Frequently asked questions relating to Heathfield leasehold conveyancing
Planning to sign contracts shortly on a basement flat in Heathfield. Conveyancing solicitors have said that they will have a report out to me next week. Are there areas in the report that I should be focusing on?
Your report on title for your leasehold conveyancing in Heathfield should include some of the following:
- You should receive a copy of the lease
Estate agents have just been given the go-ahead to market my ground floor apartment in Heathfield.Conveyancing lawyers have not yet been instructed but I have just received a yearly service charge demand – what should I do?
It best that you 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 management companies 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 am hoping to put an offer on a small detached house that seems to meet my requirements, at a reasonable figure which is making it more attractive. I have subsequently been informed that it's a leasehold rather than freehold. I am assuming that there are particular concerns buying a house with a leasehold title in Heathfield. Conveyancing solicitors have not yet been instructed. Will my lawyers set out the risks of buying a leasehold house in Heathfield ?
The majority of houses in Heathfield are freehold and not leasehold. In this scenario it’s worth having a local solicitor who is familiar with the area can assist with the conveyancing process. it is apparent that you are purchasing in Heathfield in which case you should be looking for a Heathfield conveyancing practitioner and check that they are used to advising on leasehold houses. First you will need to check the unexpired lease term. As a leaseholder you will not be at liberty to do whatever you want with the house. The lease comes with conditions such as obtaining the landlord’spermission to conduct changes to the property. It may be necessary to pay a contribution towards the upkeep of the estate where the house is part of an estate. Your conveyancer will report to you on the legal implications.
I've recently bought a leasehold flat in Heathfield. 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. 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).
What advice can you give us when it comes to appointing a Heathfield conveyancing practice to carry out our lease extension conveyancing?
When appointing a conveyancer for lease extension works (regardless if they are a Heathfield conveyancing practice) it is most important that they be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of work. We suggested that you make enquires with several firms including non Heathfield conveyancing practices prior to instructing a firm. Where the conveyancing practice is ALEP accredited then that’s a bonus. Some following of questions might be useful:
- If the firm is not ALEP accredited then why not?
Heathfield Conveyancing for Leasehold Flats - Examples of Questions you should ask Prior to buying
How much is the ground rent and service charge?
Please note that where the lease has less than 80 years it will impact the marketability of the property. It is worth checking with your mortgage company that they are willing to lend given the lease term. A short lease means that you will most likely require a lease extension at some point and you need to have some idea of how much this will be. For most Heathfieldlease extensions you would need to own the premises for 24 months before you are eligible to extend the lease.
The best form of lease arrangement is a share of the freehold. In this scenario the leaseholders have control and notwithstanding that a managing agent is frequently employed where it is bigger than a house conversion, the managing agent acts for the leaseholders themselves.