Hastings leasehold conveyancing: Q and A’s
I am hoping to put an offer on a small detached house that appears to meet my requirements, at a great price which is making it all the more appealing. I have just found out that it's a leasehold rather than freehold. I am assuming that there are particular concerns purchasing a house with a leasehold title in Hastings. Conveyancing advisers have not yet been instructed. Will my lawyers set out the risks of buying a leasehold house in Hastings ?
Most houses in Hastings are freehold and not leasehold. This is one of the situations where having a local solicitor who is familiar with the area can help the conveyancing process. it is apparent that you are buying in Hastings in which case you should be shopping around for a Hastings conveyancing solicitor and check that they are used to dealing with leasehold houses. First you will need to check the number of years remaining. Being a tenant you will not be entirely free to do whatever you want with the house. The lease comes with conditions such as obtaining the landlord’sconsent to conduct alterations. It may be necessary to pay a service charge towards the maintenance of the estate where the property is part of an estate. Your lawyer should appraise you on the various issues.
My wife and I purchased a leasehold house in Hastings. Conveyancing and Birmingham Midshires mortgage went though with no issue. A letter has just been received from someone claiming to own the reversionary interest in the property. Attached was a demand for arrears of ground rent dating back to 1998. The conveyancing practitioner in Hastings who acted for me is not around.What should I do?
The first thing you should do is make enquiries of HMLR to make sure that this person is in fact the registered owner of the freehold reversion. It is not necessary to incur the fees of a Hastings conveyancing practitioner to do this as it can be done on-line for less than a fiver. Rest assured that in any event, even if this is the legitimate landlord, under the Limitation Act 1980 no more than 6 years of rent can be collected.
I've recently bought a leasehold property in Hastings. Do I have any liability for service charges for periods before completion of my purchase?
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).
Our conveyancer has advised that he intends to complete and exchange simultaneously on the sale of our £300000 maisonette in Hastings on Monday in a week. The landlords agents has quoted £408 for Certificate of Compliance, building insurance schedule and previous years statements of service charge. Is the landlord entitled to charge an administration fee for a flat conveyance in Hastings?
Hastings conveyancing on leasehold apartments often necessitates the purchaser’s solicitor submitting enquiries for the landlord to address. Although the landlord is under no legal obligation to answer such questions most will be willing to do so. They are at liberty levy a reasonable charge for answering enquiries or supplying documentation. There is no upper cap for such fees. The average fee for the information that you are referring to is £350, in some situations it exceeds £800. The administration charge required by the landlord must be accompanied by a summary of entitlements and obligations in respect of administration fees, otherwise the charge is not strictly payable. In reality you have no option but to pay whatever is demanded should you wish to complete the sale of your home.
Are there frequently found problems that you witness in leases for Hastings properties?
Leasehold conveyancing in Hastings is not unique. Most leases are individual and legal mistakes in the legal wording can sometimes mean that certain provisions are wrong. For example, if your lease is missing any of the following, it could be defective:
- Repairing obligations to or maintain elements of the premises
- Insurance obligations
- Clauses dealing with recovering service charges for expenditure on the building or common parts.
- Service charge per centages that don't add up correctly leaving a shortfall
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, Chelsea Building Society, and Bank of Ireland all have express conveyancing instructions when it comes to what is expected in a lease. Where a lender has been advised by their lawyers that the lease is defective they may refuse to grant the mortgage, forcing the buyer to pull out.
Hastings Leasehold Conveyancing - Sample of Queries Prior to Purchasing
This information is useful as a) areas can cause problems in the block as the common areas may begin to deteriorate where maintenance are not paid for b) if the leaseholders have an issue with the managing agents you will wish to know about it
Who takes responsibility for maintaining and repairing the building?
Can you inform me if there are any major works in the planning that could increase the service fees?