Recently asked questions relating to Stotfold leasehold conveyancing
I’m about to sell my 2 bed apartment in Stotfold.Conveyancing has not commenced but I have just had a half-yearly service 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 management companies 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. Having a clear account will assist your cause and will leave you no worse off financially.
My wife and I purchased a leasehold flat in Stotfold. Conveyancing and National Westminster Bank mortgage are in place. A letter has just been received from someone saying they have taken over the freehold. It included a demand for arrears of ground rent dating back to 1994. The conveyancing solicitor in Stotfold who acted for me is not around.Do I pay?
First contact HMLR 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 instruct a Stotfold conveyancing solicitor to do this as it can be done on-line for a few pound. Rest assured that in any event, even if this is the rightful freeholder, under the Limitation Act 1980 no more than 6 years of rent can be collected.
Last month I purchased a leasehold property in Stotfold. 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 am employed by a reputable estate agent office in Stotfold where we see a number of leasehold sales derailed as a result of leases having less than 80 years remaining. I have been given conflicting advice from local Stotfold conveyancing solicitors. Can you confirm whether the owner of a flat can instigate the lease extension process 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 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 to extend their lease. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment needs to be completed prior to, or at the same time as completion of the sale.
Alternatively, it may be possible 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 purchaser.
Do you have any top tips for leasehold conveyancing in Stotfold with the aim of expediting the sale process?
- A significant proportion of the frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Stotfold can be bypassed if you instruct lawyers the minute your agents start advertising the property and request that they start to put together the leasehold information which will be required by the purchasers’ representatives.
- Many landlords or Management Companies in Stotfold charge for providing management packs for a leasehold property. You or your lawyers should find out the fee that they propose to charge. The management pack can be applied for on or before finding a buyer, thus accelerating the process. The typical amount of time it takes to obtain the necessary information is three weeks. It is the most frequent cause of frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Stotfold.
Stotfold Conveyancing for Leasehold Flats - Sample of Questions you should ask Prior to Purchasing
If a Stotfold lease has fewer than eighty years it will affect the salability of the property. Check with your mortgage company that they are willing to to proceed given the lease term. Leases with fewer than 80 years remaining means that you will most likely require a lease extension at some point and it is worth discovering how much this will be. For most Stotfoldlease extensions you would need to own the residence for 24 months before you are legally able to extend the lease.
The best form of lease structure is a share of the freehold. In this situation the tenants have being in charge if their destiny and although a managing agent is usually retained where the building is larger than a house conversion, the managing agent is directed by the tenants.
Most Stotfold leasehold apartments will incur a service bill for maintenance of the building set on behalf of the management company. Should you buy the property you will have to meet this liability, usually in instalments accross the year. This could vary from a couple of hundred pounds to thousands of pounds for blocks with lifts and large common grounds. In all likelihood there will be a ground rent to be met annual, normally this is not a large sum, say approximately £50-£100 but you need to check as sometimes it could be many hundreds of pounds.