Questions and Answers: Loxford leasehold conveyancing
I’m about to sell my 2 bed flat in Loxford.Conveyancing has not commenced but I have just received a half-yearly maintenance charge invoice – Do I pay up?
The sensible thing to do is pay 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 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 am hoping to put an offer on a small detached house that seems to be perfect, at a reasonable figure which is making it more attractive. I have just been informed that the title is leasehold rather than freehold. I am assuming that there are issues buying a leasehold house in Loxford. Conveyancing solicitors have are about to be instructed. Will my lawyers set out the risks of buying a leasehold house in Loxford ?
Most houses in Loxford are freehold and not leasehold. In this scenario it’s worth having a local conveyancer who is familiar with the area can assist with the conveyancing process. It is clear that you are purchasing in Loxford in which case you should be shopping around for a Loxford conveyancing solicitor and be sure that they have experience in advising on leasehold houses. First you will need to check the number of years remaining. Being a tenant you will not be entirely free to do whatever you want to the property. The lease will likely included provisions for example obtaining the freeholder’sconsent to carry out alterations. It may be necessary to pay a maintenance charge towards the maintenance of the estate where the property is part of an estate. Your solicitor should advise you fully on all the issues.
I work for a long established estate agency in Loxford where we have witnessed a few flat sales jeopardised as a result of leases having less than 80 years remaining. I have received conflicting advice from local Loxford conveyancing firms. Can you confirm whether the seller of a flat can commence the lease extension formalities for the buyer?
Provided that the seller has been the owner for at least 2 years it is possible, to serve a Section 42 notice to commence the lease extension process and assign the benefit of the notice to the purchaser. The benefit of this is that the proposed purchaser need not have to wait 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 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 buyer.
What are your top tips when it comes to appointing a Loxford conveyancing firm to deal with our lease extension?
When appointing a solicitor for lease extension works (regardless if they are a Loxford conveyancing practice) it is imperative that he or she should be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of conveyancing. We recommend that you speak with two or three firms including non Loxford conveyancing practices before you instructing a firm. Where the conveyancing practice is ALEP accredited then that’s a bonus. Some following of questions could be useful:
- How experienced is the practice with lease extension legislation?
I am the leaseholder of a first floor flat in Loxford. Given that I can not reach agreement with the landlord, can the Leasehold valuation Tribunal determine the sum payable for the purchase of the freehold?
You certainly can. We can put you in touch with a Loxford conveyancing firm who can help.
An example of a Freehold Enfranchisement case for a Loxford residence is 9 Granville Road in June 2014. The tribunal determines the enfranchisement price payable by the applicants for the freehold was £32,548 This case was in relation to 5 flats. The the number of years remaining on the existing lease(s) was 73.8 years.
What makes a Loxford lease problematic?
Leasehold conveyancing in Loxford is not unique. All leases is drafted differently and drafting errors can result in certain sections 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 premises
- A duty to insure the building
- Clauses dealing with recovering service charges for expenditure on the building or common parts.
- 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 primarily because it impacts on the ability to obtain a mortgage on the property. Nationwide Building Society, Bank of Scotland, and Clydesdale all have express requirements when it comes to what is expected in a lease. Where a lender has been advised by their lawyers that the lease is defective they may refuse to provide security, forcing the purchaser to withdraw.