Top Five Questions relating to Maidenhead leasehold conveyancing
I have recently realised that I have 68 years remaining on my flat in Maidenhead. I now want to get lease extension but my freeholder is can not be found. What should I do?
On the basis that you qualify, under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 you can submit an application to the County Court for an order to dispense with the service of the initial notice. This will enable the lease to be extended by the magistrate. However, you will be required to prove that you or your lawyers have made all reasonable attempts to track down the landlord. For most situations a specialist would be useful to conduct investigations and prepare a report to be used as proof that the freeholder can not be located. It is advisable to get professional help from a conveyancer in relation to proving the landlord’s disappearance and the application to the County Court overseeing Maidenhead.
I have just appointed agents to market my ground floor apartment in Maidenhead.Conveyancing has not commenced but I have just received a quarterly service charge invoice – what should I do?
Your conveyancing lawyer is likely to suggest that you should discharge 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 managing agents 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. Having a clear account will assist your cause and will leave you no worse off financially.
I am employed by a busy estate agency in Maidenhead where we have witnessed a number of flat sales put at risk due to short leases. I have received inconsistent advice from local Maidenhead conveyancing solicitors. Please can you confirm whether the owner of a flat can commence the lease extension process for the buyer?
As long as 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 buyer can avoid having to wait 2 years for a lease extension. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment has to be done prior to, or simultaneously with completion of the disposal of the property.
Alternatively, it may be possible to agree the lease extension with the freeholder 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.
Do you have any top tips for leasehold conveyancing in Maidenhead from the perspective of saving time on the sale process?
- Much of the delay in leasehold conveyancing in Maidenhead can be avoided if you get in touch lawyers as soon as you market your property and ask them to collate the leasehold documentation which will be required by the purchasers’ conveyancers.
- If you have carried out any alterations to the property would they have required Landlord’s permission? In particular have you installed wooden flooring? Maidenhead leases often stipulate that internal structural alterations or addition of wooden flooring necessitate a licence from the Landlord acquiescing to such works. Should you dont have the paperwork in place do not contact the landlord without checking with your conveyancer in the first instance.
What are the common deficiencies that you witness in leases for Maidenhead properties?
There is nothing unique about leasehold conveyancing in Maidenhead. Most leases is drafted differently and legal mistakes in the legal wording 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 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 will likely cause issues when trying to sell a property as they can affect a potential buyer’s ability to obtain a mortgage. National Westminster Bank, Chelsea Building Society, and TSB 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 buyer to withdraw.
Maidenhead Leasehold Conveyancing - A selection of Queries Prior to buying
The best form of lease arrangement is a share of the freehold. In this arrangement the lessees enjoy being in charge if their destiny and notwithstanding that a managing agent is frequently retained if the building is bigger than a house conversion, the managing agent retained by the leaseholders.
It would be prudent to find out as much as you can concerning the company managing the block as they will affect your use and enjoyment of the property. As the proprietor of a leasehold property you will be at the mercy of the managing agents both financially and when it comes to every day issues such as the cleanliness of the common parts. You should not be afraid to ask other tenants if they are happy with their service. On a final note, be sure you know the dates that you are obliged pay the service charge to the appropriate party and specifically what you get for your money.
Most Maidenhead leasehold properties will have a service bill for maintenance of the block levied on behalf of the freeholder. Should you acquire the apartment you will have to pay this charge, usually quarterly throughout the year. This could vary from a few hundred pounds to thousands of pounds for buildings with lifts and large common areas. In all likelihood there will be a rentcharge for you to pay yearly, this is usually not a exorbitant sum, say around £50-£100 but you need to enquire as sometimes it can be surprisingly expensive.