Questions and Answers: Ottery St Mary leasehold conveyancing
I’m about to sell my basement flat in Ottery St Mary.Conveyancing is yet to be initiated but I have just received a half-yearly service charge demand – should I leave it to the buyer to sort out?
The sensible thing to do is clear 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 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.
I today plan to offer on a house that seems to tick a lot of boxes, at a great price which is making it all the more appealing. I have subsequently been informed that the title is leasehold as opposed to freehold. I am assuming that there are issues buying a house with a leasehold title in Ottery St Mary. Conveyancing lawyers have are about to be instructed. Will my lawyers set out the risks of buying a leasehold house in Ottery St Mary ?
The majority of houses in Ottery St Mary are freehold and not leasehold. In this scenario it’s worth having a local conveyancer who is familiar with the area can help the conveyancing process. it is apparent that you are purchasing in Ottery St Mary so you should seriously consider shopping around for a Ottery St Mary conveyancing solicitor and be sure that they have experience in dealing with leasehold houses. First you will need to check the number of years remaining. Being a tenant you will not be entirely free to do whatever you want to the property. The lease will likely included provisions such as obtaining the freeholder’spermission to carry out changes to the property. It may be necessary to pay a maintenance charge towards the maintenance of the communal areas where the house is located on an estate. Your solicitor will appraise you on the various issues.
Back In 2006, I bought a leasehold house in Ottery St Mary. Conveyancing and Norwich and Peterborough Building Society mortgage are in place. A letter has just been received from someone saying they have taken over the freehold. It included a ground rent demand for rent dating back to 1995. The conveyancing practitioner in Ottery St Mary who acted for me is not around.Any advice?
The first thing you should do is make enquiries of HMLR to make sure that the individual claiming to own the freehold is indeed the new freeholder. It is not necessary to incur the fees of a Ottery St Mary conveyancing solicitor to do this as you can do this on the Land Registry website for £3. You should note that regardless, even if this is the legitimate freeholder, under the Limitation Act 1980 no more than 6 years of rent can be collected.
I am a negotiator for a reputable estate agent office in Ottery St Mary where we have witnessed a few flat sales jeopardised as a result of leases having less than 80 years remaining. I have received inconsistent advice from local Ottery St Mary conveyancing solicitors. Can you shed some light as to whether the seller of a flat can commence the lease extension process for the buyer?
As long as the seller has owned the lease for at least 2 years it is possible, to serve a Section 42 notice to kick-start the lease extension process and assign the benefit of the notice to the purchaser. The benefit of this is that the buyer can avoid having 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 simultaneously with completion of the disposal of the property.
An alternative approach is to agree the lease extension with the freeholder 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 purchaser.
Can you offer any advice when it comes to appointing a Ottery St Mary conveyancing practice to deal with our lease extension?
When appointing a conveyancer for your lease extension (regardless if they are a Ottery St Mary conveyancing practice) it is imperative that he or she should be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of conveyancing. We advise that you make enquires with two or three firms including non Ottery St Mary conveyancing practices prior to instructing a firm. Where the conveyancing practice is ALEP accredited then that’s a bonus. Some following of questions might be of use:
- How experienced is the firm with lease extension legislation?
Leasehold Conveyancing in Ottery St Mary - Examples of Questions you should consider Prior to buying
Its a good idea to discover as much as you can concerning the company managing the block as they will either make life much easier or problematic. Being a leasehold owner you are often at the mercy of the managing agents both financially and when it comes to every day issues such as the upkeep of the communal areas. Ask other people what they think of their management. In conclusion, find out the dates that the maintenance fees are due to the managing agents and specifically how they are spending that money.
This question is helpful as a) areas may cause problems in the block as the communal areas may begin to deteriorate where repairs are not paid for b) if the leasehold owners have an issue with the managing agents you will need to have all the details
Who manages the block?