Southport leasehold conveyancing: Q and A’s
Having checked my lease I have discovered that there are only 62 years left on my lease in Southport. I am keen to extend my lease but my freeholder is absent. What options are available to me?
On the basis that you qualify, under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 you can submit an application to the County Court for an order to dispense with the service of the initial notice. This will mean that your lease can be lengthened by the magistrate. You will be obliged to prove that you or your lawyers have used your best endeavours to track down the lessor. In some cases an enquiry agent may be helpful to carry out a search and to produce an expert document which can be accepted by the court as evidence that the landlord is indeed missing. It is wise to seek advice from a conveyancer in relation to proving the landlord’s disappearance and the application to the County Court overseeing Southport.
I have just appointed agents to market my basement flat in Southport.Conveyancing has not commenced but I have just had a yearly maintenance charge invoice – what should I do?
Your conveyancing lawyer is likely to suggest that you should discharge 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 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 house in Southport. Do I have any liability for service charges relating to a period prior to my ownership?
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 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).
Do you have any top tips for leasehold conveyancing in Southport from the perspective of saving time on the sale process?
- Much of the frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Southport can be reduced where you appoint lawyers the minute your agents start advertising the property and request that they start to put together the leasehold documentation needed by the buyers solicitors.
- A minority of Southport leases require Licence to Assign from the landlord. If this is the case, it would be prudent to notify your estate agents to make sure that the purchasers obtain bank and professional references. Any bank reference should make it clear that the buyer is financially capable of paying the annual service charge and the actual amount of the service charge should be quoted in the bank’s letter. You will therefore need to provide your estate agents with the actual amount of the service charge so that they can pass this information on to the purchasers or their lawyers.
When it comes to leasehold conveyancing in Southport what are the most frequent lease defects?
Leasehold conveyancing in Southport is not unique. All leases are unique and legal mistakes in the legal wording can sometimes mean that certain provisions are erroneous. For example, if your lease is missing any of the following, it could be defective:
- Repairing obligations to or maintain parts of the building
- Insurance obligations
- A provision for the recovery of money spent for the benefit of another party.
- Service charge per centages that don't add up correctly leaving a shortfall
You could have difficulties when selling your property if you have a defective lease primarily because it impacts on the ability to obtain a mortgage on the property. Accord Mortgages Ltd, Bank of Scotland, and Nottingham Building Society all have express conveyancing instructions when it comes to what is expected in a lease. If a mortgage lender believes that the lease is problematic they may refuse to provide security, obliging the purchaser to withdraw.
I am the registered owner of a 2 bed flat in Southport, conveyancing was carried out in 2004. Can you please calculate a probable premium for a statutory lease extension? Corresponding properties in Southport with a long lease are worth £175,000. The ground rent is £50 invoiced every year. The lease expires on 21st October 2092
With just 68 years left to run we estimate the price of your lease extension to span between £8,600 and £9,800 plus professional fees.
The suggested premium range above a general guide to costs for renewing a lease, but we are not able to advice on the actual costs in the absence of comprehensive due diligence. Do not use the figures in tribunal or court proceedings. There are no doubt additional concerns that need to be taken into account and clearly you should be as accurate as possible in your negotiations. Neither should you take any other action placing reliance on this information without first getting professional advice.