Welton leasehold conveyancing: Q and A’s
I have just started marketing my garden flat in Welton.Conveyancing lawyers have not yet been instructed but I have just had a yearly service charge invoice – should I leave it to the buyer to sort out?
It best that you pay the invoice 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've recently bought a leasehold property in Welton. 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. 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 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 work for a reputable estate agency in Welton where we see a number of flat sales derailed due to short leases. I have been given conflicting advice from local Welton conveyancing firms. Please can you shed some light as to whether the seller of a flat can commence the lease extension formalities for the purchaser on completion of the sale?
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 buyer need not have to wait 2 years for a lease extension. 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.
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 buyer.
What are your top tips when it comes to choosing a Welton conveyancing practice to carry out our lease extension conveyancing?
If you are instructing a property lawyer for your lease extension (regardless if they are a Welton conveyancing practice) it is essential that they be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of conveyancing. We suggested that you make enquires with two or three firms including non Welton conveyancing practices prior to instructing a firm. Where the conveyancing practice is ALEP accredited then that’s a bonus. Some following of questions might be of use:
- If they are not ALEP accredited then why not?
We expect to complete the sale of our £375000 maisonette in Welton in 8 days. The managing agents has quoted £420 for Certificate of Compliance, insurance certificate and previous years service charge statements. Is it legal for a freeholder to charge an administration fee for a flat conveyance in Welton?
Welton conveyancing on leasehold maisonettes normally involves the purchaser’s conveyancer submitting enquiries for the landlord to answer. Although the landlord is not legally bound to respond to these enquiries the majority will be willing to do so. They may levy a reasonable administration fee for responding to questions or supplying documentation. There is no set fee. The average fee for the paperwork that you are referring to is over three hundred pounds, in some situations it exceeds £800. The administration charge invoiced by the landlord must be accompanied by a synopsis of entitlements and obligations in respect of administration fees, otherwise the invoice is not strictly payable. In reality you have little choice but to pay whatever is requested of you if you want to exchange contracts with the buyer.
Welton Conveyancing for Leasehold Flats - Examples of Queries Prior to Purchasing
What is the maintenance charge and ground rent on the apartment?
It is important to be aware whether changing the roof or some other significant cost is due shortly to be shared by the leaseholders and will materially impact the level of the maintenance fees or necessitate a one time invoice.
How many years remain on the lease?