Fixed-fee leasehold conveyancing in Crews Hill:

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Questions and Answers: Crews Hill leasehold conveyancing

I have just appointed agents to market my 2 bed flat in Crews Hill.Conveyancing lawyers have not yet been instructed but I have just had a quarterly service charge invoice – Do I pay up?

The sensible thing to do is clear 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 managing agents will not acknowledge the buyer unless 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. This will smooth the conveyancing process.

I am hoping to put an offer on a small detached house that appears to meet my requirements, at a reasonable price which is making it all the more appealing. I have since discovered that it's a leasehold rather than freehold. I am assuming that there are issues purchasing a house with a leasehold title in Crews Hill. Conveyancing advisers have are about to be instructed. Will they explain the issues?

The majority of houses in Crews Hill are freehold rather than leasehold. In this scenario it’s worth having a local solicitor who is familiar with the area can assist with the conveyancing process. It is clear that you are buying in Crews Hill so you should seriously consider looking for a Crews Hill 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. As a lessee you will not be at liberty to do whatever you want to the property. The lease will likely included provisions for example requiring the freeholder’sconsent to carry out alterations. You may also be required to pay a service charge towards the maintenance of the communal areas where the house is located on an estate. Your lawyer will advise you fully on all the issues.

Last month I purchased a leasehold flat in Crews Hill. Am I liable to pay service charges for periods before 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. 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 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).

All being well we will complete the sale of our £200000 flat in Crews Hill in nine days. The landlords agents has quoted £408 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 leasehold conveyance in Crews Hill?

Crews Hill conveyancing on leasehold flats more often than not involves the purchaser’s lawyer submitting questions for the landlord to answer. Although the landlord is not legally bound to answer these enquiries the majority will be willing to do so. They are entitled invoice a reasonable charge for answering enquiries or supplying documentation. There is no set fee. The average fee for the information that you are referring to is £350, in some cases it is in excess of £800. The management information fee invoiced by the landlord must be sent together with a summary of entitlements and obligations in respect of administration fees, otherwise the invoice is not strictly payable. Reality however dictates that one has little choice but to pay whatever is requested of you if you want to sell the property.

I have tried to negotiate informally with with my landlord to extend my lease without any joy. Can the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal adjudicate on such matters? Can you recommend a Crews Hill conveyancing firm to help?

in cases where there is a missing landlord or where there is disagreement about what the lease extension should cost, under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 you can apply to the LVT to judgment on the price.

An example of a Freehold Enfranchisement decision for a Crews Hill flat is 23 Beaconsfield Road in July 2013. The Tribunals decided that the amount payable was £31,203 for the freehold. This case was in relation to 2 flats. The the number of years remaining on the existing lease(s) was 70.31 years.

Are there common problems that you see in leases for Crews Hill properties?

There is nothing unique about leasehold conveyancing in Crews Hill. Most leases is drafted differently and legal mistakes in the legal wording can sometimes mean that certain sections are wrong. The following missing provisions could result in a defective lease:

  • Repairing obligations to or maintain parts of the building
  • Insurance obligations
  • A provision for the recovery of money spent for the benefit of another party.
  • Maintenance charge proportions which don’t add up to the correct percentage

A defective lease will likely cause problems when trying to sell a property as they can affect a potential buyer’s ability to obtain a mortgage. Yorkshire Building Society, Leeds Building Society, and Alliance & Leicester all have express conveyancing instructions when it comes to what is expected in a lease. Where a lender has been advised by their lawyers that the lease is problematic they may refuse to grant the mortgage, obliging the purchaser to pull out.