyancing for Leasehold Flats - A selection of Queries before buying
This information is helpful as a) areas can cause problems in the block as the common areas may start to deteriorate if maintenance remain unpaid b) if the leaseholders have an issue with the running of the building you will want to have full disclosure
Best to be warned whether changing the roof or some other significant cost is due shortly to be shared between the leaseholders and will dramatically impact the level of the service charges or result in a one off payment.
Does the lease have onerous restrictions?