Top Five Questions relating to Handsworth leasehold conveyancing
I am hoping to complete next month on a studio apartment in Handsworth. Conveyancing solicitors inform me that they will have a report out to me tomorrow. What should I be looking out for?
Your report on title for your leasehold conveyancing in Handsworth should include some of the following:
- The total extent of the property. This will be the flat itself but might include a loft or cellar if applicable.
Estate agents have just been given the go-ahead to market my ground floor flat in Handsworth.Conveyancing has not commenced but I have just had a quarterly maintenance charge demand – what should I do?
It best that you 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.
I am hoping to put an offer on a small detached house that appears to be perfect, at a reasonable figure which is making it all the more appealing. I have subsequently found out that it's a leasehold as opposed to freehold. I am assuming that there are issues purchasing a house with a leasehold title in Handsworth. Conveyancing solicitors have not yet been appointed. Will my lawyers set out the implications of buying a leasehold house in Handsworth ?
The majority of houses in Handsworth are freehold rather than leasehold. This is one of the situations where having a local solicitor who is familiar with the area can assist with the conveyancing process. We note that you are purchasing in Handsworth in which case you should be shopping around for a Handsworth conveyancing practitioner and check 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 tenant you will not be entirely free to do whatever you want to the property. The lease will likely included provisions such as obtaining the landlord’spermission to conduct changes to the property. You may also be required to pay a contribution towards the maintenance of the communal areas where the house is located on an estate. Your lawyer will appraise you on the various issues.
I am attracted to a couple of apartments in Handsworth which have approximately forty five years left on the leases. Do I need to be concerned?
There is no doubt about it. A leasehold flat in Handsworth is a deteriorating asset as a result of the reducing lease term. The nearer the lease gets to its expiry date, the more it adversely affects the value of the property. For most purchasers and mortgage companies, leases with less than eighty years become less and less marketable. 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 premises 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 a residence 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 Handsworth conveyancing experts who will explain the options available to you during an initial telephone conversation free of charge. A more straightforward and quicker method of extending would be to contact your landlord directly and sound him out on the prospect of extending the lease You may find he or she is happy to negotiate informally and willing to consider your offer straight off, without having to involve anyone else. This will save you time and money and it could help you reach a lower price on the lease. 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've recently bought a leasehold flat in Handsworth. Am I liable to pay service charges for periods before my ownership?
In a situation where the service charge has already been demanded from the previous owner 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).
Leasehold Conveyancing in Handsworth - Sample of Questions you should ask Prior to buying
The answer will be important as a) areas can result in problems in the building as the communal areas may begin to deteriorate where repairs are not paid for b) if the leasehold owners have a dispute with the running of the building you will need to have all the details
Plenty Handsworth leasehold flats will be liable to pay a service bill for the upkeep of the building set on behalf of the landlord. Should you acquire the flat you will have to pay this liability, usually in instalments throughout the year. This can vary from a few hundred pounds to thousands of pounds for buildings with lifts and large common grounds. There will also be a rentcharge for you to pay yearly, ordinarily this is not a exorbitant sum, say about £25-£75 but you should to enquire as on occasion it can be prohibitively expensive.
The prefered form of lease arrangement is where the freehold reversion is in the ownership of the leaseholders. In this scenario the lessees have control and notwithstanding that a managing agent is usually retained where the building is bigger than a house conversion, the managing agent acts for the leaseholders themselves.