Top Five Questions relating to Shaftesbury leasehold conveyancing
Looking forward to complete next month on a leasehold property in Shaftesbury. Conveyancing solicitors have said that they are sending me a report tomorrow. 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:
- Details of the parties to the lease, for example these could be the leaseholder (you), head lessor, landlord
I own a leasehold flat in Shaftesbury. Conveyancing and Yorkshire Building Society mortgage are in place. I have received a letter from someone claiming to own the freehold. It included a demand for arrears of ground rent dating back to 1996. The conveyancing solicitor in Shaftesbury who acted for me is not around.Do I pay?
The first thing you should do is contact the Land Registry to make sure that this person is indeed the new freeholder. There is no need to incur the fees of a Shaftesbury conveyancing solicitor to do this as it can be done on-line for £3. You should note that in any event, even if this is the legitimate landlord, under the Limitation Act 1980 no more than 6 years of rent can be collected.
Last month I purchased a leasehold house in Shaftesbury. 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. 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).
I work for a reputable estate agent office in Shaftesbury where we see a number of leasehold sales jeopardised due to leases having less than 80 years remaining. I have been given inconsistent advice from local Shaftesbury conveyancing solicitors. Can you clarify whether the vendor of a flat can commence the lease extension formalities for the buyer?
As long as the seller has owned the lease for at least 2 years it is possible, to serve a Section 42 notice to start the lease extension process and assign the benefit of the notice to the purchaser. The benefit of this is that the proposed purchaser need not have to wait 2 years for a lease extension. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment has to be done before, or simultaneously with completion of the disposal of the property.
Alternatively, it may be possible to agree the lease extension with the freeholder 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 purchaser.
What makes a Shaftesbury lease defective?
There is nothing unique about leasehold conveyancing in Shaftesbury. Most leases is drafted differently and legal mistakes in the legal wording can sometimes mean that certain sections are erroneous. For example, if your lease is missing any of the following, it could be defective:
- Repairing obligations to or maintain elements 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. Birmingham Midshires, Skipton Building Society, and Bank of Ireland all have very detailed requirements when it comes to what is expected in a lease. Where a lender has been advised by their lawyers that the lease is problematic they may refuse to provide security, forcing the purchaser to pull out.
I own a leasehold flat in Shaftesbury, conveyancing formalities finalised 2007. Can you let me have an estimated range of the fair premium for a lease extension? Corresponding flats in Shaftesbury with over 90 years remaining are worth £223,000. The ground rent is £65 charged once a year. The lease runs out on 21st October 2081
With just 58 years left to run the likely cost is going to range between £22,800 and £26,400 as well as plus your own and the landlord's "reasonable" professional fees.
The figure that we have given is a general guide to costs for extending a lease, but we cannot give you the actual costs without more comprehensive due diligence. Do not use the figures in tribunal or court proceedings. There may be other concerns that need to be considered and you obviously should be as accurate as possible in your negotiations. Neither should you take any other action based on this information without first getting professional advice.