Examples of recent questions relating to leasehold conveyancing in Launceston
I've found a house that appears to meet my requirements, at a reasonable price which is making it all the more appealing. I have since been informed that the title is leasehold rather than freehold. I would have thought that there are issues buying a house with a leasehold title in Launceston. Conveyancing lawyers have are about to be appointed. Will they explain the issues?
The majority of houses in Launceston are freehold and not leasehold. This is one of the situations where having a local solicitor used to dealing with such properties who can assist with the conveyancing process. It is clear that you are buying in Launceston so you should seriously consider shopping around for a Launceston conveyancing solicitor and check that they have experience in transacting on leasehold houses. As a matter of priority you will need to check the number of years remaining. Being a lessee you will not be entirely free to do whatever you want with the house. The lease will likely included provisions such as requiring the freeholder’sconsent to conduct changes to the property. It may be necessary to pay a contribution towards the maintenance of the estate where the property is part of an estate. Your lawyer should report to you on the legal implications.
Last month I purchased a leasehold house in Launceston. Do I have any liability for service charges relating to a period prior to completion of my purchase?
In a situation 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 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 agent office in Launceston where we have experienced a number of flat sales derailed as a result of short leases. I have received contradictory information from local Launceston conveyancing solicitors. Can you shed some light as to whether the seller of a flat can initiate the lease extension formalities for the buyer?
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. The benefit of this is that the buyer need not have to sit tight for 2 years for a lease extension. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment needs to be completed prior to, or simultaneously with 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 buyer.
What advice can you give us when it comes to choosing a Launceston conveyancing firm to deal with our lease extension?
If you are instructing a solicitor for lease extension works (regardless if they are a Launceston conveyancing firm) it is most important that they be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of conveyancing. We recommend that you speak with several firms including non Launceston conveyancing practices prior to instructing a firm. Where the conveyancing practice is ALEP accredited then so much the better. Some following of questions might be useful:
- How experienced is the firm with lease extension legislation?
What makes a Launceston lease unmortgageable?
There is nothing unique about leasehold conveyancing in Launceston. Most leases are individual and drafting errors can sometimes mean that certain sections are wrong. For example, if your lease is missing any of the following, it could be defective:
- A provision to repair to or maintain parts of the property
- A duty to insure the building
- 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
A defective lease can cause issues when trying to sell a property as they can affect a potential buyer’s ability to obtain a mortgage. Nationwide Building Society, The Mortgage Works, and Alliance & Leicester all have express requirements when it comes to what is expected in a lease. If a mortgage lender believes that the lease is problematic they may refuse to grant the mortgage, forcing the purchaser to withdraw.
Launceston Conveyancing for Leasehold Flats - Examples of Queries before buying
How much is the maintenance charge and ground rent on the apartment?
If a Launceston lease has no more than eighty years it will have adverse implications on the marketability of the apartment. Check with your lender that they are happy with remaining years on the lease. A short lease means that you will most likely have to extend the lease at some point and you need to have some idea of how much this would cost. For most Launcestonlease extensions you would need to own the residence for 24 months in order to be eligible to extend the lease.
How many years are left on the lease?