Experts for Leasehold Conveyancing in Plymouth

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Plymouth leasehold conveyancing Example Support Desk Enquiries

Having had my offer accepted I require leasehold conveyancing in Plymouth. Before I get started I require certainty as to the number of years remaining on the lease.

If the lease is registered - and almost all are in Plymouth - then the leasehold title will always include the short particulars of the lease, namely the date; the term; and the original parties. From a conveyancing perspective such details then enable any prospective buyer and lender to confirm that any lease they are looking at is the one relevant to that title.For any other purpose, such as confirming how long the term was granted for and calculating what is left, then the register should be sufficient on it's own.

I’m about to sell my ground floor flat in Plymouth.Conveyancing lawyers have not yet been instructed but I have just received a half-yearly service 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 management companies 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.

Last month I purchased a leasehold property in Plymouth. Am I liable to pay service charges for periods before completion of my purchase?

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. A critical element 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 a negotiator for a long established estate agent office in Plymouth where we have witnessed a few leasehold sales derailed as a result of short leases. I have been given conflicting advice from local Plymouth conveyancing firms. Could you clarify whether the vendor of a flat can commence the lease extension process for the buyer?

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 buyer need not have to sit tight for 2 years to extend their lease. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment needs to be completed before, 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.

What makes a Plymouth lease unmortgageable?

There is nothing unique about leasehold conveyancing in Plymouth. All leases are unique and drafting errors can result in certain sections are erroneous. For example, if your lease is missing any of the following, it could be defective:

  • Repairing obligations 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 could 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. Barclays , Norwich and Peterborough Building Society, and Barclays Direct all have very detailed requirements when it comes to what is expected in a lease. Where a lender has been advised by their lawyers that the lease is defective they may refuse to grant the mortgage, obliging the buyer to withdraw.

Plymouth Conveyancing for Leasehold Flats - A selection of Questions you should consider before Purchasing

    It is important to be aware if a new roof is being put on or some other major work is anticipated that will be shared by the tenants and will dramatically increase the the service fees or result in a specific invoice. You should be aware that where the lease has fewer than 80 years it will have adverse implications on the marketability of the apartment. It is worth checking with your mortgage company that they are willing to lend given the lease term. Leases with fewer than 80 years remaining means that you will almost definitely have to extend the lease sooner rather than later and you need to have some idea of what this would cost. Remember, in most cases you will need to own the premises for two years before you are entitled to exercise a lease extension. The best form of lease structure is a share of the freehold. In this scenario the tenants have control and even though a managing agent is often employed where the building is bigger than a house conversion, the managing agent retained by the leaseholders.

Other Topics

Lease Extensions in Plymouth