Frequently asked questions relating to Plymstock leasehold conveyancing
I’m about to sell my 2 bed flat in Plymstock.Conveyancing is yet to be initiated but I have just had a yearly service charge invoice – what should I do?
It best that you 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 management companies 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. Having a clear account will assist your cause and will leave you no worse off financially.
I've found 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 found out that it's a leasehold rather than freehold. I am assuming that there are issues purchasing a house with a leasehold title in Plymstock. Conveyancing advisers have not yet been instructed. Will they explain the issues?
Most houses in Plymstock are freehold and not leasehold. In this scenario it’s worth having a local conveyancer used to dealing with such properties who can assist with the conveyancing process. We note that you are purchasing in Plymstock in which case you should be looking for a Plymstock conveyancing practitioner and check that they are used to dealing with leasehold houses. As a matter of priority you will need to check the unexpired lease term. As a leaseholder you will not be at liberty to do whatever you want with the house. The lease comes with conditions for example requiring the landlord’spermission to conduct changes to the property. You may also be required to pay a service charge towards the maintenance of the communal areas where the house is part of an estate. Your lawyer will advise you fully on all the issues.
I am attracted to a two apartments in Plymstock both have in the region of 50 years remaining on the lease term. Do I need to be concerned?
There are plenty of short leases in Plymstock. The lease is a right to use the property for a period of time. As the lease gets shorter the marketability of the lease reduces and it becomes more costly to acquire a lease extension. For this reason it is generally wise to extend the lease term. More often than not it is difficult to sell a property with a short lease as mortgage lenders less inclined to grant a loan on such properties. Lease extension can be a protracted process. We advise that you seek professional help from a conveyancer and surveyor with experience in this field
Last month I purchased a leasehold property in Plymstock. Am I liable to pay service charges relating to a period prior to 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).
Completion in due on our sale of a £225000 garden flat in Plymstock next week. The managing agents has quoted £324 for Landlord’s certificate, building insurance schedule and 3 years service charge statements. Is the landlord entitled to charge such fees for a flat conveyance in Plymstock?
Plymstock conveyancing on leasehold flats usually requires the purchaser’s solicitor submitting questions for the landlord to answer. Although the landlord is not legally bound to respond to such questions the majority will be content to assist. They are entitled charge a reasonable administration fee for answering questions or supplying documentation. There is no upper cap for such fees. The average fee for the information that you are referring to is over three hundred pounds, in some transactions it is in excess of £800. The administration charge levied by the landlord must be sent together with a summary of rights and obligations in respect of administration charges, otherwise the invoice is technically not due. Reality however dictates that you have no choice but to pay whatever is demanded if you want to sell the property.
Plymstock Conveyancing for Leasehold Flats - Sample of Questions you should ask Prior to Purchasing
It would be wise to find out as much as you can about the managing agents as they will affect your use and enjoyment of the property. As the proprietor of a leasehold property you will be in the clutches of the managing agents from a financial perspective and when it comes to practical issues like the cleanliness of the common parts. Ask other tenants what they think of them. On a final note, find out the dates that the maintenance charges are due to the relevant party and precisely what you get for your money.
Most Plymstock leasehold flats will have a service bill for the upkeep of the block levied by the management company. Where you buy the property you will have to pay this contribution, normally periodically accross the year. This may differ from a few hundred pounds to thousands of pounds for large purpose-built buildings. There will also be a rentcharge to be met annual, ordinarily this is not a significant sum, say approximately £50-£100 but you should to enquire it because occasionally it could be prohibitively expensive.
This question is useful as a) areas may result in problems for the block as the communal areas may begin to deteriorate if repairs are not paid for b) if the leasehold owners have a dispute with the running of the building you will want to know about it