Frequently asked questions relating to Knutsford leasehold conveyancing
I've found a house that appears to be perfect, at a great figure which is making it more attractive. I have subsequently discovered that it's a leasehold as opposed to freehold. I am assuming that there are issues buying a house with a leasehold title in Knutsford. Conveyancing solicitors have not yet been instructed. Will they explain the issues?
The majority of houses in Knutsford are freehold and not leasehold. This is one of the situations where having a local conveyancer who is familiar with the area can assist with the conveyancing process. It is clear that you are purchasing in Knutsford so you should seriously consider shopping around for a Knutsford conveyancing practitioner and check that they are used to transacting on leasehold houses. As a matter of priority you will need to check the unexpired lease term. Being a tenant you will not be entirely free to do whatever you want to the property. The lease comes with conditions such as obtaining the landlord’sconsent to conduct alterations. You may also be required to pay a maintenance charge towards the maintenance of the communal areas where the property is located on an estate. Your conveyancer will report to you on the legal implications.
I am tempted by the attractive purchase price for a two apartments in Knutsford which have approximately 50 years unexpired on the lease term. Will this present a problem?
A lease is a right to use the property for a period of time. As the lease shortens the marketability of the lease decreases and it becomes more expensive to extend the lease. This is why it is advisable to increase the term of the lease. More often than not it is difficult to sell a property with a short lease because mortgage lenders may be unwilling to lend money on properties of this type. Lease extension can be a difficult process. We advise that you get professional help from a solicitor and surveyor with experience in this area
Last month I purchased a leasehold flat in Knutsford. Am I liable to pay service charges relating to a period prior to 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 am a negotiator for a reputable estate agency in Knutsford where we have witnessed a few flat sales jeopardised due to leases having less than 80 years remaining. I have been given inconsistent advice from local Knutsford conveyancing firms. Please can you shed some light as to whether the owner of a flat can initiate the lease extension formalities for the purchaser on completion of the sale?
As long as 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. The benefit of this is that the buyer need not have to wait 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 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 buyer.
Do you have any top tips for leasehold conveyancing in Knutsford with the intention of saving time on the sale process?
- Much of the frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Knutsford can be avoided if you instruct lawyers the minute you market your property and ask them to put together the leasehold information which will be required by the buyers conveyancers.
- The majority landlords or Management Companies in Knutsford charge for supplying management packs for a leasehold property. You or your lawyers should find out the fee that they propose to charge. The management pack sought as soon as you have a buyer, thus accelerating the process. The typical amount of time it takes to receive management information is three weeks. It is the most frequent cause of frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Knutsford.
Leasehold Conveyancing in Knutsford - Examples of Queries before Purchasing
Be sure to find out if there is anything that is prohibited in the lease. By way of example it is reasonably common in Knutsford leases that pets are not permitted in certain buildings in Knutsford. If you like the apartmentin Knutsford yet your dog can’t live with you then you will be faced difficult compromise.
Is there a share of the freehold?
Where a Knutsford lease has less than 80 years it will have adverse implications on the marketability of the apartment. Check with your mortgage company that they are willing to go ahead with the loan given the lease term. Leases with less than 80 years remaining means that you will probably require a lease extension at some point and it is worth discovering what this will be. Remember, in most cases you would need to own the premises for a couple of years before you are eligible to carry out a lease extension.