Questions and Answers: Wigan leasehold conveyancing
I am on look out for some leasehold conveyancing in Wigan. Before diving in I require certainty as to the unexpired term of the lease.
If the lease is registered - and most are in Wigan - then the leasehold title will always include the basic details 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.
There are only Fifty years unexpired on my flat in Wigan. I need to get lease extension but my freeholder is absent. What are my options?
On the basis that you meet the appropriate requirements, under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 you can submit an application to the County Court for for permission to dispense with the service of the initial notice. This will enable the lease to be extended by the Court. However, you will be required to demonstrate that you have made all reasonable attempts to find the freeholder. In some cases a specialist should be helpful to carry out a search and to produce an expert document to be used as proof that the freeholder is indeed missing. It is wise to seek advice from a solicitor both on proving the landlord’s disappearance and the vesting order request to the County Court covering Wigan.
I've recently bought a leasehold property in Wigan. Do I have any liability for service charges for periods before completion of my purchase?
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. 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 employed by a reputable estate agent office in Wigan where we see a number of leasehold sales put at risk due to short leases. I have received contradictory information from local Wigan conveyancing firms. Could you shed some light as to whether the seller of a flat can commence the lease extension process for the purchaser on completion of the sale?
As long as the seller has owned the lease 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 buyer can avoid having to wait 2 years to extend their lease. 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 buyer.
In relation to leasehold conveyancing in Wigan what are the most common lease problems?
Leasehold conveyancing in Wigan is not unique. Most leases are unique and legal mistakes in the legal wording can sometimes mean that certain provisions are erroneous. For example, if your lease is missing any of the following, it could be defective:
- Repairing obligations to or maintain parts of the property
- A duty to insure the building
- 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
You could 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. Lloyds TSB Bank, Bank of Scotland, and TSB all have express conveyancing instructions when it comes to what is expected in a lease. If a mortgage lender believes that the lease is defective they may refuse to provide security, forcing the buyer to pull out.
Wigan Conveyancing for Leasehold Flats - Sample of Queries Prior to Purchasing
Is the freehold owned collectively by the tenants?
The answer will be helpful as a) areas could result in problems in the block as the common areas may start to deteriorate if maintenance remain unpaid b) if the leaseholders have a dispute with the running of the building you will want to know about it
The prefered form of lease structure is where the freehold interest is owned by the leaseholders. In this arrangement the lessees have control and even though a managing agent is frequently retained where it is larger than a house conversion, the managing agent retained by the leaseholders.