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Questions and Answers: Teignmouth leasehold conveyancing

I’m about to sell my 2 bed apartment in Teignmouth.Conveyancing solicitors are to be appointed soon but I have just received a half-yearly service charge invoice – what should I do?

It best that you 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.

I've found a house that appears to tick a lot of boxes, at a great price which is making it more attractive. I have subsequently found out that the title is leasehold as opposed to freehold. I am assuming that there are issues purchasing a house with a leasehold title in Teignmouth. Conveyancing solicitors have not yet been instructed. Will they explain the issues?

Most houses in Teignmouth are freehold and not leasehold. In this scenario it’s worth having a local solicitor used to dealing with such properties who can help the conveyancing process. We note that you are buying in Teignmouth in which case you should be shopping around for a Teignmouth 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 number of years remaining. As a lessee you will not be entirely free to do whatever you want to the property. The lease will likely included provisions such as obtaining the landlord’spermission to carry out alterations. You may also be required to pay a service charge towards the maintenance of the communal areas where the house is part of an estate. Your conveyancer should report to you on the legal implications.

I own a leasehold house in Teignmouth. Conveyancing and Clydesdale mortgage are in place. I have received a letter from someone saying they have taken over the reversionary interest in the property. Attached was a ground rent demand for rent dating back to 1998. The conveyancing solicitor in Teignmouth who previously acted has now retired.Any advice?

First contact HMLR to make sure that the individual purporting to own the freehold is indeed the registered owner of the freehold reversion. You do not need to incur the fees of a Teignmouth conveyancing practitioner to do this as you can do this on the Land Registry website for £3. Rest assured that in any event, even if this is the legitimate freeholder, under the Limitation Act 1980 the limitation period for recovery of ground rent is six years.

I've recently bought a leasehold house in Teignmouth. Am I liable to pay service charges relating to a period prior to completion of my purchase?

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. Strange as it may seem, your landlord may still be able to take action to forfeit the lease. A critical element 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 Teignmouth from the point of view of expediting the sale process?

  • Much of the frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Teignmouth can be avoided if you get in touch lawyers the minute you market your property and request that they start to collate the leasehold documentation needed by the purchasers’ conveyancers.
  • The majority freeholders or managing agents in Teignmouth charge for providing management packs for a leasehold premises. You or your lawyers should find out the actual amount of the charges. The management pack sought as soon as you have a buyer, thus accelerating the process. The average time it takes to receive management information is three weeks. It is the most frequent cause of delay in leasehold conveyancing in Teignmouth.
  • In the event that you altered the property did you need the Landlord’s consent? Have you, for example laid down wooden flooring? Most leases in Teignmouth state that internal structural changes or addition of wooden flooring calls for a licence issued by the Landlord acquiescing to such alterations. If you dont have the paperwork to hand you should not communicate with the landlord without checking with your solicitor before hand.
  • A minority of Teignmouth leases require Licence to Assign from the landlord. If this applies to your lease, you should place the estate agents on notice to make sure that the purchasers obtain financial (bank) and professional references. Any bank reference will need to confirm that the buyers are able to meet 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 actual amount of the service charge so that they can pass this information on to the purchasers or their lawyers.
  • If you have the benefit of shareholding in the freehold, you should ensure that you hold the original share document. Obtaining a re-issued share certificate can be a lengthy formality and slows down many a Teignmouth conveyancing transaction. Where a new share certificate is needed, you should approach the company officers or managing agents (if relevant) for this sooner rather than later.

  • Leasehold Conveyancing in Teignmouth - Sample of Queries before buying

      You should be aware if it is less than 80 years it will impact the marketability of the apartment. Check with your bank that they are happy with residual term of the lease. A short lease means that you will most likely have to extend the lease at some point and it is worth finding out how much this would cost. For most Teignmouthlease extensions you would be be obliged to have been the owner of the residence for 24 months before you are eligible to extend the lease. Its a good idea to discover as much as possible concerning the managing agents as they can either make living at the property much simpler or uncomfortable. As the owner of a leasehold property you are often in the clutches of the managing agents from a financial perspective and when it comes to day to day issues such as the upkeep of the communal areas. Enquire of other tenants what they think of their service. In conclusion, be sure you understand the dates that you are obliged pay the service charge to the appropriate party and precisely what it includes. The answer will be useful as a) areas could cause problems for the building as the communal areas may start to deteriorate where repairs remain unpaid b) if the leaseholders have a dispute with the running of the building you will want to know about it

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Teignmouth