Tiverton leasehold conveyancing: Q and A’s
Having had my offer accepted I require leasehold conveyancing in Tiverton. Before I get started I would like to find out the unexpired term of the lease.
If the lease is recorded at the land registry - and almost all are in Tiverton - then the leasehold title will always include the short particulars of the lease, namely the date; the term; and the original parties. From a conveyancing perspective such details then enable any prospective buyer and lender to confirm that any lease they are looking at is the one relevant to that title.For any other purpose, such as confirming how long the term was granted for and calculating what is left, then the register should be sufficient on it's own.
My fiance and I may need to sub-let our Tiverton garden flat temporarily due to a career opportunity. We used a Tiverton conveyancing firm in 2003 but they have since shut and we did not think at the time seek any advice as to whether the lease allows us to sublet. How do we find out?
Your lease dictates the relationship between the landlord and you the flat owner; specifically, it will set out if subletting is not allowed, or permitted but only subject to certain conditions. The accepted inference is that if the lease contains no expres ban or restriction, subletting is permitted. Most leases in Tiverton do not contain an absolute prevention of subletting – such a clause would adversely affect the market value the flat. Instead, there is usually a basic requirement that the owner notifies the freeholder, possibly supplying a duplicate of the tenancy agreement.
I've found a house that appears to meet my requirements, at a great figure which is making it more attractive. I have since been informed that it's a leasehold rather than freehold. I would have thought that there are issues purchasing a leasehold house in Tiverton. Conveyancing lawyers have not yet been instructed. Will my lawyers set out the implications of buying a leasehold house in Tiverton ?
The majority of houses in Tiverton are freehold and not leasehold. This is one of the situations where having a local conveyancer who is familiar with the area can help the conveyancing process. it is apparent that you are purchasing in Tiverton in which case you should be shopping around for a Tiverton conveyancing solicitor and be sure that they are used to advising on leasehold houses. As a matter of priority you will need to check the unexpired lease term. As a lessee you will not be at liberty to do whatever you want with the house. The lease comes with conditions for example obtaining the freeholder’spermission to carry out alterations. It may be necessary to pay a contribution towards the upkeep of the communal areas where the house is located on an estate. Your lawyer will appraise you on the various issues.
Last month I purchased a leasehold property in Tiverton. Do I have any liability for service charges for periods before my ownership?
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. 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 am employed by a long established estate agency in Tiverton where we have witnessed a few flat sales jeopardised due to leases having less than 80 years remaining. I have received inconsistent advice from local Tiverton conveyancing solicitors. Can you clarify whether the vendor of a flat can start the lease extension formalities for the buyer?
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 need not have to wait 2 years to extend their lease. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment has to be done prior to, or at the same time as completion of the disposal of the property.
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 purchaser.
Tiverton Leasehold Conveyancing - A selection of Queries Prior to buying
Who manages the building?
Plenty Tiverton leasehold apartments will be liable to pay a service bill for maintenance of the building levied on behalf of the management company. Where you purchase the flat you will have to meet this amount, normally periodically during the year. This may differ from several hundred pounds to thousands of pounds for large purpose-built blocks. There will also be a rentcharge to be met annual, normally this is not a exorbitant sum, say around £50-£100 but you should to check as on occasion it could be prohibitively expensive.
Its a good idea to discover as much as possible concerning the managing agents as they can either make your living at the property much easier or a lot more difficult. Being a leasehold owner you are often at the mercy of the managing agents both financially and when it comes to daily issues such as the tidiness of the communal areas. Ask prospective neighbours what they think of their management. In conclusion, be sure you understand the dates that the service charges are due to the managing agents and precisely how they are spending the funds.