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Questions and Answers: Saltash leasehold conveyancing

Having checked my lease I have discovered that there are only 72 years remaining on my lease in Saltash. I am keen to extend my lease but my freeholder is absent. What are my options?

On the basis that you meet the appropriate requirements, under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 you can apply to the County Court for for permission to dispense with the service of the initial notice. This will mean that your lease can be extended by the magistrate. However, you will be required to prove that you have made all reasonable attempts to track down the lessor. On the whole a specialist would be useful to try and locate and to produce an expert document which can be accepted by the court as evidence that the landlord can not be located. It is advisable to get professional help from a property lawyer in relation to proving the landlord’s disappearance and the vesting order request to the County Court overseeing Saltash.

I am hoping to put an offer on a small detached house that appears to meet my requirements, at a great figure which is making it all the more appealing. I have since found out that it's a leasehold rather than freehold. I would have thought that there are issues purchasing a leasehold house in Saltash. Conveyancing solicitors have not yet been appointed. Will they explain the issues?

Most houses in Saltash are freehold rather than leasehold. This is one of the situations where having a local solicitor who is familiar with the area can help the conveyancing process. We note that you are buying in Saltash in which case you should be looking for a Saltash conveyancing practitioner and check that they have experience in transacting on leasehold houses. As a matter of priority 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 comes with conditions such as obtaining the freeholder’spermission to carry out changes to the property. You may also be required to pay a service charge towards the maintenance of the communal areas where the house is part of an estate. Your solicitor should advise you fully on all the issues.

My wife and I purchased a leasehold house in Saltash. Conveyancing and Norwich and Peterborough Building Society mortgage organised. A letter has just been received from someone saying they have taken over the reversionary interest in the property. Attached was a ground rent demand for rent dating back to 1991. The conveyancing solicitor in Saltash who acted for me is not around.Any advice?

The first thing you should do is contact HMLR to be sure that this person is indeed the new freeholder. You do not need to incur the fees of a Saltash conveyancing lawyer to do this as it can be done on-line for a few pound. You should note that regardless, even if this is the rightful landlord, under the Limitation Act 1980 no more than 6 years of rent can be collected.

Last month I purchased a leasehold house in Saltash. Am I liable to pay 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 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 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).

We expect to complete our sale of a £500000 garden flat in Saltash in 5 days. The landlords agents has quoted £336 for Landlord’s certificate, insurance certificate and previous years service charge statements. Is it legal for a freeholder to charge an administration fee for a flat conveyance in Saltash?

For the majority of leasehold sales in Saltash conveyancing will involve, queries regarding the management of a building inevitably needing to be answered directly by the freeholder or its agent, this includes :

  • Addressing conveyancing due diligence questions
  • Where consent is required before sale in Saltash
  • Copies of the building insurance and schedule
  • Deeds of covenant upon sale
  • Registering of the assignment of the change of lessee after a sale
Your lawyer will have no control over the level of the charges for this information but the average costs for the information for Saltash leasehold premises is £350. For Saltash conveyancing transactions it is customary for the seller to pay for these costs. The landlord or their agents are under no legal obligation to answer such questions most will be willing to do so - albeit often at exorbitant prices where the fees bear little relation to the work involved. Unfortunately there is no law that requires fixed charges for administrative tasks. Neither is there any legal time frame by which they are required to provide answers.

I bought a split level flat in Saltash, conveyancing having been completed half a dozen years ago. Can you let me have an estimated range of the fair premium for a lease extension? Equivalent properties in Saltash with over 90 years remaining are worth £227,000. The average or mid-range amount of ground rent is £45 invoiced annually. The lease runs out on 21st October 2100

With just 79 years remaining on your lease we estimate the premium for your lease extension to range between £10,500 and £12,000 as well as legals.

The suggested premium range that we have given is a general guide to costs for renewing a lease, but we are not able to provide a more accurate figure without more comprehensive investigations. Do not use this information 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 Saltash