Hermitage leasehold conveyancing: Q and A’s
I own a leasehold house in Hermitage. Conveyancing and Bank of Scotland mortgage went though with no issue. A letter has just been received from someone claiming to own the freehold. Attached was a demand for arrears of ground rent dating back to 1995. The conveyancing practitioner in Hermitage who previously acted has long since retired.What should I do?
The first thing you should do is make enquiries of the Land Registry to make sure that the individual claiming to own the freehold is in fact the registered owner of the freehold reversion. There is no need to instruct a Hermitage conveyancing lawyer to do this as you can do this on the Land Registry website for less than a fiver. Rest assured that in any event, even if this is the legitimate landlord, under the Limitation Act 1980 the limitation period for recovery of ground rent is six years.
I've recently bought a leasehold house in Hermitage. Am I liable to pay service charges relating to a period prior to 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. A critical element 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).
What advice can you give us when it comes to appointing a Hermitage conveyancing practice to carry out our lease extension conveyancing?
When appointing a property lawyer for your lease extension (regardless if they are a Hermitage conveyancing firm) it is imperative that they be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of work. We advise that you talk with several firms including non Hermitage conveyancing practices prior to instructing a firm. Where the conveyancing practice is ALEP accredited then so much the better. Some following of questions could be of use:
- How experienced is the practice with lease extension legislation?
Do you have any advice for leasehold conveyancing in Hermitage with the purpose of saving time on the sale process?
- A significant proportion of the frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Hermitage can be avoided if you appoint lawyers the minute your agents start advertising the property and request that they start to put together the leasehold documentation needed by the buyers solicitors.
- Many freeholders or Management Companies in Hermitage charge for providing management packs for a leasehold premises. You or your lawyers should find out the fee that they propose to charge. The management information can be applied for on or before finding a buyer, thus accelerating the process. The typical amount of time it takes to receive management information is three weeks. It is the most frequent reason for delay in leasehold conveyancing in Hermitage.
Our conveyancer has advised that he intends to complete and exchange simultaneously on the sale of our £225000 apartment in Hermitage in nine days. The managing agents has quoted £336 for Landlord’s certificate, building insurance schedule and 3 years service charge statements. Is the landlord entitled to charge such fees for a flat conveyance in Hermitage?
Hermitage conveyancing on leasehold apartments often requires the buyer’s solicitor submitting enquiries for the landlord to answer. Although the landlord is not legally bound to address such questions most will be content to do so. They are entitled invoice a reasonable administration fee for responding to enquiries or supplying documentation. There is no set fee. The average costs for the information that you are referring to is £350, in some cases it is above £800. The management information fee required by the landlord must be accompanied by a summary of entitlements and obligations in respect of administration charges, without which the invoice is not strictly payable. Reality however dictates that one has no option but to pay whatever is requested of you if you want to complete the sale of your home.
Leasehold Conveyancing in Hermitage - A selection of Questions you should consider before Purchasing
You should want to discover as much as possible regarding the company managing the block as they can either make life much easier or uncomfortable. Being a leasehold owner you are often in the clutches of the managing agents both financially and when it comes to every day matters such as the tidiness of the communal areas. Enquire of other people what they think of them. Finally, find out the dates that you are obliged pay the maintenance charge to the relevant party and specifically what it includes.
This question is useful as a) areas could cause problems for the block as the communal areas may begin to deteriorate if maintenance are not paid for b) if the leasehold owners have an issue with the managing agents you will want to have full disclosure
Best to be warned if changing the roof or some other major work is due shortly to be shared between the leasehold owners and may well materially increase the the service charges or necessitate a specific payment.