Questions and Answers: Sandhurst leasehold conveyancing
I've found a house that appears to be perfect, at a reasonable figure which is making it all the more appealing. I have subsequently discovered that it's a leasehold rather than freehold. I would have thought that there are issues buying a leasehold house in Sandhurst. Conveyancing solicitors have are about to be instructed. Will my lawyers set out the risks of buying a leasehold house in Sandhurst ?
Most houses in Sandhurst are freehold rather than leasehold. In this scenario it’s worth having a local solicitor who is familiar with the area can help the conveyancing process. We note that you are purchasing in Sandhurst in which case you should be looking for a Sandhurst conveyancing solicitor 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 to the property. The lease comes with conditions such as obtaining the landlord’spermission to conduct alterations. 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 conveyancer should report to you on the legal implications.
Back In 2005, I bought a leasehold house in Sandhurst. Conveyancing and Coventry Building Society mortgage organised. A letter has just been received from someone claiming to own the freehold. It included a demand for arrears of ground rent dating back to 1996. The conveyancing practitioner in Sandhurst who acted for me is not around.What should I do?
The first thing you should do is make enquiries of the Land Registry to make sure that the individual claiming to own the freehold is indeed the registered owner of the freehold reversion. It is not necessary to instruct a Sandhurst conveyancing practitioner to do this as you can do this on the Land Registry website for a few pound. Rest assured that regardless, even if this is the legitimate landlord, under the Limitation Act 1980 no more than 6 years of rent can be collected.
I am looking at a couple of maisonettes in Sandhurst both have approximately fifty years remaining on the lease term. Should I regard a short lease as a deal breaker?
There are no two ways about it. A leasehold flat in Sandhurst is a deteriorating asset as a result of the shortening lease. The closer the lease gets to its expiry date, the more it reduces the salability of the property. The majority of purchasers and banks, leases with under 75 years become less and less marketable. 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 property 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 Sandhurst conveyancing experts who will explain the options available to you during an initial telephone conversation free of charge. A more straightforward and quicker method of extending would be to contact your landlord directly and sound him out on the prospect of extending the lease You may find he or she is happy to negotiate informally and willing to consider your offer straight off, without having to involve anyone else. This will save you time and money and it could help you reach a lower price on the lease. 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.
Do you have any top tips for leasehold conveyancing in Sandhurst with the intention of expediting the sale process?
- Much of the delay in leasehold conveyancing in Sandhurst can be avoided where you get in touch lawyers as soon as your agents start advertising the property and ask them to put together the leasehold information needed by the purchasers’ solicitors.
- If you have carried out any alterations to the residence would they have required Landlord’s consent? Have you, for example laid down wooden flooring? Sandhurst leases often stipulate that internal structural changes or addition of wooden flooring necessitate a licence from the Landlord approving such works. Where you fail to have the paperwork in place you should not communicate with the landlord without checking with your conveyancer first.
When it comes to leasehold conveyancing in Sandhurst what are the most common lease defects?
There is nothing unique about leasehold conveyancing in Sandhurst. All leases are individual and drafting errors can sometimes mean that certain sections are missing. For example, if your lease is missing any of the following, it could be defective:
- Repairing obligations to or maintain parts of the premises
- Insurance obligations
- Clauses dealing with recovering service charges for expenditure on the building or common parts.
- Service charge per centages that don't add up correctly leaving a shortfall
You will have difficulties when selling your property if you have a defective lease primarily because it impacts on the ability to obtain a mortgage on the property. Yorkshire Building Society, Skipton Building Society, and Aldermore all have express requirements when it comes to what is expected in a lease. If a mortgage lender believes that the lease is defective they may refuse to grant the mortgage, obliging the purchaser to pull out.
I acquired a ground floor flat in Sandhurst, conveyancing was carried out 2005. Can you shed any light on how much the price could be for a 90 year extension to my lease? Equivalent properties in Sandhurst with over 90 years remaining are worth £262,000. The average or mid-range amount of ground rent is £55 charged once a year. The lease comes to an end on 21st October 2075
With 54 years left to run we estimate the price of your lease extension to be between £29,500 and £34,000 plus costs.
The suggested premium range above a general guide to costs for extending a lease, but we cannot give you a more accurate figure in the absence of comprehensive investigations. Do not use the figures in tribunal or court proceedings. There are no doubt other issues that need to be taken into account and clearly you should be as accurate as possible in your negotiations. Please do not move forward based on this information before getting professional advice.