Harrold leasehold conveyancing: Q and A’s
Having had my offer accepted I require leasehold conveyancing in Harrold. Before diving in I want to be sure as to the unexpired term of the lease.
If the lease is recorded at the land registry - and most are in Harrold - then the leasehold title will always include the basic details of the lease, namely the date; the term; and the original parties. From a conveyancing perspective such details then enable any prospective buyer and lender to confirm that any lease they are looking at is the one relevant to that title.For any other purpose, such as confirming how long the term was granted for and calculating what is left, then the register should be sufficient on it's own.
I today plan to offer on a house that seems to be perfect, at a reasonable price which is making it all the more appealing. I have just found out that the title is leasehold rather than freehold. I would have thought that there are issues purchasing a leasehold house in Harrold. Conveyancing solicitors have are soon to be instructed. Will they explain the issues?
The majority of houses in Harrold 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. It is clear that you are buying in Harrold so you should seriously consider looking for a Harrold conveyancing solicitor and be sure that they have experience in transacting on leasehold houses. First you will need to check the unexpired lease term. As a lessee you will not be at liberty to do whatever you want with the house. The lease comes with conditions such as requiring the freeholder’sconsent to carry out alterations. You may also be required to pay a contribution towards the upkeep of the estate where the house is located on an estate. Your solicitor will advise you fully on all the issues.
I've recently bought a leasehold flat in Harrold. Do I have any liability for 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).
I work for a busy estate agency in Harrold where we have experienced a few leasehold sales put at risk as a result of leases having less than 80 years remaining. I have been given conflicting advice from local Harrold conveyancing firms. Can you confirm whether the seller of a flat can initiate the lease extension formalities for the buyer?
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 need not have 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 disposal of the property.
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 purchaser.
What advice can you give us when it comes to finding a Harrold conveyancing practice to carry out our lease extension conveyancing?
If you are instructing a solicitor for your lease extension (regardless if they are a Harrold conveyancing practice) it is most important that he or she should be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of conveyancing. We advise that you speak with several firms including non Harrold conveyancing practices prior to instructing a firm. Where the conveyancing practice is ALEP accredited then that’s a bonus. Some following of questions could be helpful:
- How experienced is the firm with lease extension legislation?
Harrold Leasehold Conveyancing - A selection of Queries before Purchasing
The prefered form of lease arrangement is if the freehold title is in the ownership of the leaseholders. In this situation the lessees benefit from being in charge if their destiny and although a managing agent is usually retained if it is bigger than a house conversion, the managing agent is directed by the tenants.
Best to be warned whether window replacement or some other significant cost is coming up that will be shared amongst the tenants and will materially increase the the service fees or necessitate a specific invoice.
Is anyone aware of any major works in the near future that could add a premium to the maintenance fees?