Portland leasehold conveyancing Example Support Desk Enquiries
I have just appointed agents to market my ground floor apartment in Portland.Conveyancing lawyers have not yet been instructed but I have just received a half-yearly service charge demand – should I leave it to the buyer to sort out?
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 managing agents 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.
I've recently bought a leasehold house in Portland. Do I have any liability for service charges for periods before completion of my purchase?
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 employed by a reputable estate agent office in Portland where we see a few flat sales put at risk due to short leases. I have received inconsistent advice from local Portland conveyancing firms. Please can you confirm whether the owner of a flat can commence the lease extension formalities for the buyer?
Provided that the seller has owned the lease for at least 2 years it is possible, to serve a Section 42 notice to start the lease extension process and assign the benefit of the notice to the purchaser. The benefit of this is that the proposed purchaser 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 has to be done prior to, or at the same time as completion of the disposal of the property.
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.
Can you offer any advice when it comes to finding a Portland conveyancing practice to deal with our lease extension?
When appointing a conveyancer for lease extension works (regardless if they are a Portland conveyancing practice) it is imperative that they be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of conveyancing. We recommend that you make enquires with several firms including non Portland conveyancing practices before you instructing a firm. If the firm is ALEP accredited then that’s a bonus. Some following of questions might be helpful:
- If they are not ALEP accredited then what is the reason?
Do you have any top tips for leasehold conveyancing in Portland with the purpose of saving time on the sale process?
- Much of the delay in leasehold conveyancing in Portland can be reduced if you get in touch lawyers the minute your agents start marketing the property and request that they start to collate the leasehold information which will be required by the purchasers’ conveyancers.
- In the event that you altered the property did you need the Landlord’s consent? Have you, for example installed wooden flooring? Most leases in Portland state that internal structural changes or installing wooden flooring require a licence issued by the Landlord consenting to such alterations. Where you fail to have the paperwork to hand do not contact the landlord without checking with your conveyancer first.
Portland Leasehold Conveyancing - Examples of Questions you should ask Prior to buying
What prohibitions are there in the Portland Lease?
How many years are left on the lease?
Who takes charge for maintaining and repairing the block?