Sample questions relating to Shefford leasehold conveyancing
I am hoping to put an offer on a small detached house that seems to tick a lot of boxes, at a reasonable figure which is making it all the more appealing. I have just discovered that it's a leasehold as opposed to freehold. I am assuming that there are issues buying a house with a leasehold title in Shefford. Conveyancing solicitors have are about to be appointed. Will my lawyers set out the implications of buying a leasehold house in Shefford ?
The majority of houses in Shefford are freehold and not leasehold. This is one of the situations where having a local conveyancer who is familiar with the area can help the conveyancing process. it is apparent that you are buying in Shefford in which case you should be looking for a Shefford conveyancing solicitor and check that they are used to transacting on leasehold houses. First you will need to check the unexpired lease term. Being a lessee you will not be entirely free to do whatever you want with the house. The lease comes with conditions for example requiring the landlord’spermission to carry out alterations. You may also be required to pay a service charge towards the upkeep of the estate where the house is located on an estate. Your conveyancer will report to you on the legal implications.
I've recently bought a leasehold house in Shefford. 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. Strange as it may seem, your landlord may still be able to take action to forfeit the lease. It is an essential part 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 am a negotiator for a busy estate agency in Shefford where we see a number of leasehold sales jeopardised as a result of short leases. I have been given contradictory information from local Shefford conveyancing firms. Could you clarify whether the owner of a flat can start the lease extension process 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 commence the lease extension process and assign the benefit of the notice to the purchaser. This means that the buyer can avoid having to sit tight for 2 years to extend their lease. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment has to be done prior to, or at the same time as completion of the sale.
An alternative approach is 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 buyer.
Can you offer any advice when it comes to appointing a Shefford conveyancing firm to carry out our lease extension conveyancing?
When appointing a property lawyer for lease extension works (regardless if they are a Shefford conveyancing firm) it is essential that he or she should be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of work. We advise that you talk with two or three firms including non Shefford conveyancing practices prior to instructing a firm. If the firm is ALEP accredited then so much the better. Some following of questions could be of use:
- How familiar is the practice with lease extension legislation?
When it comes to leasehold conveyancing in Shefford what are the most frequent lease defects?
There is nothing unique about leasehold conveyancing in Shefford. Most leases is drafted differently and legal mistakes in the legal wording can sometimes mean that certain provisions are missing. For example, if your lease is missing any of the following, it could be defective:
- A provision to repair to or maintain elements of the property
- Insurance obligations
- 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 could have a problem when selling your property if you have a defective lease as they can affect a potential buyer’s ability to obtain a mortgage. Santander, Bank of Scotland, and Nottingham Building Society all have very detailed requirements when it comes to what is expected in a lease. If a mortgage lender believes that the lease does not cover certain provisions they may refuse to provide security, forcing the purchaser to withdraw.
Leasehold Conveyancing in Shefford - Examples of Queries before Purchasing
How much is the annual maintenance fee and ground rent?
The answer will be important as a) areas can cause problems in the building as the communal areas may start to deteriorate where services are not paid for b) if the tenants have a dispute with the managing agents you will want to have all the details
It is important to be aware whether fixing the lift or some other major work is pending that will be shared by the leasehold owners and may well materially increase the the service fees or result in a one off payment.