Shaftesbury leasehold conveyancing: Q and A’s
I am in need of some leasehold conveyancing in Shaftesbury. Before I set the wheels in motion I would like to find out the remaining lease term.
Assuming the lease is recorded at the land registry - and most are in Shaftesbury - then the leasehold title will always include the basic details 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.
There are only Fifty years unexpired on my lease in Shaftesbury. I now wish to extend my lease but my freeholder is missing. What options are available to me?
On the basis that you meet the appropriate requirements, under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 you can submit an application to the County Court for for permission to dispense with the service of the initial notice. This will mean that your lease can be lengthened by the Court. You will be obliged to demonstrate that you have used your best endeavours to locate the freeholder. For most situations a specialist may be helpful to try and locate and prepare a report which can be accepted by the court as evidence that the landlord is indeed missing. It is advisable to get professional help from a property lawyer both on investigating the landlord’s disappearance and the application to the County Court overseeing Shaftesbury.
I have just started marketing my 2 bed flat in Shaftesbury.Conveyancing is yet to be initiated but I have just had a quarterly maintenance charge demand – what should I do?
The sensible thing to do is pay 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. This will smooth the conveyancing process.
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?
In a situation 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 finding a Shaftesbury conveyancing practice to carry out our lease extension conveyancing?
If you are instructing a conveyancer for lease extension works (regardless if they are a Shaftesbury conveyancing firm) it is imperative that he or she should be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of work. We suggested that you speak with two or three firms including non Shaftesbury conveyancing practices prior to instructing a firm. If the firm is ALEP accredited then so much the better. Some following of questions might be useful:
- If the firm is not ALEP accredited then what is the reason?
Leasehold Conveyancing in Shaftesbury - Examples of Questions you should ask Prior to buying
Best to be warned if fixing the lift or some other major work is coming up to be shared amongst the leaseholders and will materially increase the the service costs or necessitate a specific payment.
Who takes charge for maintaining and repairing the block?
For most Shaftesbury leaseholds the cost for major works tend not to be built into the service charges, albeit that some managing agents in Shaftesbury ask tenants to contribute towards a reserve fund created for the specific purpose of establishing a fund for larger repairs or maintenance.