Sample questions relating to Elmstead leasehold conveyancing
I’m about to sell my garden apartment in Elmstead.Conveyancing has not commenced but I have just had a half-yearly service charge demand – should I leave it to the buyer to sort out?
The sensible thing to do is clear the invoice 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. This will smooth the conveyancing process.
I've found a house that appears to meet my requirements, at a great figure which is making it all the more appealing. I have since been informed that the title is leasehold as opposed to freehold. I am assuming that there are particular concerns buying a leasehold house in Elmstead. Conveyancing advisers have not yet been appointed. Will they explain the issues?
Most houses in Elmstead are freehold rather than leasehold. This is one of the situations where having a local solicitor used to dealing with such properties who can help the conveyancing process. We note that you are purchasing in Elmstead so you should seriously consider shopping around for a Elmstead conveyancing solicitor and be sure that they are used to dealing with leasehold houses. First you will need to check the unexpired lease term. Being a leaseholder you will not be entirely free to do whatever you want to the property. The lease comes with conditions for example requiring the landlord’spermission to carry out alterations. You may also be required to pay a contribution towards the upkeep of the estate where the property is part of an estate. Your lawyer should advise you fully on all the issues.
Last month I purchased a leasehold property in Elmstead. 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. Strange as it may seem, 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 work for a long established estate agent office in Elmstead where we have witnessed a few leasehold sales put at risk due to short leases. I have been given conflicting advice from local Elmstead conveyancing firms. Could you confirm whether the vendor of a flat can initiate the lease extension process 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 kick-start the lease extension process and assign the benefit of the notice to the purchaser. This means that the proposed purchaser 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 has to be done before, or at the same time as completion of the disposal of the property.
An alternative approach is 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 purchaser.
What are your top tips when it comes to appointing a Elmstead conveyancing firm to deal with our lease extension?
When appointing a conveyancer for your lease extension (regardless if they are a Elmstead conveyancing practice) it is essential that he or she should be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of work. We suggested that you speak with several firms including non Elmstead conveyancing practices prior to instructing a firm. If the firm is ALEP accredited then so much the better. Some following of questions might be helpful:
- If they are not ALEP accredited then what is the reason?
Having spent years of dialogue we are unable to agree with our landlord on how much the lease extension should cost for our flat in Elmstead. Can we issue an application to the Residential Property Tribunal Service?
if there is a absentee freeholder or if 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 calculate the amount due.
An example of a Lease Extension case for a Elmstead premises is 70 Andace Park Gardens 133-149 Widmore Road in November 2013. Tribunal determined that the premium payable for the lease extension was £10,052 This case related to 1 flat. The unexpired lease term was 72 years.