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Questions and Answers: Redruth leasehold conveyancing

I am on look out for some leasehold conveyancing in Redruth. Before I get started I want to be sure as to the unexpired term of the lease.

If the lease is recorded at the land registry - and 99.9% are in Redruth - then the leasehold title will always include the basic details of the lease, namely the date; the term; and the original parties. From a conveyancing perspective such details then enable any prospective buyer and lender to confirm that any lease they are looking at is the one relevant to that title.For any other purpose, such as confirming how long the term was granted for and calculating what is left, then the register should be sufficient on it's own.

I have just appointed agents to market my 2 bed flat in Redruth.Conveyancing solicitors are to be appointed soon but I have just received a half-yearly maintenance charge invoice – Do I pay up?

It best that you clear 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 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 am hoping to put an offer on a small detached house that appears to tick a lot of boxes, at a reasonable figure which is making it more attractive. I have subsequently been informed that the title is leasehold rather than freehold. I would have thought that there are particular concerns buying a leasehold house in Redruth. Conveyancing advisers have not yet been appointed. Will my lawyers set out the implications of buying a leasehold house in Redruth ?

Most houses in Redruth are freehold and not leasehold. This is one of the situations where having a local solicitor who is familiar with the area can assist with the conveyancing process. it is apparent that you are buying in Redruth so you should seriously consider shopping around for a Redruth conveyancing solicitor and check that they are used to transacting on leasehold houses. First you will need to check the unexpired lease term. Being a lessee you will not be entirely free to do whatever you want with the house. The lease will likely included provisions such as requiring the landlord’spermission to carry out alterations. You may also be required to pay a service charge towards the upkeep of the communal areas where the property is located on an estate. Your lawyer will advise you fully on all the issues.

I've recently bought a leasehold flat in Redruth. Do I have any liability for service charges for periods before 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. 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 work for a reputable estate agency in Redruth where we see a number of flat sales put at risk due to short leases. I have received inconsistent advice from local Redruth conveyancing solicitors. Could you shed some light as to whether the seller of a flat can commence the lease extension formalities for the purchaser on completion of the sale?

As long as the seller has been the owner for at least 2 years it is possible, to serve a Section 42 notice to commence 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 has to be done before, or simultaneously with completion of the sale.

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 buyer.

Redruth Leasehold Conveyancing - Examples of Questions you should consider Prior to Purchasing

    Best to be warned if window replacement or some other significant cost is due shortly to be shared by the tenants and will dramatically impact the level of the maintenance costs or necessitate a specific invoice. How is the lease structured? Are any of leasehold owners in arrears of their service charge payments?

Other Topics

Lease Extensions in Redruth