Questions and Answers: Seaham leasehold conveyancing
I have just started marketing my garden flat in Seaham.Conveyancing is yet to be initiated but I have just received a yearly maintenance charge demand – Do I pay up?
Your conveyancing lawyer is likely to suggest that you should pay the service charge 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 managing agents 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.
I've recently bought a leasehold property in Seaham. Am I liable to pay 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. It is an essential part 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 a negotiator for a busy estate agency in Seaham where we have witnessed a number of leasehold sales put at risk due to leases having less than 80 years remaining. I have been given contradictory information from local Seaham conveyancing firms. Please can you shed some light as to whether the owner of a flat can initiate the lease extension formalities for the purchaser on completion of the sale?
As long as the seller has owned the lease for at least 2 years it is possible, to serve a Section 42 notice to kick-start the lease extension process and assign the benefit of the notice to the purchaser. This means that the buyer need not have to sit tight for 2 years to extend their lease. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment has to be done prior to, or at the same time as completion of the disposal of the property.
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.
Do you have any advice for leasehold conveyancing in Seaham from the point of view of expediting the sale process?
- Much of the delay in leasehold conveyancing in Seaham can be avoided if you instruct lawyers the minute you market your property and ask them to put together the leasehold documentation needed by the purchasers’ conveyancers.
- Many landlords or Management Companies in Seaham levy fees for supplying management packs for a leasehold property. You or your lawyers should find out the fee that they propose to charge. The management pack can be applied for as soon as you have a buyer, thus reducing delays. The average time it takes to obtain the necessary information is three weeks. It is the most usual reason for delay in leasehold conveyancing in Seaham.
What makes a Seaham lease problematic?
There is nothing unique about leasehold conveyancing in Seaham. All leases are unique and legal mistakes in the legal wording can sometimes mean that certain sections are erroneous. The following missing provisions could result in a defective lease:
- A provision to repair to or maintain parts of the premises
- A duty to insure the building
- A provision for the recovery of money spent for the benefit of another party.
- Maintenance charge proportions which don’t add up to the correct percentage
You will encounter difficulties when selling your property if you have a defective lease as they can affect a potential buyer’s ability to obtain a mortgage. HSBC Bank, The Mortgage Works, and Aldermore all have express conveyancing instructions 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 provide security, forcing the purchaser to withdraw.
I acquired a leasehold flat in Seaham, conveyancing formalities finalised half a dozen years ago. Can you please calculate a probable premium for a statutory lease extension? Similar flats in Seaham with an extended lease are worth £184,000. The ground rent is £45 per annum. The lease expires on 21st October 2087
With just 66 years left to run we estimate the price of your lease extension to be between £13,300 and £15,400 plus costs.
The suggested premium range above a general guide to costs for renewing a lease, but we cannot give you the actual costs without more detailed investigations. Do not use the figures in a Notice of Claim or as an informal offer. 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 based on this information before getting professional advice.