Common questions relating to Stilton leasehold conveyancing
I own a leasehold house in Stilton. Conveyancing and The Mortgage Works mortgage organised. A letter has just been received from someone saying they have taken over the freehold. Attached was a demand for arrears of ground rent dating back to 1993. The conveyancing solicitor in Stilton who acted for me is not around.Any advice?
First make enquiries of the Land Registry to make sure that the individual claiming to own the freehold is in fact the new freeholder. It is not necessary to incur the fees of a Stilton conveyancing solicitor to do this as it can be done on-line for £3. You should note that regardless, even if this is the legitimate freeholder, under the Limitation Act 1980 no more than 6 years of rent can be collected.
I've recently bought a leasehold house in Stilton. Am I liable to pay 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. 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 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 reputable estate agency in Stilton where we have witnessed a number of flat sales jeopardised as a result of short leases. I have been given contradictory information from local Stilton conveyancing firms. Could you confirm whether the owner of a flat can start the lease extension formalities for the purchaser on completion of the sale?
As long as 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 wait 2 years for a lease extension. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment has to be done 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.
What advice can you give us when it comes to finding a Stilton conveyancing practice to carry out our lease extension conveyancing?
When appointing a solicitor for your lease extension (regardless if they are a Stilton conveyancing practice) it is essential that he or she should be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of work. We suggested that you make enquires with two or three firms including non Stilton conveyancing practices prior to instructing a firm. If the firm is ALEP accredited then so much the better. Some following of questions might be useful:
- If they are not ALEP accredited then why not?
If all goes to plan we aim to complete the disposal of our £275000 maisonette in Stilton next Thursday . The landlords agents has quoted £420 for Landlord’s certificate, insurance certificate and 3 years service charge statements. Is it legal for a freeholder to charge an administration fee for a flat conveyance in Stilton?
Stilton conveyancing on leasehold flats usually results in fees being levied by freeholders :
- Completing pre-contract enquiries
- Where consent is required before sale in Stilton
- Copies of the building insurance and schedule
- Deeds of covenant upon sale
- Registering of the assignment of the change of lessee after a sale
Stilton Leasehold Conveyancing - Examples of Queries Prior to Purchasing
Is there a share of the freehold?
The best form of lease structure is if the freehold reversion is in the ownership of the leaseholders. In this scenario the tenants enjoy control and notwithstanding that a managing agent is frequently employed where the building is larger than a house conversion, the managing agent is directed by the tenants.
Who takes charge for maintaining and repairing the building?