Frequently asked questions relating to Shefford leasehold conveyancing
Having checked my lease I have discovered that there are only Sixty One years left on my lease in Shefford. I now want to extend my lease but my landlord is can not be found. What are my options?
If you qualify, under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 you can apply to the County Court for for permission to dispense with the service of the initial notice. This will mean that your lease can be extended by the Court. You will be obliged to prove that you have made all reasonable attempts to find the lessor. For most situations an enquiry agent would be helpful to try and locate and prepare a report which can be used as evidence that the freeholder is indeed missing. It is wise to seek advice from a solicitor both on proving the landlord’s absence and the vesting order request to the County Court overseeing Shefford.
I have just started marketing my garden apartment in Shefford.Conveyancing has not commenced but I have just had a half-yearly maintenance charge invoice – Do I pay up?
Your conveyancing lawyer is likely to suggest that you should 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 managing agents 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. This will smooth the conveyancing process.
Last month I purchased a leasehold flat in Shefford. Am I liable to pay service charges for periods before 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).
Can you offer any advice when it comes to finding a Shefford conveyancing firm to deal with our lease extension?
If you are instructing a solicitor for lease extension works (regardless if they are a Shefford conveyancing practice) it is imperative that he or she should be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of conveyancing. We recommend that you make enquires with two or three firms including non Shefford conveyancing practices prior to instructing a firm. Where the conveyancing practice is ALEP accredited then that’s a bonus. Some following of questions could be of use:
- If the firm is not ALEP accredited then why not?
Our conveyancer has advised that he intends to complete and exchange simultaneously on the sale of our £425000 maisonette in Shefford on Friday in a week. The management company has quoted £396 for Certificate of Compliance, building insurance schedule and previous years statements of service charge. Is the landlord entitled to charge such fees for a flat conveyance in Shefford?
Shefford conveyancing on leasehold maisonettes normally requires the buyer’s solicitor submitting enquiries for the landlord to answer. Although the landlord is under no legal obligation to address these enquiries most will be willing to assist. They are entitled invoice a reasonable charge for responding to questions or supplying documentation. There is no set fee. The average costs for the information that you are referring to is over three hundred pounds, in some situations it is above £800. The administration charge demanded by the landlord must be sent together with a summary of rights and obligations in respect of administration fees, otherwise the invoice is technically not due. In reality you have no option but to pay whatever is requested of you if you want to complete the sale of your home.
I own a 1 bedroom flat in Shefford, conveyancing formalities finalised in 2009. Can you let me have an estimate of the premium that my landlord can legally expect in return for granting a renewal of my lease? Similar flats in Shefford with a long lease are worth £254,000. The average or mid-range amount of ground rent is £65 invoiced every year. The lease ceases on 21st October 2096
With just 75 years left to run the likely cost is going to be between £11,400 and £13,200 as well as costs.
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. You should not use this information in a Notice of Claim or as an informal offer. There may be other concerns that need to be considered and clearly you want to be as accurate as possible in your negotiations. Neither should you take any other action placing reliance on this information before seeking the advice of a professional.