Questions and Answers: Hermitage leasehold conveyancing
There are only 62 years unexpired on my lease in Hermitage. I need to extend my lease but my freeholder is absent. What are my options?
On the basis that you meet the appropriate requirements, under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 you can apply to the County Court for an order to dispense with the service of the initial notice. This will enable the lease to be granted an extra 90 years by the Court. However, you will be required to demonstrate that you or your lawyers have made all reasonable attempts to locate the freeholder. On the whole a specialist would be useful to try and locate and to produce a report to be accepted by the court as proof that the landlord can not be located. It is advisable to get professional help from a solicitor in relation to proving the landlord’s disappearance and the application to the County Court overseeing Hermitage.
I am hoping to put an offer on a small detached house that appears to be perfect, at a great price which is making it more attractive. I have subsequently been informed that it's a leasehold rather than freehold. I would have thought that there are particular concerns buying a leasehold house in Hermitage. Conveyancing lawyers have not yet been appointed. Will they explain the issues?
Most houses in Hermitage 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 Hermitage in which case you should be shopping around for a Hermitage conveyancing solicitor and be sure that they have experience in transacting on leasehold houses. As a matter of priority you will need to check the unexpired lease term. Being a lessee you will not be at liberty to do whatever you want to the property. The lease will likely included provisions for example requiring the landlord’sconsent to conduct changes to the property. It may be necessary to pay a contribution towards the maintenance of the estate where the house is located on an estate. Your solicitor should advise you fully on all the issues.
I've recently bought a leasehold house in Hermitage. Am I liable to pay service charges relating to a period prior to my ownership?
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 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).
If all goes to plan we aim to complete the disposal of our £275000 garden flat in Hermitage next week. The freeholder has quoted £384 for Certificate of Compliance, building insurance schedule and previous years service charge statements. Is the landlord entitled to charge exorbitant fees for a flat conveyance in Hermitage?
For most leasehold sales in Hermitage conveyancing will involve, queries regarding the management of a building inevitably needing to be answered directly by the freeholder or its agent, this includes :
- Answering pre-contract enquiries
- Where consent is required before sale in Hermitage
- Supplying insurance information
- Deeds of covenant upon sale
- Registering of the assignment of the change of lessee after a sale
When it comes to leasehold conveyancing in Hermitage what are the most common lease defects?
Leasehold conveyancing in Hermitage is not unique. Most leases is drafted differently 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:
- Repairing obligations 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 will likely cause problems when trying to sell a property as they can affect a potential buyer’s ability to obtain a mortgage. Santander, Coventry Building Society, and Barclays Direct 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 does not cover certain provisions they may refuse to provide security, forcing the buyer to withdraw.
Leasehold Conveyancing in Hermitage - Sample of Questions you should ask before buying
How much is the maintenance charge and ground rent on the property?
What restrictions are there in the Hermitage Lease?
Plenty Hermitage leasehold flats will be liable to pay a service charge for maintenance of the block invoiced on behalf of the freeholder. If you buy the flat you will have to meet this amount, normally quarterly accross the year. This could be anything from a couple of hundred pounds to thousands of pounds for buildings with lifts and large common areas. There will also be a ground rent for you to pay yearly, this is usually not a significant amount, say about £25-£75 but you should to enquire as occasionally it could be prohibitively expensive.