Frequently asked questions relating to Holywell leasehold conveyancing
I've found a house that seems to be perfect, at a great price which is making it more attractive. I have just found out that it's a leasehold rather than freehold. I would have thought that there are particular concerns purchasing a house with a leasehold title in Holywell. Conveyancing solicitors have are soon to be appointed. Will they explain the issues?
The majority of houses in Holywell are freehold and not leasehold. In this scenario it’s worth having a local solicitor used to dealing with such properties who can assist with the conveyancing process. it is apparent that you are purchasing in Holywell in which case you should be looking for a Holywell conveyancing solicitor and be sure that they are used to advising on leasehold houses. First you will need to check the unexpired lease term. As a leaseholder you will not be at liberty to do whatever you want with the house. The lease comes with conditions for example requiring the freeholder’spermission to conduct changes to the property. You may also be required to pay a maintenance charge towards the maintenance of the communal areas where the property is part of an estate. Your solicitor should report to you on the legal implications.
I am attracted to a couple of maisonettes in Holywell which have in the region of forty five years remaining on the lease term. Will this present a problem?
There are no two ways about it. A leasehold apartment in Holywell is a wasting asset as a result of the shortening lease. The closer the lease gets to its expiry date, the more it adversely affects the marketability of the property. For most purchasers and mortgage companies, leases with less than 75 years become less and less marketable. On a more positive note, leaseholders can extend their leases by serving a Section 42 Notice. One stipulation is that they must have owned the premises for two years (unlike a Section 13 notice for purchasing the freehold, when leaseholders can participate from day one of ownership). When successful, they will have the right to an extension of 90 years to the current term and ground rent is effectively reduced to zero. Before moving forward with a purchase of a residence with a short lease term remaining you should talk to a solicitor specialising in lease extensions and leasehold enfranchisement. We are are happy to put you in touch with Holywell conveyancing experts who will explain the options available to you during an initial telephone conversation free of charge. More often than not it is possible to negotiate informally with the freeholder to extend the lease They may agree to a smaller lump sum and an increase in the ground rent, but to shorter extension terms in return. You need to ensure that any new terms represent good long-term value compared with the standard benefits of the Section 42 Notice and that onerous clauses are not inserted into any redrafting of the lease.
I've recently bought a leasehold flat in Holywell. Do I have any liability for service charges relating to a period prior to completion of my purchase?
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. Strange as it may seem, 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).
Can you offer any advice when it comes to finding a Holywell conveyancing practice to carry out our lease extension conveyancing?
If you are instructing a conveyancer for your lease extension (regardless if they are a Holywell conveyancing practice) it is essential that he or she should be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of work. We recommend that you make enquires with two or three firms including non Holywell conveyancing practices prior to instructing a firm. If the firm is ALEP accredited then so much the better. Some following of questions could be useful:
- If they are not ALEP accredited then why not?
Do you have any advice for leasehold conveyancing in Holywell with the intention of saving time on the sale process?
- A significant proportion of the frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Holywell can be reduced where you appoint lawyers the minute your agents start marketing the property and ask them to put together the leasehold documentation which will be required by the purchasers’ conveyancers.
- A minority of Holywell leases require Licence to Assign from the landlord. If this is the case, you should notify your estate agents to make sure that the purchasers put in hand bank and professional references. The bank reference will need to confirm that the buyers are financially capable of paying the yearly service charge and the actual amount of the service charge should be quoted in the bank’s letter. You will therefore need to provide your estate agents with the service charge figures so that they can pass this information on to the purchasers or their solicitors.
Leasehold Conveyancing in Holywell - Examples of Questions you should consider Prior to Purchasing
Its a good idea to find out as much as you can regarding the managing agents as they can either make life much simpler or a lot more difficult. As the owner of a leasehold property you are frequently at the mercy of the managing agents from a financial perspective and when it comes to every day matters like the tidiness of the common parts. Ask other people if they are happy with them. On a final note, investigate as to the dates that the maintenance fees are due to the managing agents and specifically what it includes.
How many years remain on the lease?
Make sure you investigate if there are any onerous prohibitions in the lease. By way of example it is fairly common in Holywell leases that pets are not permitted in certain buildings in Holywell. If you like the flatin Holywell yet your cat can’t live with you then you have a very hard compromise.