Leigh leasehold conveyancing: Q and A’s
Having had my offer accepted I require leasehold conveyancing in Leigh. Before I get started I would like to find out the number of years remaining on the lease.
Assuming the lease is recorded at the land registry - and 99.9% are in Leigh - then the leasehold title will always include the basic details of the lease, namely the date; the term; and the original parties. From a conveyancing perspective such details then enable any prospective buyer and lender to confirm that any lease they are looking at is the one relevant to that title.For any other purpose, such as confirming how long the term was granted for and calculating what is left, then the register should be sufficient on it's own.
I today plan to offer on a house that seems to tick a lot of boxes, at a great price which is making it all the more appealing. I have just discovered that it's a leasehold rather than freehold. I am assuming that there are issues buying a leasehold house in Leigh. Conveyancing advisers have are soon to be appointed. Will they explain the issues?
Most houses in Leigh are freehold and not leasehold. In this scenario it’s worth having a local solicitor who is familiar with the area can help the conveyancing process. it is apparent that you are purchasing in Leigh in which case you should be looking for a Leigh conveyancing solicitor and check that they have experience in advising on leasehold houses. First you will need to check the unexpired lease term. As a lessee you will not be entirely free to do whatever you want to the property. The lease comes with conditions such as obtaining the freeholder’spermission to conduct alterations. You may also be required to pay a service charge towards the maintenance of the estate where the house is part of an estate. Your solicitor will report to you on the legal implications.
I am attracted to a two maisonettes in Leigh both have in the region of fifty years remaining on the lease term. Will this present a problem?
There are plenty of short leases in Leigh. The lease is a right to use the property for a prescribed time frame. As the lease gets shorter the value of the lease decreases and it becomes more expensive to acquire a lease extension. This is why it is often a good idea to increase the term of the lease. It is often difficulties arise selling premises with a short lease as mortgage companies may be unwilling to lend money on properties of this type. Lease enfranchisement can be a protracted process. We recommend you get professional assistance from a solicitor and surveyor with experience in this arena
Last month I purchased a leasehold flat in Leigh. Do I have any liability for 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. However, your landlord may still be able to take action to forfeit the lease. A critical element 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).
I am employed by a long established estate agency in Leigh where we have experienced a few leasehold sales jeopardised due to leases having less than 80 years remaining. I have been given conflicting advice from local Leigh conveyancing solicitors. Could you shed some light as to whether the seller of a flat can commence the lease extension process 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 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 for a lease extension. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment has to be done before, 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.
Leigh Conveyancing for Leasehold Flats - A selection of Questions you should ask before buying
Is the freehold reversion owned collectively by the leaseholders?
Are any of leasehold owners in arrears of their service charge liability?
Please note if it is no more than eighty years it will impact the marketability of the property. Check with your bank that they are willing to to proceed given the lease term. A short lease means that you will almost definitely require a lease extension sooner rather than later and you need to have some idea of what this would cost. Remember, in most cases you would need to own the property for two years in order to be entitled to extend the lease.