Kimbolton leasehold conveyancing: Q and A’s
I’m about to sell my basement apartment in Kimbolton.Conveyancing is yet to be initiated but I have just had a half-yearly maintenance charge invoice – what should I do?
The sensible thing to do is 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. This will smooth the conveyancing process.
Back In 2004, I bought a leasehold house in Kimbolton. Conveyancing and Norwich and Peterborough Building Society mortgage went though with no issue. A letter has just been received from someone claiming to own the reversionary interest in the property. It included a demand for arrears of ground rent dating back to 1994. The conveyancing practitioner in Kimbolton who acted for me is not around.Do I pay?
The first thing you should do is make enquiries of HMLR to make sure that the individual claiming to own the freehold is indeed the registered owner of the freehold reversion. You do not need to incur the fees of a Kimbolton conveyancing firm to do this as you can do this on the Land Registry website for less than a fiver. You should note that regardless, even if this is the legitimate freeholder, under the Limitation Act 1980 the limitation period for recovery of ground rent is six years.
I am employed by a long established estate agency in Kimbolton where we see a number of flat sales derailed due to short leases. I have received conflicting advice from local Kimbolton conveyancing firms. Could you shed some light as to whether the seller of a flat can instigate the lease extension formalities for the purchaser on completion of the sale?
Provided that the seller has owned the lease 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 to extend their lease. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment has to be done prior to, or at the same time as completion of the disposal of the property.
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 buyer.
What advice can you give us when it comes to choosing a Kimbolton conveyancing firm to deal with our lease extension?
If you are instructing a solicitor for your lease extension (regardless if they are a Kimbolton conveyancing practice) it is essential that they be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of work. We advise that you talk with two or three firms including non Kimbolton conveyancing practices before you instructing a firm. Where the conveyancing practice is ALEP accredited then so much the better. Some following of questions could be useful:
- If they are not ALEP accredited then what is the reason?
Can you provide any top tips for leasehold conveyancing in Kimbolton from the point of view of speeding up the sale process?
- A significant proportion of the frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Kimbolton can be reduced where you get in touch lawyers as soon as you market your property and request that they start to put together the leasehold information needed by the buyers representatives.
- Many landlords or managing agents in Kimbolton charge for supplying management packs for a leasehold property. You or your lawyers should discover the fee that they propose to charge. The management pack can be applied for on or before finding a buyer, thus reducing delays. The average time it takes to obtain the necessary information is three weeks. It is the most frequent reason for delay in leasehold conveyancing in Kimbolton.
I purchased a studio flat in Kimbolton, conveyancing having been completed 9 years ago. Can you give me give me an indication of the likely cost of a lease extension? Corresponding flats in Kimbolton with a long lease are worth £176,000. The average or mid-range amount of ground rent is £50 invoiced annually. The lease ceases on 21st October 2085
With only 65 years unexpired we estimate the price of your lease extension to be between £12,400 and £14,200 plus plus your own and the landlord's "reasonable" professional fees.
The suggested premium range above a general guide to costs for renewing a lease, but we are not able to advice on a more accurate figure in the absence of detailed investigations. You should not use this information in a Notice of Claim or as an informal offer. There are no doubt additional issues that need to be considered and you obviously want to be as accurate as possible in your negotiations. Neither should you take any other action based on this information without first getting professional advice.