Frequently asked questions relating to Seaham leasehold conveyancing
I am in need of some leasehold conveyancing in Seaham. Before I set the wheels in motion I want to be sure as to the number of years remaining on the lease.
If the lease is recorded at the land registry - and 99.9% are in Seaham - then the leasehold title will always include the short particulars 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 recently realised that I have 68 years unexpired on my flat in Seaham. I now wish to get lease extension but my landlord is can not be found. What options are available to me?
If you qualify, under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 you can submit an application to the County Court for an order to dispense with the service of the initial notice. This will enable the lease to be granted an extra 90 years by the Court. However, you will be required to prove that you or your lawyers have made all reasonable attempts to locate the freeholder. For most situations an enquiry agent would be useful to conduct investigations and to produce an expert document which can be used as evidence that the landlord is indeed missing. It is advisable to get professional help from a conveyancer both on proving the landlord’s absence and the application to the County Court overseeing Seaham.
I've recently bought a leasehold house in Seaham. Do I have any liability for service charges for periods before my ownership?
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).
What are your top tips when it comes to choosing a Seaham conveyancing practice to carry out our lease extension conveyancing?
If you are instructing a conveyancer for lease extension works (regardless if they are a Seaham conveyancing practice) it is imperative that he or she should be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of conveyancing. We recommend that you make enquires with several firms including non Seaham conveyancing practices prior to instructing a firm. Where the conveyancing practice is ALEP accredited then that’s a bonus. Some following of questions might be helpful:
- Can they put you in touch with client in Seaham who can give a testimonial?
What are the frequently found deficiencies that you witness in leases for Seaham properties?
Leasehold conveyancing in Seaham is not unique. All leases is drafted differently and drafting errors can result in certain clauses are missing. 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
- 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 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. Lloyds TSB Bank, Chelsea Building Society, and Alliance & Leicester all have very detailed conveyancing instructions when it comes to what is expected in a lease. Where a lender has been advised by their lawyers that the lease does not cover certain provisions they may refuse to grant the mortgage, obliging the purchaser to pull out.
Leasehold Conveyancing in Seaham - Examples of Queries before Purchasing
Is there a share of the freehold?
Plenty Seaham leasehold flats will incur a service bill for maintenance of the building levied by the landlord. Where you purchase the apartment you will have to pay this liability, normally in instalments throughout the year. This can be anything from a few hundred pounds to thousands of pounds for blocks with lifts and large communal grounds. In all probability there will be a rentcharge for you to pay yearly, ordinarily this is not a large amount, say about £50-£100 but you need to check as on occasion it can be many hundreds of pounds.
How much is the service charge and ground rent on the property?