Sample questions relating to Stretford leasehold conveyancing
Estate agents have just been given the go-ahead to market my garden apartment in Stretford.Conveyancing has not commenced but I have just received a quarterly 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 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.
I am hoping to put an offer on a small detached house that seems to tick a lot of boxes, at a reasonable price which is making it all the more appealing. I have just been informed that it's a leasehold as opposed to freehold. I would have thought that there are issues purchasing a leasehold house in Stretford. Conveyancing lawyers have are about to be appointed. Will they explain the issues?
The majority of houses in Stretford are freehold rather than leasehold. In this scenario it’s worth having a local conveyancer used to dealing with such properties who can assist with the conveyancing process. We note that you are buying in Stretford so you should seriously consider looking for a Stretford conveyancing solicitor and be sure that they have experience in dealing with leasehold houses. As a matter of priority you will need to check the number of years remaining. Being a tenant you will not be entirely free to do whatever you want with the house. The lease will likely included provisions for example requiring the freeholder’spermission to conduct changes to the property. It may be necessary to pay a service charge towards the upkeep of the communal areas where the house is part of an estate. Your solicitor will appraise you on the various issues.
My wife and I purchased a leasehold house in Stretford. Conveyancing and Britannia mortgage are in place. I have received a letter from someone claiming to own the freehold. Attached was a demand for arrears of ground rent dating back to 1991. The conveyancing solicitor in Stretford who acted for me is not around.Do I pay?
First make enquiries of the Land Registry to make sure that this person is indeed the new freeholder. There is no need to incur the fees of a Stretford conveyancing practitioner to do this as you can do this on the Land Registry website for less than a fiver. You should note that regardless, even if this is the rightful freeholder, under the Limitation Act 1980 the limitation period for recovery of ground rent is six years.
I've recently bought a leasehold flat in Stretford. Do I have any liability for service charges for periods before completion of my purchase?
In a situation where the service charge has already been demanded from the previous owner 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 Stretford with the aim of saving time on the sale process?
- A significant proportion of the frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Stretford can be bypassed where you get in touch lawyers as soon as you market your property and request that they start to collate the leasehold documentation needed by the buyers solicitors.
- The majority freeholders or Management Companies in Stretford charge for providing management packs for a leasehold property. You or your lawyers should discover the actual amount of the charges. The management information sought as soon as you have a buyer, thus reducing delays. The typical amount of time it takes to obtain the necessary information is three weeks. It is the most common reason for delay in leasehold conveyancing in Stretford.
Stretford Conveyancing for Leasehold Flats - Sample of Queries Prior to buying
Most Stretford leasehold properties will incur a service bill for the upkeep of the block set by the management company. If you acquire the flat you will have to pay this amount, normally in instalments accross the year. This may vary from a few hundred pounds to thousands of pounds for blocks with lifts and large common areas. There will also be a ground rent to be met yearly, ordinarily this is not a large figure, say approximately £50-£100 but you need to enquire as on occasion it could be prohibitively expensive.
The prefered form of lease arrangement is if the freehold interest is owned by the leaseholders. In this scenario the lessees have control and even though a managing agent is often retained if the building is bigger than a house conversion, the managing agent retained by the leaseholders.
In the main the cost for major works are not included within maintenance charges, albeit that some managing agents in Stretford ask leaseholders to contribute towards a sinking fund and this is used to offset against major repairs or maintenance.