Recently asked questions relating to Handforth leasehold conveyancing
Expecting to complete next month on a studio apartment in Handforth. Conveyancing solicitors have said that they are sending me a report on Monday. Are there areas in the report that I should be focusing on?
Your report on title for your leasehold conveyancing in Handforth should include some of the following:
- Setting out your legal entitlements in relation to the communal areas in the block.For example, does the lease contain a right of way over an accessway or staircase?
Estate agents have just been given the go-ahead to market my basement flat in Handforth.Conveyancing is yet to be initiated but I have just had a quarterly maintenance charge demand – Do I pay up?
The sensible thing to do is pay 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 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. Having a clear account will assist your cause and will leave you no worse off financially.
Last month I purchased a leasehold flat in Handforth. Do I have any liability for service charges for periods before my ownership?
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. 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).
I am employed by a long established estate agency in Handforth where we see a number of leasehold sales put at risk due to leases having less than 80 years remaining. I have been given inconsistent advice from local Handforth conveyancing firms. Could you confirm whether the seller of a flat can start the lease extension formalities for the purchaser on completion of the sale?
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 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 has to be done before, or at the same time as 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 buyer.
In relation to leasehold conveyancing in Handforth what are the most common lease defects?
There is nothing unique about leasehold conveyancing in Handforth. Most leases is drafted differently and drafting errors can result in certain clauses are wrong. The following missing provisions could result in a defective lease:
- A provision to repair to or maintain elements of the property
- 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
A defective lease will likely cause issues when trying to sell a property primarily because it impacts on the ability to obtain a mortgage on the property. National Westminster Bank, Chelsea Building Society, and Nottingham Building Society all have express requirements when it comes to what is expected in a lease. Where a lender has been advised by their lawyers that the lease does not cover certain provisions they may refuse to provide security, obliging the buyer to pull out.
I acquired a 1st floor flat in Handforth, conveyancing was carried out half a dozen years ago. Can you shed any light on how much the price could be for a 90 year extension to my lease? Equivalent flats in Handforth with an extended lease are worth £217,000. The ground rent is £45 levied per year. The lease finishes on 21st October 2090
You have 70 years remaining on your lease we estimate the price of your lease extension to span between £10,500 and £12,000 as well as costs.
The suggested premium range that we have given is a general guide to costs for renewing a lease, but we cannot give you the actual costs without more detailed due diligence. You should not use the figures in tribunal or court proceedings. There may be other issues that need to be considered and you obviously should be as accurate as possible in your negotiations. You should not take any other action placing reliance on this information before seeking the advice of a professional.