Whittlesey leasehold conveyancing: Q and A’s
Having checked my lease I have discovered that there are only Fifty years left on my lease in Whittlesey. I now wish to extend my lease but my freeholder is absent. What should I do?
On the basis that you qualify, under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 you can apply to the County Court for an order to dispense with the service of the initial notice. This will mean that your lease can be granted an extra 90 years by the Court. However, you will be required to prove that you or your lawyers have made all reasonable attempts to find the landlord. For most situations an enquiry agent should be helpful to try and locate and to produce a report which can be used as evidence that the freeholder is indeed missing. It is wise to seek advice from a property lawyer both on devolving into the landlord’s absence and the application to the County Court overseeing Whittlesey.
I today plan to offer on a house that seems to meet my requirements, at a great price which is making it all the more appealing. I have subsequently discovered that it's a leasehold as opposed to freehold. I would have thought that there are particular concerns buying a leasehold house in Whittlesey. Conveyancing solicitors have not yet been appointed. Will they explain the issues?
Most houses in Whittlesey are freehold rather than leasehold. This is one of the situations where having a local conveyancer used to dealing with such properties who can help the conveyancing process. It is clear that you are buying in Whittlesey in which case you should be looking for a Whittlesey conveyancing practitioner and check that they are used to dealing with leasehold houses. As a matter of priority you will need to check the unexpired lease term. As a leaseholder you will not be at liberty to do whatever you want with the house. The lease comes with conditions for example obtaining the landlord’sconsent to carry out alterations. You may also be required to pay a maintenance charge towards the upkeep of the communal areas where the house is part of an estate. Your lawyer will report to you on the legal implications.
Last month I purchased a leasehold property in Whittlesey. Am I liable to pay 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. 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).
Can you provide any advice for leasehold conveyancing in Whittlesey with the aim of saving time on the sale process?
- A significant proportion of the delay in leasehold conveyancing in Whittlesey can be reduced where you instruct lawyers the minute you market your property and ask them to put together the leasehold information which will be required by the purchasers’ representatives.
- Many landlords or managing agents in Whittlesey charge for providing management packs for a leasehold homes. You or your lawyers should find out the fee that they propose to charge. The management information sought as soon as you have a buyer, thus reducing delays. The typical amount of time it takes to receive management information is three weeks. It is the most frequent cause of delay in leasehold conveyancing in Whittlesey.
What makes a Whittlesey lease problematic?
There is nothing unique about leasehold conveyancing in Whittlesey. All leases are unique and drafting errors can result in certain clauses are not included. For example, if your lease is missing any of the following, it could be defective:
- Repairing obligations to or maintain elements of the building
- Insurance obligations
- A provision for the recovery of money spent for the benefit of another party.
- Service charge per centages that don't add up correctly leaving a shortfall
A defective lease will likely cause problems when trying to sell a property primarily because it impacts on the ability to obtain a mortgage on the property. Lloyds TSB Bank, The Mortgage Works, and Platform Home Loans Ltd 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 defective they may refuse to provide security, obliging the purchaser to withdraw.
I invested in buying a basement flat in Whittlesey, conveyancing formalities finalised 1996. Can you please calculate a probable premium for a statutory lease extension? Corresponding properties in Whittlesey with an extended lease are worth £197,000. The average or mid-range amount of ground rent is £55 per annum. The lease runs out on 21st October 2088
With just 67 years unexpired we estimate the price of your lease extension to be between £11,400 and £13,200 as well as costs.
The suggested premium range above a general guide to costs for extending a lease, but we are not able to advice on the actual costs in the absence of detailed 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 should be as accurate as possible in your negotiations. You should not move forward placing reliance on this information before getting professional advice.