Questions and Answers: Marlow leasehold conveyancing
Estate agents have just been given the go-ahead to market my garden flat in Marlow.Conveyancing solicitors are to be appointed soon but I have just had a half-yearly maintenance charge demand – Do I pay up?
The sensible thing to do is pay 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.
My wife and I purchased a leasehold house in Marlow. Conveyancing and Chelsea Building Society mortgage organised. A letter has just been received from someone saying they have taken over the freehold. Attached was a demand for arrears of ground rent dating back to 1997. The conveyancing solicitor in Marlow who previously acted has long since retired.Do I pay?
First contact HMLR to make sure that this person is indeed the new freeholder. There is no need to incur the fees of a Marlow conveyancing lawyer to do this as you can do this on the Land Registry website for £3. Rest assured that in any event, even if this is the rightful freeholder, under the Limitation Act 1980 the limitation period for recovery of ground rent is six years.
I am tempted by the attractive purchase price for a couple of maisonettes in Marlow which have in the region of fifty years remaining on the lease term. Should I regard a short lease as a deal breaker?
There is no doubt about it. A leasehold flat in Marlow is a deteriorating asset as a result of the reducing lease term. The nearer the lease gets to zero years unexpired, the more it reduces the marketability of the premises. For most buyers and mortgage companies, leases with under 75 years become less and less attractive. On a more positive note, leaseholders can extend their leases by serving a Section 42 Notice. One stipulation is that they must have owned the premises for two years (unlike a Section 13 notice for purchasing the freehold, when leaseholders can participate from day one of ownership). When successful, they will have the right to an extension of 90 years to the current term and ground rent is effectively reduced to zero. Before moving forward with a purchase of premises with a short lease term remaining you should talk to a solicitor specialising in lease extensions and leasehold enfranchisement. We are are happy to put you in touch with Marlow conveyancing experts who will explain the options available to you during an initial telephone conversation free of charge. More often than not it is possible to negotiate informally with the freeholder to extend the lease They may agree to a smaller lump sum and an increase in the ground rent, but to shorter extension terms in return. You need to ensure that the agreed terms represent good long-term value compared with the standard benefits of the Section 42 Notice and that onerous clauses are not inserted into any redrafting of the lease.
What are your top tips when it comes to appointing a Marlow conveyancing practice to carry out our lease extension conveyancing?
If you are instructing a property lawyer for your lease extension (regardless if they are a Marlow conveyancing firm) it is essential that he or she should be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of conveyancing. We recommend that you make enquires with two or three firms including non Marlow conveyancing practices before you instructing a firm. Where the conveyancing practice is ALEP accredited then that’s a bonus. Some following of questions might be useful:
- How familiar is the practice with lease extension legislation?
Can you provide any top tips for leasehold conveyancing in Marlow with the aim of speeding up the sale process?
- A significant proportion of the delay in leasehold conveyancing in Marlow can be reduced if you appoint lawyers as soon as your agents start advertising the property and request that they start to collate the leasehold documentation needed by the purchasers’ lawyers.
- Many landlords or Management Companies in Marlow charge for supplying management packs for a leasehold premises. You or your lawyers should enquire as to the actual amount of the charges. The management information can be applied for on or before finding a buyer, thus accelerating the process. The average time it takes to receive management information is three weeks. It is the most usual reason for delay in leasehold conveyancing in Marlow.
Marlow Conveyancing for Leasehold Flats - Sample of Queries before buying
Please note if it is no more than 80 years it will affect the value of the property. It is worth checking with your bank that they are content with remaining years on the lease. A short lease means that you will most likely have to extend the lease at some point and it is worth discovering what this would cost. For most Marlowlease extensions you would be be obliged to have been the owner of the property for a couple of years in order to be eligible to exercise a lease extension.
Can you inform me if there are any major works in the near future that will add a premium to the service costs?
Many Marlow leasehold apartments will be liable to pay a service charge for maintenance of the block invoiced by the management company. If you purchase the apartment you will have to meet this liability, usually in instalments during the year. This can vary from several hundred pounds to thousands of pounds for buildings with lifts and large common areas. There will also be a ground rent to be met yearly, this is usually not a large figure, say about £25-£75 but you need to check it because sometimes it can be surprisingly expensive.