Fixed-fee leasehold conveyancing in Redruth:

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Frequently asked questions relating to Redruth leasehold conveyancing

I today plan to offer on a house that appears to meet my requirements, at a great price which is making it more attractive. I have just found out that the title is leasehold rather than freehold. I am assuming that there are issues buying a leasehold house in Redruth. Conveyancing lawyers have not yet been instructed. Will they explain the issues?

The majority of houses in Redruth are freehold rather than leasehold. In this scenario it’s worth having a local conveyancer used to dealing with such properties who can help the conveyancing process. It is clear that you are purchasing in Redruth in which case you should be shopping around for a Redruth conveyancing solicitor and check that they have experience in dealing with leasehold houses. First you will need to check the unexpired lease term. Being a lessee you will not be at liberty to do whatever you want to the property. The lease comes with conditions such as obtaining the landlord’sconsent to carry out changes to the property. You may also be required to pay a maintenance charge towards the upkeep of the communal areas where the property is located on an estate. Your lawyer will appraise you on the various issues.

Last month I purchased a leasehold flat in Redruth. Do I have any liability for 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 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 agent office in Redruth where we have witnessed a few flat sales jeopardised as a result of leases having less than 80 years remaining. I have been given contradictory information from local Redruth conveyancing solicitors. Can you confirm whether the owner of a flat can instigate the lease extension process 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 proposed purchaser need not have 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 simultaneously with completion of the disposal of the property.

Alternatively, it may be possible 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.

Can you provide any top tips for leasehold conveyancing in Redruth from the perspective of speeding up the sale process?

  • Much of the frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Redruth can be bypassed where you instruct lawyers the minute your agents start advertising the property and ask them to put together the leasehold documentation which will be required by the buyers lawyers.
  • The majority landlords or Management Companies in Redruth charge for providing management packs for a leasehold premises. You or your lawyers should discover the fee that they propose to charge. The management information sought on or before finding a buyer, thus accelerating the process. The average time it takes to obtain the necessary information is three weeks. It is the most common cause of delay in leasehold conveyancing in Redruth.
  • A minority of Redruth leases require Landlord’s consent to the sale and approval of the buyers. If this applies to your lease, it would be prudent to place the estate agents on notice to make sure that the purchasers put in hand bank and professional references. Any 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 purchasers or their solicitors.
  • If there is a history of any disputes with your landlord or managing agents it is essential that these are settled prior to the flat being marketed. The purchasers and their solicitors will be nervous about purchasing a property where there is an ongoing dispute. You may need to swallow your pride and discharge any arrears of service charge or settle 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 details of the dispute to the buyers, but it is better to present the dispute as historic as opposed to unsettled.
  • If you have the benefit of shareholding in the freehold, you should ensure that you have the original share document. Organising a duplicate share certificate can be a lengthy formality and delays many a Redruth conveyancing transaction. If a reissued share certificate is required, do contact the company officers or managing agents (if applicable) for this as soon as possible.

  • What are the common defects that you encounter in leases for Redruth properties?

    There is nothing unique about leasehold conveyancing in Redruth. All leases are unique and legal mistakes in the legal wording can sometimes mean that certain clauses are missing. For example, if your lease is missing any of the following, it could be defective:

    • Repairing obligations to or maintain elements of the property
    • Insurance obligations
    • A provision for the recovery of money spent for the benefit of another party.
    • Service charge per centages that don't add up correctly leaving a shortfall

    A defective lease can cause issues when trying to sell a property as they can affect a potential buyer’s ability to obtain a mortgage. Lloyds TSB Bank, Bank of Scotland, and Clydesdale all have express requirements when it comes to what is expected in a lease. If a mortgage lender believes that the lease does not cover certain provisions they may refuse to grant the mortgage, forcing the purchaser to withdraw.

    I bought a 1st floor flat in Redruth, conveyancing formalities finalised 1998. Can you work out an approximate cost of a lease extension? Corresponding flats in Redruth with a long lease are worth £245,000. The ground rent is £50 yearly. The lease ends on 21st October 2094

    With only 73 years unexpired the likely cost is going to be between £11,400 and £13,200 plus professional fees.

    The figure that we have given is a general guide to costs for renewing a lease, but we cannot give you the actual costs without more detailed due diligence. Do not use the figures in a Notice of Claim or as an informal offer. There may be other concerns that need to be taken into account and you obviously want to be as accurate as possible in your negotiations. You should not move forward placing reliance on this information without first seeking the advice of a professional.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Redruth