Questions and Answers: Shard End leasehold conveyancing
Expecting to complete next month on a basement flat in Shard End. Conveyancing solicitors assured me that they are sending me a report on Monday. Are there areas in the report that I should be focusing on?
Your report on title for your leasehold conveyancing in Shard End should include some of the following:
- The length of the lease term You should be advised as what happens when the lease expires, and aware of the importance of the 80 year mark
I have just started marketing my 2 bed flat in Shard End.Conveyancing has not commenced but I have just had a half-yearly maintenance charge demand – should I leave it to the buyer to sort out?
The sensible thing to do is clear 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 management companies will not acknowledge the buyer until 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 property in Shard End. Do I have any liability for service charges relating to a period prior to my ownership?
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. 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 long established estate agent office in Shard End where we have experienced a number of flat sales put at risk as a result of leases having less than 80 years remaining. I have been given inconsistent advice from local Shard End conveyancing solicitors. Please can you shed some light as to whether the vendor of a flat can start the lease extension process for the purchaser on completion of the sale?
Provided that the seller has been the owner 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. The benefit of this is that the buyer need not have to wait 2 years to extend their lease. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment needs to be completed prior to, or simultaneously with completion of the sale.
Alternatively, it may be possible 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 purchaser.
If all goes to plan we aim to complete the disposal of our £250000 garden flat in Shard End on Monday in a week. The managing agents has quoted £312 for Landlord’s certificate, insurance certificate and previous years service charge statements. Is the landlord entitled to charge exorbitant fees for a leasehold conveyance in Shard End?
Shard End conveyancing on leasehold apartments often necessitates the purchaser’s lawyer sending enquiries for the landlord to address. Although the landlord is not legally bound to answer these enquiries the majority will be willing to assist. They are at liberty levy a reasonable administration fee for responding to questions or supplying documentation. There is no upper cap for such fees. The average fee for the information that you are referring to is £350, in some cases it is above £800. The management information fee invoiced by the landlord must be sent together with a synopsis of entitlements and obligations in relation to administration charges, without which the invoice is not strictly payable. In reality one has little choice but to pay whatever is demanded if you want to exchange contracts with the buyer.
I own a leasehold flat in Shard End, conveyancing was carried out 2006. Can you let me have an estimated range of the fair premium for a lease extension? Corresponding properties in Shard End with a long lease are worth £240,000. The ground rent is £50 charged once a year. The lease expires on 21st October 2088
With just 68 years remaining on your lease we estimate the price of your lease extension to span between £10,500 and £12,000 as well as plus your own and the landlord's "reasonable" professional fees.
The suggested premium range above a general guide to costs for renewing a lease, but we cannot give you the actual costs without more comprehensive investigations. Do not use this information in tribunal or court proceedings. There may be additional issues that need to be considered and you obviously should be as accurate as possible in your negotiations. You should not take any other action placing reliance on this information before getting professional advice.