Frequently asked questions relating to Machen leasehold conveyancing
Looking forward to exchange soon on a basement flat in Machen. Conveyancing solicitors have said that they will have a report out to me within the next couple of days. Are there areas in the report that I should be focusing on?
The report on title for your leasehold conveyancing in Machen should include some of the following:
- The length of the lease term You should be advised as what happens when the lease ends, and informed of the importance of not letting the lease term falling below eighty years
Last month I purchased a leasehold house in Machen. Do I have any liability for service charges relating to a period prior to my ownership?
Where the service charge has already been demanded from the previous lessee 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 a negotiator for a reputable estate agent office in Machen where we have experienced a few leasehold sales put at risk due to leases having less than 80 years remaining. I have been given contradictory information from local Machen conveyancing firms. Could you clarify whether the vendor of a flat can initiate 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 start the lease extension process and assign the benefit of the notice to the purchaser. This means that the buyer need not have to wait 2 years to extend their lease. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment needs to be completed before, or at the same time as 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 buyer.
Can you offer any advice when it comes to choosing a Machen conveyancing firm to deal with our lease extension?
When appointing a solicitor for your lease extension (regardless if they are a Machen conveyancing firm) it is essential that they be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of work. We advise that you make enquires with two or three firms including non Machen conveyancing practices before you instructing a firm. If the firm is ALEP accredited then that’s a bonus. Some following of questions could be useful:
- How experienced is the practice with lease extension legislation?
What makes a Machen lease problematic?
Leasehold conveyancing in Machen is not unique. All leases is drafted differently and legal mistakes in the legal wording can result in certain sections are not included. The following missing provisions could result in a defective lease:
- Repairing obligations to or maintain elements of the premises
- A duty to insure the building
- 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 can cause problems when trying to sell a property primarily because it impacts on the ability to obtain a mortgage on the property. HSBC Bank, Chelsea Building Society, and Godiva Mortgages Ltd all have very detailed conveyancing instructions when it comes to what is expected in a lease. Where a lender has been advised by their lawyers that the lease does not cover certain provisions they may refuse to provide security, forcing the purchaser to withdraw.
Machen Conveyancing for Leasehold Flats - Sample of Questions you should ask before buying
Does the lease include onerous restrictions?
If a Machen lease has no more than 80 years it will have adverse implications on the value of the property. Check with your mortgage company that they are happy with residual term of the lease. A short lease means that you will probably need a lease extension sooner rather than later and you need to have some idea of how much this will be. Remember, in most cases you will need to own the residence for two years before you are entitled to carry out a lease extension.
For most Machen leaseholds the outlay for major works tend not to be included within service charges, although some managing agents in Machen require leasehold owners to pay into a reserve fund created for the specific purpose of building a fund for larger repairs or maintenance.