Common questions relating to Paignton leasehold conveyancing
My wife and I purchased a leasehold house in Paignton. Conveyancing and National Westminster Bank mortgage are in place. A letter has just been received from someone claiming to own the reversionary interest in the property. It included a demand for arrears of ground rent dating back to 1998. The conveyancing solicitor in Paignton who acted for me is not around.Do I pay?
First contact HMLR to be sure that the individual claiming to own the freehold is indeed the registered owner of the freehold reversion. There is no need to incur the fees of a Paignton conveyancing lawyer to do this as you can do this on the Land Registry website for £3. Rest assured that regardless, even if this is the legitimate landlord, under the Limitation Act 1980 no more than 6 years of rent can be collected.
I am tempted by the attractive purchase price for a couple of flats in Paignton which have approximately forty five years remaining on the leases. Do I need to be concerned?
A lease is a legal document that entitles you to use the property for a prescribed time frame. As a lease gets shorter the marketability of the lease decreases and results in it becoming more costly to acquire a lease extension. For this reason it is often a good idea to increase the term of the lease. More often than not it is difficult to sell a property with a short lease as mortgage companies may be unwilling to lend money on such properties. Lease enfranchisement can be a protracted process. We recommend you get professional help from a solicitor and surveyor with experience in this field
Last month I purchased a leasehold property in Paignton. Am I liable to pay service charges for periods before my ownership?
In a situation where the service charge has already been demanded from the previous owner 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 Paignton where we have experienced a number of leasehold sales jeopardised as a result of leases having less than 80 years remaining. I have received inconsistent advice from local Paignton conveyancing solicitors. Can you clarify whether the vendor of a flat can instigate the lease extension process for the purchaser on completion of the sale?
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. This means that the proposed purchaser need not have to sit tight for 2 years for a lease extension. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment has to be done prior to, or simultaneously with completion of the sale.
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.
In relation to leasehold conveyancing in Paignton what are the most frequent lease problems?
Leasehold conveyancing in Paignton is not unique. Most leases are individual and drafting errors can result in certain sections are erroneous. The following missing provisions could result in a defective lease:
- Repairing obligations to or maintain parts of the building
- 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 as they can affect a potential buyer’s ability to obtain a mortgage. Accord Mortgages Ltd, Barnsley Building Society, and Alliance & Leicester all have express requirements when it comes to what is expected in a lease. Where a lender has been advised by their lawyers that the lease does not cover certain provisions they may refuse to provide security, forcing the purchaser to pull out.
Leasehold Conveyancing in Paignton - Examples of Questions you should ask Prior to Purchasing
In the main the outlay for major works are not included within service charges, although some managing agents in Paignton ask leasehold owners to pay into a sinking fund created for the specific purpose of establishing a fund for larger works.
Best to be warned whether window replacement or some other major work is pending to be shared by the tenants and may well materially increase the the service charges or necessitate a one time invoice.
Its a good idea to find out as much as you can concerning the company managing the building as they will affect your use and enjoyment of the property. As the owner of a leasehold property you will be in the clutches of the managing agents both financially and when it comes to practical matters such as the cleanliness of the common parts. You should not be afraid to ask other tenants whether they are happy with them. On a final note, be sure you understand the dates that you are obliged pay the maintenance charge to the managing agents and precisely what it includes.