Questions and Answers: Redland leasehold conveyancing
I’m about to sell my basement flat in Redland.Conveyancing is yet to be initiated but I have just received a yearly service charge invoice – what should I do?
The sensible thing to do is 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 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 own a leasehold flat in Redland. Conveyancing and Britannia mortgage organised. I have received a letter from someone claiming to own the freehold. Attached was a demand for arrears of ground rent dating back to 1997. The conveyancing solicitor in Redland who acted for me is not around.Any advice?
First make enquiries of HMLR to make sure that this person is indeed the registered owner of the freehold reversion. You do not need to instruct a Redland conveyancing lawyer to do this as you can do this on the Land Registry website for a few pound. 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.
I am looking at a couple of maisonettes in Redland both have approximately 50 years remaining on the lease term. Will this present a problem?
There is no doubt about it. A leasehold apartment in Redland is a deteriorating asset as a result of the reducing lease term. The nearer the lease gets to its expiry date, the more it adversely affects the value of the premises. The majority of buyers and banks, leases with less than eighty years become less and less attractive. On a more upbeat 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 Redland conveyancing experts who will explain the options available to you during an initial telephone conversation free of charge. More often than not it is possible to negotiate informally with the freeholder to extend 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 any new 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.
Our conveyancer has advised that he intends to complete and exchange simultaneously on our sale of a £475000 garden flat in Redland on Thursday in a week. The freeholder has quoted £360 for Landlord’s certificate, building insurance schedule and previous years statements of service charge. Is the landlord entitled to charge an administration fee for a leasehold conveyance in Redland?
Redland conveyancing on leasehold apartments normally requires the purchaser’s lawyer submitting questions for the landlord to answer. Although the landlord is under no legal obligation to answer these enquiries most will be willing to assist. They may invoice a reasonable administration fee for answering enquiries or supplying documentation. There is no upper cap for such fees. The average fee for the information that you are referring to is £350, in some transactions it is above £800. The management information fee demanded by the landlord must be sent together with a synopsis of entitlements and obligations in relation to administration fees, otherwise the charge is not strictly payable. In reality one has no choice but to pay whatever is demanded should you wish to exchange contracts with the buyer.
Are there common defects that you see in leases for Redland properties?
Leasehold conveyancing in Redland is not unique. Most leases is drafted differently and legal mistakes in the legal wording can result in certain provisions are not included. For example, if your lease is missing any of the following, it could be defective:
- Repairing obligations to or maintain parts of the property
- Insurance obligations
- A provision for the recovery of money spent for the benefit of another party.
- Maintenance charge proportions which don’t add up to the correct percentage
A defective lease can cause issues when trying to sell a property primarily because it impacts on the ability to obtain a mortgage on the property. Halifax, The Mortgage Works, and TSB all have very detailed requirements when it comes to what is expected in a lease. If a mortgage lender believes that the lease is problematic they may refuse to provide security, forcing the buyer to pull out.
Leasehold Conveyancing in Redland - Sample of Queries Prior to Purchasing
Does this lease have in excess of 90 years unexpired?
Where a Redland lease has fewer than 80 years it will affect the marketability of the property. It is worth checking with your mortgage company that they are willing to go ahead with the loan given the lease term. A short lease means that you will probably need a lease extension at some point and it is worth finding out what this would cost. For most Redlandlease extensions you will need to own the premises for 24 months before you are entitled to exercise a lease extension.
It would be prudent to find out as much as you can regarding the managing agents as they will impact your use and enjoyment of the property. As the proprietor of a leasehold property you are often at the mercy of the managing agents from a financial perspective and when it comes to day to day issues like the upkeep of the common parts. Ask prospective neighbours whether they are happy with their management. In conclusion, investigate as to the dates that you are obliged pay the service charge to the appropriate party and specifically how they are spending that money.