Frequently asked questions relating to Shipley leasehold conveyancing
I’m about to sell my basement apartment in Shipley.Conveyancing solicitors are to be appointed soon but I have just received a half-yearly service charge demand – what should I do?
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 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.
Back In 2000, I bought a leasehold house in Shipley. Conveyancing and HSBC Bank mortgage organised. I have received a letter from someone saying they have taken over the freehold. Attached was a demand for arrears of ground rent dating back to 1995. The conveyancing practitioner in Shipley who acted for me is not around.What should I do?
First contact the Land Registry to make sure that the individual claiming to own the freehold is indeed the registered owner of the freehold reversion. It is not necessary to incur the fees of a Shipley conveyancing firm to do this as it can be done on-line for £3. Rest assured that in any event, even if this is the legitimate landlord, under the Limitation Act 1980 the limitation period for recovery of ground rent is six years.
I've recently bought a leasehold house in Shipley. 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. However, 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 ensure 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 busy estate agent office in Shipley where we have witnessed a few flat sales jeopardised as a result of short leases. I have been given conflicting advice from local Shipley conveyancing firms. Can you confirm whether the vendor of a flat can instigate the lease extension process for the buyer?
Provided that 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 proposed purchaser can avoid having to wait 2 years to extend their lease. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment needs to be completed before, or simultaneously with 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.
Our conveyancer has advised that he intends to complete and exchange simultaneously on our sale of a £450000 maisonette in Shipley in just under a week. The freeholder has quoted £408 for Certificate of Compliance, building insurance schedule and previous years service charge statements. Is it legal for a freeholder to charge an administration fee for a leasehold conveyance in Shipley?
Shipley conveyancing on leasehold flats normally involves the purchaser’s solicitor submitting questions for the landlord to address. Although the landlord is under no legal obligation to respond to such questions the majority will be content to do so. They are at liberty levy a reasonable administration fee for responding to questions or supplying documentation. There is no set fee. The average fee for the paperwork that you are referring to is £350, in some transactions it is above £800. The administration charge levied by the landlord must be sent together with a summary of rights and obligations in relation to administration charges, otherwise the charge is technically not due. In reality one has little choice but to pay whatever is demanded should you wish to sell the property.
Shipley Leasehold Conveyancing - A selection of Questions you should consider before Purchasing
Plenty Shipley leasehold flats will have a service charge for the upkeep of the building invoiced by the management company. Should you purchase the property you will have to meet this liability, usually in instalments throughout the year. This can be anything from two or three hundred pounds to thousands of pounds for large purpose-built buildings. In all likelihood there will be a rentcharge to be met annual, ordinarily this is not a exorbitant amount, say about £50-£100 but you need to enquire it because on occasion it could be surprisingly expensive.
Are any of leasehold owners in dispute over their service charge payments?
Best to be warned if a new roof is being put on or some other major work is due in the near future that will be shared by the tenants and will materially impact the level of the service fees or result in a one off payment.