Experts for Leasehold Conveyancing in Prestwich

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Recently asked questions relating to Prestwich leasehold conveyancing

I only have Seventy years unexpired on my lease in Prestwich. I now want to extend my lease but my freeholder is absent. What should I do?

On the basis that you meet the appropriate requirements, under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 you can apply to the County Court for for permission to dispense with the service of the initial notice. This will enable the lease to be granted an extra 90 years by the magistrate. However, you will be required to prove that you or your lawyers have used your best endeavours to find the landlord. On the whole an enquiry agent would be useful to conduct investigations and prepare a report which can be used as evidence that the freeholder can not be located. It is wise to seek advice from a solicitor in relation to investigating the landlord’s absence and the vesting order request to the County Court overseeing Prestwich.

I have just appointed agents to market my 2 bed apartment in Prestwich.Conveyancing solicitors are to be appointed soon but I have just received a yearly service charge invoice – what should I do?

Your conveyancing lawyer is likely to suggest that you should pay 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 recently bought a leasehold house in Prestwich. 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 owner and they have not paid you would not usually be personally liable for the arrears. However, 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 work for a busy estate agent office in Prestwich where we have experienced a few flat sales put at risk as a result of short leases. I have been given inconsistent advice from local Prestwich conveyancing firms. Could you shed some light as to whether the seller of a flat can initiate the lease extension formalities for the purchaser on completion of the sale?

Provided that the seller has been the owner 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. This means that the buyer 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 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.

Do you have any top tips for leasehold conveyancing in Prestwich from the perspective of expediting the sale process?

  • Much of the frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Prestwich can be avoided where you instruct lawyers as soon as your agents start advertising the property and request that they start to put together the leasehold documentation which will be required by the buyers solicitors.
  • Many landlords or Management Companies in Prestwich charge for supplying management packs for a leasehold premises. You or your lawyers should find out the fee that they propose to charge. The management information can be applied for on or before finding a buyer, thus accelerating the process. The typical amount of time it takes to obtain the necessary information is three weeks. It is the most usual reason for frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Prestwich.
  • In the event that you altered the property did you need the Landlord’s permission? In particular have you installed wooden flooring? Most leases in Prestwich state that internal structural alterations or addition of wooden flooring calls for a licence from the Landlord approving such alterations. Should you dont have the consents in place you should not communicate with the landlord without checking with your conveyancer in the first instance.
  • Some Prestwich leases require Licence to Assign from the landlord. If this applies to your lease, it would be prudent to notify your estate agents to make sure that the purchasers obtain financial (bank) and professional references. The bank reference will need to confirm that the buyers are able to meet the annual service charge and the actual amount of the service charge should be quoted in the bank’s letter. You will therefore need to provide your estate agents with the service charge figures so that they can pass this information on to the buyers or their lawyers.
  • If you have had any disputes with your landlord or managing agents it is essential that these are settled prior to the flat being put on the market. The purchasers and their solicitors will be warry about purchasing a property where there is a current dispute. You may need to swallow your pride and pay any arrears of service charge or resolve the dispute prior to the buyers completing the purchase. It is therefore preferable to have any dispute settled ahead of the contract papers being issued to the buyers’ solicitors. You are still duty bound to disclose details of the dispute to the purchasers, but it is clearly preferable to present the dispute as historic rather than unresolved.

  • Prestwich Conveyancing for Leasehold Flats - Sample of Queries before buying

      Can you tell me if there are any major works in the planning that will increase the maintenance charges? Who takes responsibility for maintaining and repairing the block? It would be sensible to find out as much as you can regarding the managing agents as they can either make living at the property much simpler or uncomfortable. Being a leasehold owner you will be at the mercy of the managing agents from a financial perspective and when it comes to practical matters like the upkeep of the common parts. Don't be afraid to ask other tenants what they think of them. In conclusion, be sure you know the dates that the service charges are due to the appropriate party and precisely how they are spending the funds.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Prestwich