Common questions relating to Redland leasehold conveyancing
I’m about to sell my basement flat in Redland.Conveyancing solicitors are to be appointed soon but I have just received a yearly maintenance charge demand – should I leave it to the buyer to sort out?
It best that you discharge 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 unless 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.
Back In 2003, I bought a leasehold house in Redland. Conveyancing and Yorkshire Building Society mortgage organised. I have received a letter from someone saying they have taken over 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?
The first thing you should do is make enquiries of HMLR to be sure that this person is in fact the registered owner of the freehold reversion. There is no need to instruct a Redland conveyancing firm to do this as you can do this on the Land Registry website for £3. Rest assured that in any event, even if this is the legitimate landlord, under the Limitation Act 1980 no more than 6 years of rent can be collected.
I've recently bought a leasehold flat in Redland. Do I have any liability for 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 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 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 am employed by a busy estate agency in Redland where we see a number of leasehold sales derailed due to short leases. I have been given inconsistent advice from local Redland conveyancing firms. Could you confirm whether the owner of a flat can initiate the lease extension formalities for the buyer?
As long as 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 for a lease extension. 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 sale.
Alternatively, it may be possible 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.
What advice can you give us when it comes to choosing a Redland conveyancing practice to deal with our lease extension?
When appointing a conveyancer for lease extension works (regardless if they are a Redland conveyancing practice) it is most important that they be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of conveyancing. We suggested that you speak with two or three firms including non Redland conveyancing practices before you instructing a firm. If the firm is ALEP accredited then that’s a bonus. Some following of questions could be of use:
- If they are not ALEP accredited then why not?
I am the registered owner of a ground floor flat in Redland, conveyancing having been completed 9 years ago. Can you let me have an estimate of the premium that my landlord can legally expect in return for granting a renewal of my lease? Equivalent properties in Redland with a long lease are worth £194,000. The average or mid-range amount of ground rent is £45 yearly. The lease finishes on 21st October 2089
With only 68 years left to run the likely cost is going to be between £10,500 and £12,000 plus professional fees.
The suggested premium range above a general guide to costs for renewing a lease, but we are not able to supply the actual costs without more detailed investigations. Do not use this information in tribunal or court proceedings. There may be additional issues that need to be taken into account and clearly you want to be as accurate as possible in your negotiations. Please do not move forward placing reliance on this information without first seeking the advice of a professional.