Frequently asked questions relating to Highnam leasehold conveyancing
I only have Fifty years unexpired on my lease in Highnam. I am keen to get lease extension but my freeholder is can not be found. What options are available to me?
On the basis that you meet the appropriate requirements, under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 you can submit an application to the County Court for an order to dispense with the service of the initial notice. This will mean that your lease can be granted an extra 90 years by the Court. However, you will be required to demonstrate that you have made all reasonable attempts to find the landlord. For most situations an enquiry agent would be helpful to conduct investigations and prepare an expert document to be used as proof that the freeholder is indeed missing. It is wise to seek advice from a conveyancer in relation to investigating the landlord’s absence and the application to the County Court overseeing Highnam.
I am hoping to sign contracts shortly on a ground floor flat in Highnam. Conveyancing solicitors inform me that they will have a report out to me next week. What should I be looking out for?
Your report on title for your leasehold conveyancing in Highnam should include some of the following:
- The total extent of the property. This will be the flat itself but could also incorporate a roof space or basement if applicable.
My wife and I purchased a leasehold house in Highnam. Conveyancing and Coventry Building Society mortgage organised. A letter has just been received from someone saying they have taken over the freehold. Attached was a demand for arrears of ground rent dating back to 1997. The conveyancing solicitor in Highnam who previously acted has now retired.What should I do?
First contact HMLR to be sure that the individual purporting to own the freehold is indeed the new freeholder. It is not necessary to instruct a Highnam conveyancing practitioner to do this as you can do this on the Land Registry website for less than a fiver. You should note that in any event, even if this is the rightful freeholder, under the Limitation Act 1980 no more than 6 years of rent can be collected.
Last month I purchased a leasehold flat in Highnam. Do I have any liability for service charges for periods before 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 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).
I work for a busy estate agency in Highnam where we have experienced a number of leasehold sales derailed due to leases having less than 80 years remaining. I have received inconsistent advice from local Highnam conveyancing solicitors. Can you clarify whether the seller of a flat can initiate the lease extension process for the buyer?
Provided that the seller has owned the lease for at least 2 years it is possible, to serve a Section 42 notice to kick-start the lease extension process and assign the benefit of the notice to the purchaser. This means that the buyer can avoid having to sit tight for 2 years to extend their lease. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment needs to be completed prior to, or simultaneously with completion of the sale.
An alternative approach is to agree the lease extension with the freeholder either before or after the sale. If you are informally negotiating there are no rules and so you cannot insist on the landlord agreeing to grant an extension or transferring the benefit of an agreement to the purchaser.
Leasehold Conveyancing in Highnam - Examples of Queries Prior to Purchasing
Is anyone aware of any major works in the near future that will likely increase the maintenance costs?
On the whole the cost for major works tend not to be included within maintenance charges, although there some managing agents in Highnam require leaseholders to pay into a sinking fund and this is used to offset against larger works.
How much is the ground rent and service charge?