Whiston leasehold conveyancing: Q and A’s
I am on look out for some leasehold conveyancing in Whiston. Before I get started I want to be sure as to the remaining lease term.
If the lease is registered - and almost all are in Whiston - then the leasehold title will always include the short particulars of the lease, namely the date; the term; and the original parties. From a conveyancing perspective such details then enable any prospective buyer and lender to confirm that any lease they are looking at is the one relevant to that title.For any other purpose, such as confirming how long the term was granted for and calculating what is left, then the register should be sufficient on it's own.
My wife and I purchased a leasehold house in Whiston. Conveyancing and Clydesdale mortgage are in place. A letter has just been received from someone saying they have taken over the freehold. It included a ground rent demand for rent dating back to 1994. The conveyancing practitioner in Whiston who acted for me is not around.Any advice?
First make enquiries of HMLR to make sure that this person is in fact the new freeholder. There is no need to incur the fees of a Whiston conveyancing practitioner to do this as it can be done on-line for a few pound. You should note that in any event, even if this is the legitimate landlord, under the Limitation Act 1980 the limitation period for recovery of ground rent is six years.
I've recently bought a leasehold property in Whiston. Am I liable to pay service charges for periods before completion of my purchase?
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 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 reputable estate agent office in Whiston where we have witnessed a few flat sales put at risk due to short leases. I have received inconsistent advice from local Whiston conveyancing solicitors. Please can you confirm whether the vendor of a flat can commence the lease extension formalities for the buyer?
As long as the seller has owned the lease for at least 2 years it is possible, to serve a Section 42 notice to commence 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 wait 2 years for a lease extension. 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 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 purchaser.
When it comes to leasehold conveyancing in Whiston what are the most frequent lease problems?
There is nothing unique about leasehold conveyancing in Whiston. All leases are unique and legal mistakes in the legal wording can sometimes mean that certain sections are wrong. For example, if your lease is missing any of the following, it could be defective:
- A provision to repair to or maintain parts of the premises
- A duty to insure the building
- Clauses dealing with recovering service charges for expenditure on the building or common parts.
- Service charge per centages that don't add up correctly leaving a shortfall
You may encounter a problem when selling your property if you have a defective lease primarily because it impacts on the ability to obtain a mortgage on the property. Accord Mortgages Ltd, Skipton Building Society, and Platform Home Loans Ltd all have very detailed 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, obliging the purchaser to pull out.
Whiston Leasehold Conveyancing - A selection of Questions you should consider Prior to buying
Best to be warned whether a new roof is being installed or some other major work is due in the near future that will be shared between the tenants and will materially impact the level of the service fees or necessitate a specific payment.
The majority of Whiston leasehold flats will incur a service bill for the upkeep of the block levied by the freeholder. Should you acquire the flat you will have to meet this contribution, usually periodically during the year. This can differ from two or three hundred pounds to thousands of pounds for blocks with lifts and large common areas. In all probability there will be a ground rent for you to pay annual, this is usually not a significant sum, say around £50-£100 but you should to enquire it because on occasion it could be many hundreds of pounds.
On the whole the cost for major works are not built into the maintenance charges, albeit that some managing agents in Whiston require tenants to contribute towards a sinking fund created for the specific purpose of establishing a fund for major repairs or maintenance.