Top Five Questions relating to Wadebridge leasehold conveyancing
Having checked my lease I have discovered that there are only 72 years left on my flat in Wadebridge. I now wish to extend my lease but my freeholder is missing. What options are available to me?
On the basis that you meet the appropriate requirements, under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 you can apply to the County Court for an order to dispense with the service of the initial notice. This will enable the lease to be extended by the magistrate. However, you will be required to prove that you or your lawyers have made all reasonable attempts to track down the freeholder. For most situations a specialist would be useful to conduct investigations and prepare a report which can be accepted by the court as evidence that the freeholder is indeed missing. It is advisable to get professional help from a solicitor both on devolving into the landlord’s absence and the application to the County Court covering Wadebridge.
I have just appointed agents to market my 2 bed apartment in Wadebridge.Conveyancing lawyers have not yet been instructed but I have just had a quarterly service charge demand – should I leave it to the buyer to sort out?
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 managing agents 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. This will smooth the conveyancing process.
I've recently bought a leasehold flat in Wadebridge. 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 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. 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).
I work for a long established estate agent office in Wadebridge where we have experienced a few flat sales put at risk as a result of leases having less than 80 years remaining. I have been given inconsistent advice from local Wadebridge conveyancing solicitors. Could you shed some light as to whether the owner of a flat can commence the lease extension process for the buyer?
Provided that the seller has been the owner for at least 2 years it is possible, to serve a Section 42 notice to commence the lease extension process and assign the benefit of the notice to the purchaser. The benefit of this is that the buyer can avoid having to wait 2 years to extend their lease. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment needs to be completed before, 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 buyer.
Are there common deficiencies that you see in leases for Wadebridge properties?
Leasehold conveyancing in Wadebridge is not unique. All leases are individual and drafting errors can sometimes mean that certain sections are missing. The following missing provisions could result in a defective lease:
- Repairing obligations to or maintain elements of the premises
- A duty to insure the building
- Clauses dealing with recovering service charges for expenditure on the building or common parts.
- Maintenance charge proportions which don’t add up to the correct percentage
You may encounter difficulties when selling your property if you have a defective lease primarily because it impacts on the ability to obtain a mortgage on the property. Birmingham Midshires, Skipton Building Society, and Godiva Mortgages Ltd all have express requirements when it comes to what is expected in a lease. If a mortgage lender believes that the lease does not cover certain provisions they may refuse to grant the mortgage, obliging the buyer to pull out.
I inherited a ground floor flat in Wadebridge, conveyancing formalities finalised 4 years ago. How much will my lease extension cost? Corresponding flats in Wadebridge with an extended lease are worth £225,000. The average or mid-range amount of ground rent is £50 invoiced annually. The lease ends on 21st October 2076
With only 55 years unexpired we estimate the price of your lease extension to span between £26,600 and £30,800 plus professional fees.
The suggested premium range that we have given is a general guide to costs for extending a lease, but we are not able to advice on a more accurate figure without more comprehensive due diligence. Do not use this information in a Notice of Claim or as an informal offer. There may be other issues that need to be taken into account and clearly you want to be as accurate as possible in your negotiations. Neither should you take any other action placing reliance on this information without first seeking the advice of a professional.