Recently asked questions relating to Hove leasehold conveyancing
I have just appointed agents to market my garden apartment in Hove.Conveyancing has not commenced but I have just received a quarterly service charge invoice – Do I pay up?
Your conveyancing lawyer is likely to suggest that you should pay 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 unless 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 own a leasehold house in Hove. Conveyancing and Clydesdale mortgage went though with no issue. I have received a letter from someone saying they have taken over the reversionary interest in the property. It included a ground rent demand for rent dating back to 1998. The conveyancing solicitor in Hove who previously acted has long since retired.What should I do?
First make enquiries of the Land Registry to be sure that this person is indeed the new freeholder. It is not necessary to instruct a Hove conveyancing firm to do this as it can be done on-line for £3. Rest assured that in any event, even if this is the rightful landlord, under the Limitation Act 1980 no more than 6 years of rent can be collected.
Last month I purchased a leasehold house in Hove. Do I have any liability for service charges relating to a period prior to 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. Strange as it may seem, 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).
I work for a busy estate agency in Hove where we have witnessed a few flat sales put at risk due to leases having less than 80 years remaining. I have received conflicting advice from local Hove conveyancing solicitors. Could you clarify whether the owner of a flat can commence the lease extension formalities for the purchaser on completion of the sale?
As long as 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. This means that the buyer 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 has to be done before, or at the same time as completion of the sale.
Alternatively, it may be possible 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 purchaser.
All being well we will complete our sale of a £400000 flat in Hove in 5 days. The managing agents has quoted £408 for Landlord’s certificate, insurance certificate and 3 years service charge statements. Is the landlord entitled to charge an administration fee for a flat conveyance in Hove?
Hove conveyancing on leasehold apartments normally involves the purchaser’s lawyer sending questions for the landlord to answer. Although the landlord is not legally bound to address these enquiries most will be willing to do so. They may invoice a reasonable charge for answering enquiries or supplying documentation. There is no set fee. The average costs for the information that you are referring to is £350, in some situations it is in excess of £800. The administration charge invoiced by the landlord must be accompanied by a synopsis of entitlements and obligations in respect of administration charges, otherwise the charge is not strictly payable. In reality one has little choice but to pay whatever is demanded should you wish to sell the property.
Leasehold Conveyancing in Hove - A selection of Questions you should consider before Purchasing
Best to be warned if changing the roof or some other major work is coming up that will be shared between the leaseholders and will dramatically increase the the maintenance costs or necessitate a one time payment.
This information is useful as a) areas can cause problems in the block as the communal areas may start to deteriorate if services remain unpaid b) if the leasehold owners have a dispute with the managing agents you will need to have full disclosure
It would be wise to discover if there are any onerous restrictions in the lease. For instance it is reasonably common in Hove leases that pets are not allowed in in a block in Hove. If you love the flatin Hove yet your cat can’t live with you then you will be presented with a hard compromise.