Common questions relating to Milton Keynes leasehold conveyancing
Planning to complete next month on a garden flat in Milton Keynes. Conveyancing solicitors have said that they will have a report out to me on Monday. Are there areas in the report that I should be focusing on?
The report on title for your leasehold conveyancing in Milton Keynes should include some of the following:
- Details of the parties to the lease, for example these could be the leaseholder (you), head lessor, freeholder
I have just started marketing my basement flat in Milton Keynes.Conveyancing solicitors are to be appointed soon but I have just had a half-yearly maintenance charge demand – what should I do?
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.
I've recently bought a leasehold flat in Milton Keynes. Am I liable to pay service charges for periods before 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. It is an essential part 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).
I am employed by a reputable estate agency in Milton Keynes where we see a number of flat sales jeopardised due to short leases. I have been given conflicting advice from local Milton Keynes conveyancing solicitors. Could you confirm whether the owner of a flat can start the lease extension formalities for the purchaser on completion of the sale?
Provided that the seller has owned the lease 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. 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 before, 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 makes a Milton Keynes lease unmortgageable?
There is nothing unique about leasehold conveyancing in Milton Keynes. Most leases are unique and drafting errors can sometimes mean that certain clauses are wrong. The following missing provisions could result in a defective lease:
- A provision to repair to or maintain elements of the property
- 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
You may encounter a problem when selling your property if you have a defective lease primarily because it impacts on the ability to obtain a mortgage on the property. HSBC Bank, Barnsley Building Society, and Clydesdale 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 is problematic they may refuse to grant the mortgage, forcing the buyer to pull out.
Milton Keynes Conveyancing for Leasehold Flats - Sample of Questions you should ask Prior to buying
Does the lease have onerous restrictions?
The majority of Milton Keynes leasehold properties will be liable to pay a service charge for the upkeep of the block set by the landlord. If you acquire the flat you will have to pay this contribution, usually periodically accross the year. This could differ from two or three hundred pounds to thousands of pounds for bigger purpose-built buildings. There will also be a ground rent for you to pay annual, this is usually not a significant figure, say about £25-£75 but you should to enquire as sometimes it could be prohibitively expensive.
If a Milton Keynes lease has fewer than 80 years it will impact the marketability of the property. Check with your lender that they are willing to to proceed given the lease term. A short lease means that you will most likely require a lease extension at some point and you need to have some idea of what this will be. Remember, in most cases you would be required to have been the owner of the residence for 24 months before you are entitled to extend the lease.