Questions and Answers: Whaley Bridge leasehold conveyancing
I have just started marketing my 2 bed apartment in Whaley Bridge.Conveyancing has not commenced but I have just had a yearly maintenance charge demand – Do I pay up?
Your conveyancing lawyer is likely to suggest that you should 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. Having a clear account will assist your cause and will leave you no worse off financially.
I've recently bought a leasehold flat in Whaley Bridge. 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 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. 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 long established estate agent office in Whaley Bridge where we have experienced a number of leasehold sales put at risk due to leases having less than 80 years remaining. I have received conflicting advice from local Whaley Bridge conveyancing firms. Please can you shed some light as to whether the seller of a flat can initiate the lease extension process 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. The benefit of this is that the proposed purchaser 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 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.
Can you offer any advice when it comes to appointing a Whaley Bridge conveyancing practice to carry out our lease extension conveyancing?
If you are instructing a solicitor for your lease extension (regardless if they are a Whaley Bridge conveyancing firm) it is imperative that he or she should be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of conveyancing. We advise that you make enquires with two or three firms including non Whaley Bridge conveyancing practices prior to instructing a firm. If the firm is ALEP accredited then that’s a bonus. Some following of questions could be useful:
- How familiar is the practice with lease extension legislation?
When it comes to leasehold conveyancing in Whaley Bridge what are the most common lease problems?
Leasehold conveyancing in Whaley Bridge is not unique. All leases are individual and drafting errors can result in certain clauses are erroneous. The following missing provisions could result in a defective lease:
- A provision to repair to or maintain parts of the property
- Insurance obligations
- 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 a problem when selling your property if you have a defective lease as they can affect a potential buyer’s ability to obtain a mortgage. Birmingham Midshires, Barnsley Building Society, and Nottingham Building Society all have express conveyancing instructions when it comes to what is expected in a lease. Where a lender has been advised by their lawyers that the lease is problematic they may refuse to grant the mortgage, forcing the buyer to pull out.
I invested in buying a studio flat in Whaley Bridge, conveyancing was carried out in 1997. Can you work out an approximate cost of a lease extension? Comparable properties in Whaley Bridge with an extended lease are worth £198,000. The ground rent is £60 charged once a year. The lease comes to an end on 21st October 2074
With just 51 years left to run the likely cost is going to range between £35,200 and £40,600 plus plus your own and the landlord's "reasonable" professional fees.
The figure that we have given is a general guide to costs for extending a lease, but we are not able to supply a more accurate figure in the absence of comprehensive due diligence. You should not use the figures in a Notice of Claim or as an informal offer. There are no doubt additional issues that need to be taken into account and you obviously want to be as accurate as possible in your negotiations. You should not move forward placing reliance on this information without first seeking the advice of a professional.