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Questions and Answers: Helston leasehold conveyancing

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 more attractive. I have subsequently discovered that the title is leasehold as opposed to freehold. I am assuming that there are issues buying a leasehold house in Helston. Conveyancing solicitors have are soon to be instructed. Will my lawyers set out the implications of buying a leasehold house in Helston ?

Most houses in Helston are freehold rather than leasehold. In this scenario it’s worth having a local conveyancer used to dealing with such properties who can help the conveyancing process. it is apparent that you are purchasing in Helston in which case you should be shopping around for a Helston conveyancing solicitor and check that they are used to advising on leasehold houses. As a matter of priority you will need to check the unexpired lease term. As a lessee you will not be at liberty to do whatever you want to the property. The lease comes with conditions for example obtaining the freeholder’spermission to carry out changes to the property. You may also be required to pay a contribution towards the maintenance of the estate where the house is located on an estate. Your conveyancer will advise you fully on all the issues.

My wife and I purchased a leasehold flat in Helston. Conveyancing and Lloyds TSB Bank mortgage are in place. A letter has just been received from someone claiming to own the reversionary interest in the property. It included a demand for arrears of ground rent dating back to 1992. The conveyancing practitioner in Helston who previously acted has now retired.Do I pay?

First make enquiries of HMLR to make sure that the individual purporting to own the freehold is indeed the registered owner of the freehold reversion. There is no need to incur the fees of a Helston conveyancing practitioner to do this as it can be done on-line for a few pound. Rest assured that in any event, even if this is the rightful freeholder, under the Limitation Act 1980 the limitation period for recovery of ground rent is six years.

Last month I purchased a leasehold property in Helston. 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 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 be sure 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).

Can you offer any advice when it comes to choosing a Helston conveyancing practice to deal with our lease extension?

If you are instructing a property lawyer for lease extension works (regardless if they are a Helston conveyancing practice) it is essential that they be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of conveyancing. We recommend that you speak with two or three firms including non Helston conveyancing practices prior to instructing a firm. Where the conveyancing practice is ALEP accredited then so much the better. Some following of questions might be of use:

  • What volume of lease extensions has the firm carried out in Helston in the last year?
  • Can they put you in touch with client in Helston who can give a testimonial?

  • Are there frequently found defects that you witness in leases for Helston properties?

    There is nothing unique about leasehold conveyancing in Helston. Most leases are unique and legal mistakes in the legal wording can sometimes mean that certain sections are missing. The following missing provisions could result in a defective lease:

    • A provision to repair to or maintain parts of the property
    • A duty to insure the building
    • 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 issues when trying to sell a property primarily because it impacts on the ability to obtain a mortgage on the property. Barclays , Skipton Building Society, and Nottingham Building Society all have express requirements when it comes to what is expected in a lease. If a mortgage lender believes that the lease does not cover certain provisions they may refuse to grant the mortgage, obliging the purchaser to withdraw.

    Helston Conveyancing for Leasehold Flats - A selection of Queries before Purchasing

      You should want to discover as much as you can regarding the managing agents as they will impact your use and enjoyment of the property. Being a leasehold owner you are often in the clutches of the managing agents from a financial perspective and when it comes to every day issues such as the upkeep of the communal areas. Ask other tenants what they think of their management. On a final note, investigate as to the dates that you are obliged pay the service charge to the managing agents and precisely how they are spending that money. Does the lease contain onerous restrictions? Is anyone aware of any major works in the near future that will likely add a premium to the service costs?

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Helston