Top Five Questions relating to St James leasehold conveyancing
Expecting to exchange soon on a ground floor flat in St James. Conveyancing lawyers inform me that they report fully tomorrow. What should I be looking out for?
Your report on title for your leasehold conveyancing in St James should include some of the following:
- Details of the parties to the lease, for example these could be the leaseholder (you), head lessor, landlord
I am hoping to put an offer on a small detached house that seems to tick a lot of boxes, at a great figure which is making it more attractive. I have subsequently been informed that it's a leasehold as opposed to freehold. I would have thought that there are particular concerns purchasing a leasehold house in St James. Conveyancing solicitors have are about to be instructed. Will they explain the issues?
The majority of houses in St James are freehold rather than leasehold. This is one of the situations where having a local solicitor who is familiar with the area can help the conveyancing process. We note that you are buying in St James so you should seriously consider shopping around for a St James conveyancing solicitor and be sure that they are used to transacting on leasehold houses. As a matter of priority you will need to check the unexpired lease term. As a tenant you will not be at liberty to do whatever you want to the property. The lease will likely included provisions such as requiring the freeholder’sconsent to carry out changes to the property. You may also be required to pay a maintenance charge towards the upkeep of the estate where the house is located on an estate. Your lawyer should advise you fully on all the issues.
I've recently bought a leasehold property in St James. 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. 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).
Can you provide any top tips for leasehold conveyancing in St James from the point of view of speeding up the sale process?
- A significant proportion of the frustration in leasehold conveyancing in St James can be bypassed where you get in touch lawyers as soon as you market your property and ask them to put together the leasehold information which will be required by the purchasers’ representatives.
- A minority of St James leases require Licence to Assign from the landlord. If this is the case, you should notify your estate agents to make sure that the purchasers obtain bank and professional references. The bank reference should make it clear that the buyer is financially capable of paying the yearly 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 service charge figures so that they can pass this information on to the buyers or their lawyers.
Completion in due on the disposal of our £275000 garden flat in St James in 8 days. The management company has quoted £372 for Certificate of Compliance, building insurance schedule and previous years statements of service charge. Is the landlord entitled to charge exorbitant fees for a flat conveyance in St James?
For the majority of leasehold sales in St James conveyancing will involve, queries regarding the management of a building inevitably needing to be answered directly by the freeholder or its agent, this includes :
- Completing pre-exchange questions
- Where consent is required before sale in St James
- Copies of the building insurance and schedule
- Deeds of covenant upon sale
- Registering of the assignment of the change of lessee after a sale
I have tried to negotiate informally with with my landlord for a lease extension without any joy. Can the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal adjudicate on such issues? Can you recommend a St James conveyancing firm to assist?
Most definitely. We can put you in touch with a St James conveyancing firm who can help.
An example of a Lease Extension case for a St James property is Flats 12A & 19, Evelyn Mansions Carlisle Place in June 2009. The Tribunal held that the price to be paid for the new lease of Flat 12A is £168,824, For the other flat the price was set at £169,110 This case related to 2 flats. The unexpired lease term was 56 years.