Stalybridge leasehold conveyancing: Q and A’s
I have just appointed agents to market my ground floor apartment in Stalybridge.Conveyancing solicitors are to be appointed soon but I have just received a half-yearly service charge demand – should I leave it to the buyer to sort out?
Your conveyancing lawyer is likely to suggest that you should clear 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 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. Having a clear account will assist your cause and will leave you no worse off financially.
Back In 2007, I bought a leasehold flat in Stalybridge. Conveyancing and Bank of Ireland mortgage organised. A letter has just been received from someone claiming to own the freehold. It included a ground rent demand for rent dating back to 1998. The conveyancing solicitor in Stalybridge who previously acted has long since retired.Any advice?
First contact the Land Registry to be sure that this person is indeed the new freeholder. It is not necessary to incur the fees of a Stalybridge conveyancing lawyer to do this as it can be done on-line for a few pound. You should note that in any event, even if this is the rightful freeholder, under the Limitation Act 1980 the limitation period for recovery of ground rent is six years.
I am tempted by the attractive purchase price for a two maisonettes in Stalybridge both have approximately forty five years unexpired on the leases. Do I need to be concerned?
A lease is a right to use the premises for a prescribed time frame. As a lease gets shorter the value of the lease reduces and results in it becoming more expensive to acquire a lease extension. For this reason it is generally wise to increase the term of the lease. More often than not it is difficult to sell a property with a short lease because mortgage lenders may be reluctant to lend money on properties of this type. Lease enfranchisement can be a difficult process. We advise that you seek professional assistance from a solicitor and surveyor with experience in this arena
I work for a busy estate agent office in Stalybridge where we have witnessed a few flat sales derailed as a result of leases having less than 80 years remaining. I have been given inconsistent advice from local Stalybridge conveyancing solicitors. Could you clarify whether the vendor of a flat can start the lease extension formalities 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 kick-start the lease extension process and assign the benefit of the notice to the purchaser. The benefit of this is that the proposed purchaser can avoid having to sit tight for 2 years for a lease extension. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment needs to be completed prior to, or simultaneously with completion of the sale.
Alternatively, it may be possible to agree the lease extension with the freeholder 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 purchaser.
What advice can you give us when it comes to choosing a Stalybridge conveyancing firm to carry out our lease extension conveyancing?
When appointing a solicitor for your lease extension (regardless if they are a Stalybridge conveyancing firm) it is essential that they be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of conveyancing. We advise that you talk with two or three firms including non Stalybridge conveyancing practices prior to instructing a firm. If the firm is ALEP accredited then so much the better. Some following of questions might be of use:
- How familiar is the firm with lease extension legislation?
Stalybridge Leasehold Conveyancing - A selection of Questions you should consider before Purchasing
Is anyone aware of any major works anticipated that could increase the service charges?
Are any of leasehold owners in dispute over their service charge payments?
The prefered form of lease structure is if the freehold title is in the ownership of the leaseholders. In this situation the tenants enjoy being in charge if their destiny and although a managing agent is usually retained if it is bigger than a house conversion, the managing agent acts for the leaseholders themselves.