Top Five Questions relating to Histon leasehold conveyancing
Estate agents have just been given the go-ahead to market my 2 bed apartment in Histon.Conveyancing solicitors are to be appointed soon but I have just had a half-yearly maintenance charge demand – Do I pay up?
Your conveyancing lawyer is likely to suggest that you should discharge the invoice 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 managing agents 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. Having a clear account will assist your cause and will leave you no worse off financially.
I've recently bought a leasehold house in Histon. Am I liable to pay service charges for periods before my ownership?
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. A critical element 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 am employed by a long established estate agency in Histon where we see a few flat sales derailed due to short leases. I have been given contradictory information from local Histon conveyancing firms. Please can you clarify whether the vendor of a flat can instigate the lease extension formalities for the purchaser on completion of the sale?
Provided that the seller has been the owner for at least 2 years it is possible, to serve a Section 42 notice to start the lease extension process and assign the benefit of the notice to the purchaser. The benefit of this is that the proposed purchaser can avoid having to sit tight for 2 years for a lease extension. 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 extend the lease informally by agreement with the landlord 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 buyer.
If all goes to plan we aim to complete the disposal of our £300000 apartment in Histon in just under a week. The freeholder has quoted £336 for Certificate of Compliance, insurance certificate and previous years service charge statements. Is it legal for a freeholder to charge an administration fee for a leasehold conveyance in Histon?
Histon conveyancing on leasehold flats normally involves fees being raised by freeholders :
- Addressing pre-exchange enquiries
- Where consent is required before sale in Histon
- Copies of the building insurance and schedule
- Deeds of covenant upon sale
- Registering of the assignment of the change of lessee after a sale
What makes a Histon lease defective?
Leasehold conveyancing in Histon is not unique. All leases are individual and drafting errors can sometimes mean that certain provisions are not included. For example, if your lease is missing any of the following, it could be defective:
- Repairing obligations to or maintain parts of the building
- Insurance obligations
- A provision for the recovery of money spent for the benefit of another party.
- 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. Halifax, The Mortgage Works, and Bank of Ireland all have very detailed conveyancing instructions when it comes to what is expected in a lease. Where a lender has been advised by their lawyers that the lease is defective they may refuse to provide security, forcing the buyer to withdraw.
Histon Leasehold Conveyancing - Sample of Queries before buying
Many Histon leasehold properties will have a service bill for maintenance of the block levied by the freeholder. Should you buy the property you will have to pay this charge, usually quarterly during the year. This can vary from two or three hundred pounds to thousands of pounds for large purpose-built blocks. There will also be a rentcharge to be met annual, this is usually not a significant amount, say about £25-£75 but you should to enquire it because occasionally it could be surprisingly expensive.
On the whole the cost for major works tend not to be included within maintenance charges, albeit that there some managing agents in Histon obliged leaseholders to contribute towards a sinking fund created for the specific purpose of establishing a fund for major works.
How is the lease structured?