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Common questions relating to Langford leasehold conveyancing

Estate agents have just been given the go-ahead to market my basement apartment in Langford.Conveyancing solicitors are to be appointed soon but I have just received a quarterly service charge demand – should I leave it to the buyer to sort out?

It best that you discharge the service charge 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 management companies will not acknowledge the buyer until 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 Langford. Conveyancing and The Mortgage Works mortgage went though with no issue. I have received a letter from someone claiming to own the reversionary interest in the property. Attached was a ground rent demand for rent dating back to 1996. The conveyancing solicitor in Langford who previously acted has now retired.What should I do?

The first thing you should do is make enquiries of HMLR to be sure that the individual purporting to own the freehold is indeed the registered owner of the freehold reversion. It is not necessary to instruct a Langford conveyancing lawyer to do this as it can be done on-line for less than a fiver. Rest assured that regardless, even if this is the rightful landlord, under the Limitation Act 1980 the limitation period for recovery of ground rent is six years.

I am looking at a two flats in Langford which have in the region of 50 years remaining on the leases. Will this present a problem?

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 reduces and results in it becoming more expensive to extend the lease. For this reason it is advisable to extend the lease term. It is often difficult to sell a property with a short lease as mortgage lenders less inclined to grant a loan on such properties. Lease extension can be a difficult process. We recommend you get professional help from a solicitor and surveyor with experience in this area

Last month I purchased a leasehold property in Langford. Am I liable to pay service charges relating to a period prior to 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. 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 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).

If all goes to plan we aim to complete the sale of our £250000 apartment in Langford on Tuesday in a week. The landlords agents has quoted £348 for Certificate of Compliance, building insurance schedule and 3 years service charge statements. Is it legal for a freeholder to charge such fees for a flat conveyance in Langford?

Langford conveyancing on leasehold flats usually results in fees being invoiced by freeholders :

  • Addressing pre-contract questions
  • Where consent is required before sale in Langford
  • Copies of the building insurance and schedule
  • Deeds of covenant upon sale
  • Registering of the assignment of the change of lessee after a sale
Your conveyancer will have no control over the level of the charges for this information but the average costs for the information for Langford leasehold premises is £350. For Langford conveyancing transactions it is customary for the seller to pay for these costs. The landlord or their agents are under no legal obligation to answer such questions most will be willing to do so - albeit often at exorbitant prices where the fees bear little relation to the work involved. Unfortunately there is no law that requires fixed charges for administrative tasks. Neither is there any legal time frame by which they are required to provide the information.

Langford Conveyancing for Leasehold Flats - Examples of Queries before buying

    It would be prudent to discover as much as you can regarding the managing agents as they will affect your use and enjoyment of the property. Being a leasehold owner you will be in the clutches of the managing agents from a financial perspective and when it comes to every day matters such as the cleanliness of the common parts. You should not be afraid to ask other people what they think of their service. On a final note, investigate as to the dates that the service charges are due to the appropriate party and precisely how they are spending that money. Is anyone aware of any major works on the horizon that will likely increase the maintenance fees? How is the lease structured?

Other Topics

Lease Extensions in Langford