Top Five Questions relating to Longford leasehold conveyancing
I am tempted by the attractive purchase price for a two flats in Longford which have approximately fifty years left on the leases. Should I regard a short lease as a deal breaker?
A lease is a legal document that entitles you to use the property for a prescribed time frame. As the lease gets shorter the saleability of the lease deteriorate and it becomes more costly to acquire a lease extension. For this reason it is advisable to extend the lease term. Sometimes it is difficult to sell a property with a short lease because mortgage companies less inclined to grant a loan on such properties. Lease enfranchisement can be a protracted process. We advise that you get professional assistance from a solicitor and surveyor with experience in this area
I've recently bought a leasehold house in Longford. Do I have any liability for service charges relating to a period prior to my ownership?
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. A critical element 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 work for a reputable estate agent office in Longford where we have experienced a number of leasehold sales derailed as a result of leases having less than 80 years remaining. I have received inconsistent advice from local Longford conveyancing firms. Could you shed some light as to whether the seller of a flat can start the lease extension process for the purchaser on completion of the sale?
Provided that the seller has been the owner 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 to extend their lease. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment has to be done before, 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 purchaser.
Our conveyancer has advised that he intends to complete and exchange simultaneously on our sale of a £400000 apartment in Longford in just under a week. The landlords agents has quoted £372 for Certificate of Compliance, building insurance schedule and 3 years statements of service charge. Is the landlord entitled to charge such fees for a leasehold conveyance in Longford?
Longford conveyancing on leasehold apartments more often than not necessitates the buyer’s conveyancer submitting questions for the landlord to answer. Although the landlord is under no legal obligation to address such questions the majority will be content to assist. They may levy a reasonable administration fee for responding to enquiries or supplying documentation. There is no set fee. The average costs for the paperwork that you are referring to is £350, in some transactions it exceeds £800. The administration charge demanded by the landlord must be accompanied by a synopsis of entitlements and obligations in respect of administration fees, without which the charge is technically not due. Reality however dictates that you have no option but to pay whatever is demanded should you wish to sell the property.
I have attempted and failed to negotiate with my landlord to extend my lease without getting anywhere. Can the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal decide on such matters? Can you recommend a Longford conveyancing firm to act on my behalf?
if there is a absentee landlord or if there is disagreement about what the lease extension should cost, under the relevant statutes it is possible to make an application to the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal to calculate the sum to be paid.
An example of a Freehold Enfranchisement case for a Longford flat is 164 Nestles Avenue in October 2013. The tribunal agreed with the proposed price of £20,158 for the freehold and determined that that sum is the amount to be paid into court This case was in relation to 2 flats. The unexpired lease term was 69 years.
Are there frequently found defects that you come across in leases for Longford properties?
There is nothing unique about leasehold conveyancing in Longford. Most leases are unique and drafting errors can result in certain clauses are wrong. For example, if your lease is missing any of the following, it could be defective:
- Repairing obligations to or maintain elements 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. Lloyds TSB Bank, Skipton Building Society, and Godiva Mortgages Ltd all have express conveyancing instructions 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.