Shaftesbury leasehold conveyancing: Q and A’s
Due to sign contracts shortly on a ground floor flat in Shaftesbury. Conveyancing lawyers inform me that they are sending me a report within the next couple of days. Are there areas in the report that I should be focusing on?
The report on title for your leasehold conveyancing in Shaftesbury should include some of the following:
- Ground rent - how much and when you need to pay, and also know whether this will change in the future
I’m about to sell my ground floor apartment in Shaftesbury.Conveyancing is yet to be initiated but I have just received a yearly service charge invoice – Do I pay up?
It best that you discharge 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 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.
Last month I purchased a leasehold flat in Shaftesbury. Do I have any liability for service charges relating to a period prior to completion of my purchase?
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. Strange as it may seem, 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).
Our conveyancer has advised that he intends to complete and exchange simultaneously on our sale of a £375000 apartment in Shaftesbury next week. The freeholder has quoted £372 for Certificate of Compliance, insurance certificate and previous years statements of service charge. Is it legal for a freeholder to charge exorbitant fees for a leasehold conveyance in Shaftesbury?
Shaftesbury conveyancing on leasehold flats usually necessitates administration charges invoiced by freeholders :
- Completing conveyancing due diligence questions
- Where consent is required before sale in Shaftesbury
- Supplying insurance information
- Deeds of covenant upon sale
- Registering of the assignment of the change of lessee after a sale
What makes a Shaftesbury lease unmortgageable?
There is nothing unique about leasehold conveyancing in Shaftesbury. All leases are unique and legal mistakes in the legal wording can sometimes mean that certain clauses are missing. The following missing provisions could result in a defective lease:
- A provision to repair to or maintain elements 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
A defective lease will likely cause issues when trying to sell a property as they can affect a potential buyer’s ability to obtain a mortgage. Lloyds TSB Bank, Leeds Building Society, and Barclays Direct all have express requirements 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 provide security, forcing the buyer to withdraw.
Leasehold Conveyancing in Shaftesbury - Sample of Questions you should consider Prior to Purchasing
Who takes charge for maintaining and repairing the building?
The majority of Shaftesbury leasehold properties will be liable to pay a service charge for maintenance of the block levied by the freeholder. Where you acquire the flat you will have to pay this liability, usually in instalments during the year. This could vary from a few hundred pounds to thousands of pounds for bigger purpose-built blocks. There will also be a ground rent to be met yearly, this is usually not a large amount, say around £50-£100 but you need to check as occasionally it could be many hundreds of pounds.
The answer will be important as a) areas could result in problems in the building as the communal areas may begin to deteriorate if maintenance remain unpaid b) if the tenants have an issue with the managing agents you will need to have all the details