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Mirfield leasehold conveyancing: Q and A’s

I have just started marketing my 2 bed apartment in Mirfield.Conveyancing lawyers have not yet been instructed but I have just had a yearly service charge demand – what should I do?

Your conveyancing lawyer is likely to suggest that you should discharge the service charge 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 unless 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. This will smooth the conveyancing process.

Back In 2000, I bought a leasehold flat in Mirfield. Conveyancing and Santander mortgage are in place. 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 practitioner in Mirfield who previously acted has now retired.Do I pay?

The first thing you should do is contact the Land Registry to make sure that the individual purporting to own the freehold is in fact the new freeholder. It is not necessary to incur the fees of a Mirfield conveyancing lawyer to do this as it can be done on-line for a few pound. You should note that regardless, 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 attracted to a couple of maisonettes in Mirfield which have about 50 years unexpired on the lease term. Should I regard a short lease as a deal breaker?

There is no doubt about it. A leasehold flat in Mirfield is a wasting asset as a result of the reducing lease term. The nearer the lease gets to zero years unexpired, the more it adversely affects the value of the property. The majority of buyers and lenders, leases with under eighty years become less and less marketable. On a more upbeat note, leaseholders can extend their leases by serving a Section 42 Notice. One stipulation is that they must have owned the property 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 property 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 Mirfield 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 any new 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.

Can you provide any top tips for leasehold conveyancing in Mirfield from the perspective of speeding up the sale process?

  • Much of the delay in leasehold conveyancing in Mirfield can be bypassed where you get in touch lawyers the minute your agents start advertising the property and ask them to put together the leasehold documentation which will be required by the buyers representatives.
  • The majority freeholders or Management Companies in Mirfield charge for providing management packs for a leasehold homes. You or your lawyers should enquire as to the fee that they propose to charge. The management information sought on or before finding a buyer, thus reducing delays. The typical amount of time it takes to obtain the necessary information is three weeks. It is the most common reason for frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Mirfield.
  • If you have had any disputes with your landlord or managing agents it is essential that these are resolved prior to the flat being marketed. The buyers and their solicitors will be nervous about purchasing a flat where there is a current dispute. You may have to bite the bullet and discharge any arrears of service charge or resolve the dispute prior to the buyers completing the purchase. It is therefore preferable to have any dispute settled prior to the contract papers being issued to the buyers’ solicitors. You are still duty bound to disclose particulars of the dispute to the purchasers, but it is clearly preferable to reveal the dispute as over as opposed to unresolved.
  • If you are supposed to have a share in the freehold, you should make sure that you have the original share certificate. Organising a re-issued share certificate can be a lengthy process and delays many a Mirfield conveyancing transaction. If a duplicate share certificate is needed, do contact the company director and secretary or managing agents (where relevant) for this as soon as possible.
  • You may think that you are aware of the number of years remaining on your lease but it would be advisable double-check by asking your conveyancers. A buyer’s lawyer will be unlikely to recommend their client to to exchange contracts if the remaining number of years is below 75 years. In the circumstances it is important at an as soon as possible that you identify whether the lease requires a lease extension. If it does, contact your solicitors before you put your premises on the market for sale.

  • When it comes to leasehold conveyancing in Mirfield what are the most common lease problems?

    There is nothing unique about leasehold conveyancing in Mirfield. Most leases are unique and legal mistakes in the legal wording can sometimes mean that certain provisions are not included. For example, if your lease is missing any of the following, it could be defective:

    • A provision to repair to or maintain parts of the property
    • A duty to insure the building
    • Clauses dealing with recovering service charges for expenditure on the building or common parts.
    • Service charge per centages that don't add up correctly leaving a shortfall

    A defective lease will likely cause problems when trying to sell a property primarily because it impacts on the ability to obtain a mortgage on the property. Birmingham Midshires, Virgin Money, and Platform Home Loans Ltd all have very detailed conveyancing instructions when it comes to what is expected in a lease. If a mortgage lender believes that the lease does not cover certain provisions they may refuse to provide security, forcing the purchaser to withdraw.

    I am the registered owner of a 1st floor flat in Mirfield, conveyancing having been completed 9 years ago. How much will my lease extension cost? Comparable properties in Mirfield with an extended lease are worth £246,000. The average or mid-range amount of ground rent is £60 charged once a year. The lease finishes on 21st October 2088

    With 66 years unexpired we estimate the price of your lease extension to range between £16,200 and £18,600 plus plus your own and the landlord's "reasonable" professional fees.

    The figure above a general guide to costs for renewing a lease, but we are not able to advice on the actual costs in the absence of detailed investigations. Do not use the figures in a Notice of Claim or as an informal offer. There are no doubt other concerns that need to be considered and you obviously should be as accurate as possible in your negotiations. Neither should you move forward placing reliance on this information before getting professional advice.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Mirfield