Whiston leasehold conveyancing: Q and A’s
I am hoping to put an offer on a small detached house that appears to tick a lot of boxes, at a great figure which is making it more attractive. I have since discovered that it's a leasehold as opposed to freehold. I would have thought that there are issues purchasing a leasehold house in Whiston. Conveyancing advisers have are soon to be instructed. Will my lawyers set out the risks of buying a leasehold house in Whiston ?
The majority of houses in Whiston are freehold and not leasehold. This is one of the situations where having a local solicitor who is familiar with the area can help the conveyancing process. It is clear that you are buying in Whiston in which case you should be shopping around for a Whiston conveyancing solicitor and check that they have experience in transacting on leasehold houses. First you will need to check the unexpired lease term. As a lessee you will not be entirely free to do whatever you want with the house. The lease comes with conditions for example obtaining the landlord’sconsent to carry out changes to the property. You may also be required to pay a service charge towards the upkeep of the estate where the property is located on an estate. Your conveyancer will advise you fully on all the issues.
Last month I purchased a leasehold house in Whiston. Am I liable to pay service charges relating to a period prior to completion of my purchase?
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. 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 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 busy estate agency in Whiston where we see a few leasehold sales put at risk as a result of leases having less than 80 years remaining. I have been given conflicting advice from local Whiston conveyancing firms. Could you clarify whether the vendor of a flat can initiate the lease extension formalities for the buyer?
As long as 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 wait 2 years to extend their lease. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment has to be done before, or at the same time as completion of the disposal of the property.
An alternative approach is 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 buyer.
Can you offer any advice when it comes to appointing a Whiston conveyancing firm to deal with our lease extension?
When appointing a property lawyer for lease extension works (regardless if they are a Whiston conveyancing practice) it is essential that they be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of conveyancing. We recommend that you make enquires with several 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:
- Can they put you in touch with client in Whiston who can give a testimonial?
Do you have any advice for leasehold conveyancing in Whiston with the aim of saving time on the sale process?
- Much of the frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Whiston can be bypassed where you appoint lawyers as soon as you market your property and request that they start to put together the leasehold information needed by the buyers representatives.
- In the event that you altered the property did you need the Landlord’s consent? Have you, for example installed wooden flooring? Most leases in Whiston state that internal structural alterations or installing wooden flooring necessitate a licence from the Landlord consenting to such alterations. Where you fail to have the consents to hand you should not communicate with the landlord without checking with your conveyancer first.
Leasehold Conveyancing in Whiston - A selection of Questions you should ask Prior to Purchasing
The best form of lease arrangement is a share of the freehold. In this arrangement the lessees benefit from being in charge if their destiny and even though a managing agent is usually employed if it is bigger than a house conversion, the managing agent retained by the leaseholders.
You should be aware if it is fewer than 80 years it will have adverse implications on the value of the property. It is worth checking with your mortgage company that they are willing to go ahead with the loan given the lease term. Leases with less than 80 years remaining means that you will most likely need a lease extension at some point and you need to have some idea of what this would cost. For most Whistonlease extensions you would be required to have been the owner of the residence for two years before you are legally able to extend the lease.
It is important to be aware if a new roof is being put on or some other major work is due shortly that will be shared between the tenants and will materially impact the level of the service costs or result in a specific invoice.