Examples of recent questions relating to leasehold conveyancing in Melbourne
There are only 62 years remaining on my flat in Melbourne. I need to extend my lease but my freeholder is missing. What are my options?
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 for permission to dispense with the service of the initial notice. This will mean that your lease can be lengthened by the Court. You will be obliged to demonstrate that you have done all that could be expected to locate the lessor. In some cases an enquiry agent may be useful to carry out a search and prepare an expert document which can be used as proof that the freeholder can not be located. It is advisable to get professional help from a property lawyer in relation to investigating the landlord’s disappearance and the application to the County Court covering Melbourne.
I today plan to offer on a house that appears to meet my requirements, at a great price which is making it more attractive. I have since discovered that the title is leasehold as opposed to freehold. I would have thought that there are issues buying a house with a leasehold title in Melbourne. Conveyancing advisers have not yet been instructed. Will my lawyers set out the risks of buying a leasehold house in Melbourne ?
The majority of houses in Melbourne are freehold and not leasehold. This is one of the situations where having a local solicitor who is familiar with the area can assist with the conveyancing process. We note that you are purchasing in Melbourne so you should seriously consider shopping around for a Melbourne conveyancing solicitor and check that they are used to transacting on leasehold houses. First you will need to check the unexpired lease term. Being a leaseholder you will not be at liberty to do whatever you want with the house. The lease will likely included provisions for example obtaining the freeholder’sconsent to conduct changes to the property. It may be necessary to pay a service charge towards the upkeep of the estate where the house is located on an estate. Your solicitor should appraise you on the various issues.
I am attracted to a two flats in Melbourne which have about fifty years unexpired on the leases. Will this present a problem?
There are plenty of short leases in Melbourne. The lease is a right to use the property for a period of time. As a lease shortens the marketability of the lease reduces and results in it becoming more expensive to extend the lease. This is why it is advisable to increase the term of the lease. More often than not it is difficulties arise selling premises with a short lease as mortgage companies may be reluctant to lend money on properties of this type. Lease extension can be a protracted process. We recommend you get professional help from a conveyancer and surveyor with experience in this arena
I've recently bought a leasehold house in Melbourne. Am I liable to pay 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. 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).
What advice can you give us when it comes to choosing a Melbourne conveyancing firm to carry out our lease extension conveyancing?
When appointing a solicitor for lease extension works (regardless if they are a Melbourne conveyancing firm) it is most important that he or she should be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of work. We suggested that you make enquires with two or three firms including non Melbourne conveyancing practices prior to instructing a firm. Where the conveyancing practice is ALEP accredited then so much the better. Some following of questions might be of use:
- How many lease extensions has the firm carried out in Melbourne in the last 12 months?
Melbourne Conveyancing for Leasehold Flats - A selection of Queries Prior to buying
Does the lease contain onerous restrictions?
Most Melbourne leasehold apartments will incur a service bill for the upkeep of the block invoiced by the landlord. Should you purchase the flat you will have to pay this contribution, normally quarterly throughout the year. This can vary from a few hundred pounds to thousands of pounds for bigger purpose-built buildings. In all likelihood there will be a rentcharge to be met yearly, ordinarily this is not a significant amount, say about £50-£100 but you should to enquire it because occasionally it can be many hundreds of pounds.
It is important to be aware whether changing the roof or some other major work is due shortly to be shared by the leasehold owners and will dramatically increase the the maintenance fees or necessitate a specific invoice.