Common questions relating to Wallasey leasehold conveyancing
There are only 68 years left on my lease in Wallasey. I am keen to extend my lease but my freeholder is absent. What should I do?
On the basis that you meet the appropriate requirements, under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 you can submit an application 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 Court. You will be obliged to prove that you have used your best endeavours to track down the lessor. On the whole an enquiry agent may be useful to conduct investigations and prepare an expert document which can be used as proof that the freeholder is indeed missing. It is wise to seek advice from a property lawyer in relation to proving the landlord’s disappearance and the application to the County Court overseeing Wallasey.
I've found a house that seems to tick a lot of boxes, at a great figure which is making it more attractive. I have just found out that it's a leasehold as opposed to freehold. I would have thought that there are particular concerns purchasing a leasehold house in Wallasey. Conveyancing lawyers have are soon to be appointed. Will my lawyers set out the implications of buying a leasehold house in Wallasey ?
The majority of houses in Wallasey are freehold and not leasehold. This is one of the situations where having a local conveyancer used to dealing with such properties who can help the conveyancing process. We note that you are purchasing in Wallasey so you should seriously consider looking for a Wallasey conveyancing practitioner and check that they have experience in advising 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 at liberty to do whatever you want with the house. The lease will likely included provisions for example requiring the freeholder’sconsent to carry out alterations. You may also be required to pay a maintenance charge towards the maintenance of the estate where the house is part of an estate. Your lawyer should appraise you on the various issues.
Last month I purchased a leasehold house in Wallasey. 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 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).
I am employed by a busy estate agent office in Wallasey where we have witnessed a few flat sales derailed as a result of short leases. I have been given contradictory information from local Wallasey conveyancing solicitors. Can you clarify whether the owner of a flat can commence the lease extension formalities 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 kick-start the lease extension process and assign the benefit of the notice to the purchaser. This means that the proposed purchaser need not have to sit tight for 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 simultaneously with completion of the sale.
Alternatively, it may be possible to agree the lease extension with the freeholder 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.
What advice can you give us when it comes to finding a Wallasey conveyancing practice to carry out our lease extension conveyancing?
When appointing a conveyancer for your lease extension (regardless if they are a Wallasey conveyancing practice) it is most important that they be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of work. We advise that you make enquires with two or three firms including non Wallasey conveyancing practices prior to instructing a firm. If the firm is ALEP accredited then so much the better. Some following of questions could be helpful:
- How familiar is the firm with lease extension legislation?
Leasehold Conveyancing in Wallasey - Sample of Queries Prior to Purchasing
How much is the yearly service fee and ground rent?
The prefered form of lease structure is a share of the freehold. In this scenario the tenants benefit from control and even though a managing agent is usually employed where it is larger than a house conversion, the managing agent is directed by the tenants.
Is the freehold owned jointly by the leaseholders?