Recently asked questions relating to Lanchester leasehold conveyancing
I today plan to offer on a house that appears to be perfect, at a reasonable figure which is making it all the more appealing. I have just discovered that the title is leasehold rather than freehold. I am assuming that there are particular concerns purchasing a leasehold house in Lanchester. Conveyancing lawyers have are about to be appointed. Will my lawyers set out the implications of buying a leasehold house in Lanchester ?
The majority of houses in Lanchester are freehold and not leasehold. This is one of the situations where having a local conveyancer used to dealing with such properties who can help the conveyancing process. We note that you are purchasing in Lanchester in which case you should be shopping around for a Lanchester conveyancing solicitor and be sure that they are used to dealing with leasehold houses. As a matter of priority you will need to check the number of years remaining. As a leaseholder you will not be at liberty to do whatever you want to the property. The lease will likely included provisions for example obtaining the landlord’sconsent to conduct alterations. It may be necessary to pay a service charge towards the upkeep of the communal areas where the property is part of an estate. Your conveyancer will appraise you on the various issues.
I am tempted by the attractive purchase price for a couple of flats in Lanchester both have about 50 years remaining on the lease term. Do I need to be concerned?
A lease is a legal document that entitles you to use the property for a prescribed time frame. As a lease gets shorter the marketability of the lease deteriorate and results in it becoming more expensive to acquire a lease extension. For this reason it is generally wise to extend the lease term. Sometimes it is difficult to sell a property with a short lease because mortgage lenders may be reluctant to lend money on such properties. Lease extension can be a protracted process. We advise that you seek professional assistance from a conveyancer and surveyor with experience in this arena
Last month I purchased a leasehold flat in Lanchester. Do I have any liability for service charges for periods before completion of my purchase?
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 employed by a busy estate agency in Lanchester where we see a few leasehold sales derailed as a result of short leases. I have been given contradictory information from local Lanchester conveyancing solicitors. Could you shed some light as to whether the seller of a flat can initiate the lease extension formalities for the buyer?
As long as the seller has been the owner for at least 2 years it is possible, to serve a Section 42 notice to kick-start the lease extension process and assign the benefit of the notice to the purchaser. The benefit of this is that the buyer can avoid having to wait 2 years to extend their lease. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment needs to be completed before, or at the same time as completion of the disposal of the property.
Alternatively, it may be possible 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 are the frequently found deficiencies that you encounter in leases for Lanchester properties?
There is nothing unique about leasehold conveyancing in Lanchester. All leases are individual and legal mistakes in the legal wording can sometimes mean that certain provisions are missing. The following missing provisions could result in a defective lease:
- A provision to repair 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
You may have a problem when selling your property if you have a defective lease as they can affect a potential buyer’s ability to obtain a mortgage. National Westminster Bank, Norwich and Peterborough Building Society, and Nottingham Building Society all have express requirements when it comes to what is expected in a lease. If a mortgage lender believes that the lease is defective they may refuse to provide security, obliging the buyer to withdraw.
I own a studio flat in Lanchester, conveyancing having been completed half a dozen years ago. Can you let me have an estimated range of the fair premium for a lease extension? Similar flats in Lanchester with a long lease are worth £236,000. The average or mid-range amount of ground rent is £45 charged once a year. The lease expires on 21st October 2095
With just 73 years unexpired we estimate the price of your lease extension to span between £8,600 and £9,800 as well as legals.
The suggested premium range that we have given is a general guide to costs for extending a lease, but we cannot give you a more accurate figure in the absence of comprehensive investigations. Do not use the figures in a Notice of Claim or as an informal offer. There may be other concerns that need to be taken into account and you obviously want to be as accurate as possible in your negotiations. Neither should you take any other action placing reliance on this information without first getting professional advice.