Fixed-fee leasehold conveyancing in Whiston:

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Whiston leasehold conveyancing Example Support Desk Enquiries

I've recently bought a leasehold house in Whiston. Do I have any liability for service charges relating to a period prior to my ownership?

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. However, your landlord may still be able to take action to forfeit the lease. A critical element 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 a negotiator for a long established estate agency in Whiston where we have experienced a number of flat sales put at risk due to short leases. I have received inconsistent advice from local Whiston conveyancing solicitors. Please can you clarify whether the vendor 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 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 sit tight for 2 years for a lease extension. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment has to be done prior to, or simultaneously with completion of the disposal of the property.

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 choosing a Whiston conveyancing practice to deal with our lease extension?

When appointing a conveyancer for your lease extension (regardless if they are a Whiston conveyancing firm) it is most important that he or she should be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of work. We suggested that you talk with two or three firms including non Whiston conveyancing practices before you instructing a firm. Where the conveyancing practice is ALEP accredited then that’s a bonus. Some following of questions could be useful:

  • If the firm is not ALEP accredited then why not?
  • What are the costs for lease extension work?

  • All being well we will complete the disposal of our £225000 maisonette in Whiston next Friday . The management company has quoted £420 for Landlord’s certificate, building insurance schedule and 3 years statements of service charge. Is it legal for a freeholder to charge such fees for a leasehold conveyance in Whiston?

    For the majority of leasehold sales in Whiston conveyancing will involve, queries regarding the management of a building inevitably needing to be answered directly by the freeholder or its agent, this includes :

    • Completing conveyancing due diligence questions
    • Where consent is required before sale in Whiston
    • Supplying insurance information
    • Deeds of covenant upon sale
    • Registering of the assignment of the change of lessee after a sale
    Your solicitor will have no control over the level of the charges for this information but the average costs for the information for Whiston leasehold premises is £350. For Whiston conveyancing transactions it is customary for the seller to pay for these costs. The landlord or their agents are under no legal obligation to answer such questions most will be willing to do so - albeit often at exorbitant prices where the fees bear little relation to the work involved. Unfortunately there is no law that requires fixed charges for administrative tasks. Neither is there any legal time frame by which they are required to provide the information.

    What are the common deficiencies that you witness in leases for Whiston properties?

    There is nothing unique about leasehold conveyancing in Whiston. Most leases are individual and legal mistakes in the legal wording can sometimes mean that certain sections are not included. The following missing provisions could result in a defective lease:

    • Repairing obligations to or maintain parts of the building
    • 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

    A defective lease can cause problems when trying to sell a property as they can affect a potential buyer’s ability to obtain a mortgage. Barclays , Chelsea Building Society, and Nottingham Building Society 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 purchaser to pull out.

    Leasehold Conveyancing in Whiston - A selection of Questions you should consider before buying

      The answer will be important as a) areas may cause problems in the building as the common areas may start to deteriorate if repairs are not paid for b) if the leaseholders have a dispute with the managing agents you will need to have all the details It would be sensible to discover as much as possible about the company managing the building as they will affect your use and enjoyment of the property. As the proprietor of a leasehold property you will be in the clutches of the managing agents from a financial perspective and when it comes to every day issues like the cleanliness of the communal areas. Enquire of prospective neighbours whether they are happy with them. Finally, be sure you understand the dates that you are obliged pay the maintenance charge to the relevant party and specifically what it includes. Who manages the block?

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Whiston