Prescot leasehold conveyancing: Q and A’s
Having checked my lease I have discovered that there are only 68 years unexpired on my lease in Prescot. I now wish to get lease extension but my freeholder is can not be found. What are my options?
On the basis that you meet the appropriate requirements, under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 you can submit an application to the County Court for for permission to dispense with the service of the initial notice. This will mean that your lease can be lengthened by the magistrate. However, you will be required to prove that you or your lawyers have made all reasonable attempts to track down the landlord. For most situations an enquiry agent may be useful to conduct investigations and prepare a report to be accepted by the court as evidence that the landlord is indeed missing. It is advisable to get professional help from a conveyancer both on proving the landlord’s absence and the vesting order request to the County Court covering Prescot.
Looking forward to complete next month on a basement flat in Prescot. Conveyancing lawyers have said that they will have a report out to me on Monday. What should I be looking out for?
The report on title for your leasehold conveyancing in Prescot should include some of the following:
- You should be sent a copy of the lease
Estate agents have just been given the go-ahead to market my garden flat in Prescot.Conveyancing solicitors are to be appointed soon but I have just received a half-yearly maintenance charge invoice – should I leave it to the buyer to sort out?
It best that you 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 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 am tempted by the attractive purchase price for a couple of apartments in Prescot which have approximately 50 years left on the leases. Should I regard a short lease as a deal breaker?
There are no two ways about it. A leasehold apartment in Prescot is a deteriorating asset as a result of the shortening lease. The closer the lease gets to its expiry date, the more it adversely affects the marketability of the premises. For most purchasers and lenders, leases with less than 75 years become less and less attractive. On a more positive note, leaseholders can extend their leases by serving a Section 42 Notice. One stipulation is that they must have owned the premises for two years (unlike a Section 13 notice for purchasing the freehold, when leaseholders can participate from day one of ownership). When successful, they will have the right to an extension of 90 years to the current term and ground rent is effectively reduced to zero. Before moving forward with a purchase of a residence with a short lease term remaining you should talk to a solicitor specialising in lease extensions and leasehold enfranchisement. We are are happy to put you in touch with Prescot conveyancing experts who will explain the options available to you during an initial telephone conversation free of charge. A more straightforward and quicker method of extending would be to contact your landlord directly and sound him out on the prospect of extending the lease They may agree to a smaller lump sum and an increase in the ground rent, but to shorter extension terms in return. You need to ensure that the agreed terms represent good long-term value compared with the standard benefits of the Section 42 Notice and that onerous clauses are not inserted into any redrafting of the lease.
Last month I purchased a leasehold property in Prescot. Do I have any liability for service charges for periods before completion of my purchase?
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. A critical element 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).
Prescot Leasehold Conveyancing - A selection of Queries before buying
How many years remain on the lease?
Who takes charge for maintaining and repairing the building?
How much is the yearly service fee and ground rent?