Questions and Answers: Moor Row leasehold conveyancing
I have just appointed agents to market my basement flat in Moor Row.Conveyancing is yet to be initiated but I have just received a yearly service charge invoice – should I leave it to the buyer to sort out?
It best that you 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. This will smooth the conveyancing process.
My wife and I purchased a leasehold flat in Moor Row. Conveyancing and The Mortgage Works mortgage organised. I have received a letter from someone claiming to own the freehold. Attached was a demand for arrears of ground rent dating back to 1998. The conveyancing solicitor in Moor Row who previously acted has long since retired.Do I pay?
First make enquiries of the Land Registry to make sure that this person is indeed the registered owner of the freehold reversion. There is no need to instruct a Moor Row conveyancing firm to do this as it can be done on-line for a few pound. You should note that in any event, even if this is the legitimate landlord, under the Limitation Act 1980 the limitation period for recovery of ground rent is six years.
I am looking at a two maisonettes in Moor Row which have in the region of forty five years left on the leases. Should I regard a short lease as a deal breaker?
There are no two ways about it. A leasehold flat in Moor Row is a deteriorating asset as a result of the shortening lease. The closer the lease gets to zero years unexpired, the more it reduces the salability of the property. The majority of purchasers and mortgage companies, leases with less than 75 years become less and less marketable. 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 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 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 Moor Row conveyancing experts who will explain the options available to you during an initial telephone conversation free of charge. A more straightforward and quicker method of extending would be to contact your landlord directly and sound him out on the prospect of extending 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.
I've recently bought a leasehold house in Moor Row. Do I have any liability for service charges relating to a period prior to my ownership?
In a situation 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 be sure 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 a negotiator for a reputable estate agent office in Moor Row where we have witnessed a few leasehold sales jeopardised due to short leases. I have received contradictory information from local Moor Row conveyancing firms. Could you shed some light as to whether the vendor of a flat can commence the lease extension formalities for the purchaser on completion of the sale?
As long as the seller has been the owner for at least 2 years it is possible, to serve a Section 42 notice to commence the lease extension process and assign the benefit of the notice to the purchaser. This means that the proposed purchaser can avoid having to wait 2 years to extend their lease. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment has to be done before, or at the same time as completion of the sale.
Alternatively, it may be possible 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.
Moor Row Conveyancing for Leasehold Flats - Examples of Queries before Purchasing
Who manages the building?
This question is important as a) areas may result in problems in the building as the communal areas may start to deteriorate where repairs remain unpaid b) if the tenants have an issue with the managing agents you will want to have all the details
Is anyone aware of any major works anticipated that could add a premium to the maintenance fees?