Common questions relating to Radcliffe leasehold conveyancing
I’m about to sell my garden apartment in Radcliffe.Conveyancing is yet to be initiated but I have just had a yearly service charge demand – what should I do?
Your conveyancing lawyer is likely to suggest that you should clear 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 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. This will smooth the conveyancing process.
I've found a house that seems to tick a lot of boxes, at a reasonable price which is making it all the more appealing. I have subsequently discovered that the title is leasehold as opposed to freehold. I am assuming that there are issues buying a leasehold house in Radcliffe. Conveyancing lawyers have not yet been instructed. Will my lawyers set out the implications of buying a leasehold house in Radcliffe ?
Most houses in Radcliffe are freehold rather than leasehold. In this scenario it’s worth having a local solicitor who is familiar with the area can assist with the conveyancing process. We note that you are purchasing in Radcliffe so you should seriously consider looking for a Radcliffe conveyancing practitioner and check that they have experience in advising on leasehold houses. First you will need to check the unexpired lease term. Being a leaseholder you will not be at liberty to do whatever you want with the house. The lease comes with conditions such as obtaining the freeholder’sconsent to carry out changes to the property. It may be necessary to pay a maintenance charge towards the maintenance of the communal areas where the house is part of an estate. Your conveyancer will report to you on the legal implications.
I've recently bought a leasehold flat in Radcliffe. Am I liable to pay service charges for periods before my ownership?
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. 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 work for a reputable estate agency in Radcliffe where we have witnessed a number of leasehold sales put at risk as a result of leases having less than 80 years remaining. I have received contradictory information from local Radcliffe conveyancing solicitors. Please can you clarify 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. The benefit of this is that the buyer can avoid having to wait 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 simultaneously with completion of the disposal of the property.
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 purchaser.
What makes a Radcliffe lease unmortgageable?
Leasehold conveyancing in Radcliffe is not unique. Most leases are unique and legal mistakes in the legal wording can sometimes mean that certain clauses are missing. The following missing provisions could result in a defective lease:
- A provision to repair to or maintain elements of the premises
- A duty to insure the building
- Clauses dealing with recovering service charges for expenditure on the building or common parts.
- Service charge per centages that don't add up correctly leaving a shortfall
You will encounter a problem when selling your property if you have a defective lease primarily because it impacts on the ability to obtain a mortgage on the property. Lloyds TSB Bank, The Mortgage Works, and Clydesdale all have express conveyancing instructions when it comes to what is expected in a lease. Where a lender has been advised by their lawyers that the lease is defective they may refuse to provide security, forcing the buyer to pull out.
I acquired a 1st floor flat in Radcliffe, conveyancing formalities finalised half a dozen years ago. Can you work out an approximate cost of a lease extension? Corresponding flats in Radcliffe with a long lease are worth £215,000. The average or mid-range amount of ground rent is £60 per annum. The lease ends on 21st October 2078
With just 57 years unexpired we estimate the premium for your lease extension to be between £28,500 and £33,000 as well as plus your own and the landlord's "reasonable" professional fees.
The figure above a general guide to costs for extending a lease, but we are not able to advice on a more accurate figure without more comprehensive investigations. You should not use this information in tribunal or court proceedings. There are no doubt other issues that need to be taken into account and clearly you should be as accurate as possible in your negotiations. Please do not move forward placing reliance on this information before getting professional advice.