Experts for Leasehold Conveyancing in Prestwich

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Common questions relating to Prestwich leasehold conveyancing

I today plan to offer on a house that seems to be perfect, at a reasonable figure which is making it more attractive. I have since found out that the title is leasehold rather than freehold. I would have thought that there are particular concerns purchasing a house with a leasehold title in Prestwich. Conveyancing advisers have are about to be instructed. Will they explain the issues?

Most houses in Prestwich are freehold rather than leasehold. This is one of the situations where having a local conveyancer who is familiar with the area can help the conveyancing process. it is apparent that you are purchasing in Prestwich in which case you should be shopping around for a Prestwich conveyancing solicitor and check that they have experience in transacting on leasehold houses. First you will need to check the number of years remaining. Being a leaseholder you will not be entirely free to do whatever you want to the property. The lease will likely included provisions such as obtaining the freeholder’spermission to carry out alterations. You may also be required to pay a service charge towards the upkeep of the estate where the house is part of an estate. Your solicitor will advise you fully on all the issues.

My wife and I purchased a leasehold flat in Prestwich. Conveyancing and Godiva Mortgages Ltd mortgage went though with no issue. I have received a letter from someone claiming to own the freehold. It included a demand for arrears of ground rent dating back to 1996. The conveyancing solicitor in Prestwich who acted for me is not around.What should I do?

The first thing you should do is contact the Land Registry to be sure that the individual claiming to own the freehold is indeed the new freeholder. You do not need to instruct a Prestwich conveyancing firm to do this as you can do this on the Land Registry website for £3. You should note that in any event, even if this is the legitimate freeholder, under the Limitation Act 1980 the limitation period for recovery of ground rent is six years.

Last month I purchased a leasehold flat in Prestwich. Am I liable to pay service charges relating to a period prior to completion of my purchase?

In a situation 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 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 busy estate agency in Prestwich where we see a few leasehold sales put at risk as a result of short leases. I have been given inconsistent advice from local Prestwich conveyancing solicitors. Please can you clarify whether the owner of a flat can start the lease extension formalities for the purchaser on completion of the sale?

As long as 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 buyer need not have to wait 2 years to extend their lease. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment needs to be completed prior to, or at the same time as completion of the disposal of the property.

An alternative approach is to agree the lease extension with the freeholder 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 purchaser.

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

  • Much of the delay in leasehold conveyancing in Prestwich can be bypassed where you get in touch lawyers as soon as your agents start marketing the property and ask them to collate the leasehold documentation needed by the buyers representatives.
  • Many freeholders or Management Companies in Prestwich charge for providing management packs for a leasehold homes. You or your lawyers should enquire as to the actual amount of the charges. The management pack can be applied for as soon as you have a buyer, thus reducing delays. The average time it takes to receive management information is three weeks. It is the most common cause of delay in leasehold conveyancing in Prestwich.
  • If you have carried out any alterations to the residence would they have required Landlord’s approval? Have you, for example installed wooden flooring? Most leases in Prestwich state that internal structural alterations or installing wooden flooring calls for a licence from the Landlord consenting to such alterations. If you dont have the paperwork to hand do not communicate with the landlord without contacting your solicitor in advance.
  • Some Prestwich leases require Landlord’s consent to the sale and approval of the buyers. If this is the case, it would be prudent to notify your estate agents to make sure that the purchasers put in hand financial (bank) and professional references. The bank reference will need to confirm that the buyers are financially capable of paying the yearly 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 actual amount of the service charge so that they can pass this information on to the buyers or their lawyers.
  • If there is a history of any disputes with your freeholder or managing agents it is essential that these are settled prior to the flat being put on the market. The buyers and their solicitors will be reluctant to purchase a flat where a dispute is unresolved. 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 prior to the contract papers being issued to the buyers’ solicitors. You will still have to reveal particulars of the dispute to the buyers, but it is clearly preferable to present the dispute as over rather than unresolved.

  • Prestwich Conveyancing for Leasehold Flats - Examples of Questions you should consider before Purchasing

      What restrictions are there in the Prestwich Lease? The best form of lease structure is where the freehold interest is owned by the leaseholders. In this scenario the lessees enjoy being in charge if their destiny and notwithstanding that a managing agent is usually retained if it is larger than a house conversion, the managing agent acts for the leaseholders themselves. What is the length of the lease?

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Prestwich