Common questions relating to Witham leasehold conveyancing
I am hoping to complete next month on a basement flat in Witham. Conveyancing lawyers assured me that they are sending me a report tomorrow. Are there areas in the report that I should be focusing on?
The report on title for your leasehold conveyancing in Witham should include some of the following:
- Setting out your legal entitlements in respect of common areas in the building.For instance, does the lease grant a right of way over a path or staircase?
Estate agents have just been given the go-ahead to market my ground floor flat in Witham.Conveyancing is yet to be initiated but I have just had a half-yearly service charge demand – what should I do?
Your conveyancing lawyer is likely to suggest that you should pay the invoice as normal because all ground rent and service charges will be apportioned on completion, so you will be reimbursed by the buyer for the period running from after the completion date to the next payment date. Most management companies will not acknowledge the buyer until the service charges have been paid and are up to date so it is important for both buyer and seller for the seller to show that they are up to date. This will smooth the conveyancing process.
I own a leasehold house in Witham. Conveyancing and Halifax mortgage are in place. I have received a letter from someone saying they have taken over the freehold. It included a ground rent demand for rent dating back to 1995. The conveyancing solicitor in Witham who previously acted has long since retired.Do I pay?
The first thing you should do is make enquiries of the Land Registry to be sure that the individual purporting to own the freehold is in fact the new freeholder. There is no need to incur the fees of a Witham conveyancing firm to do this as you can do this on the Land Registry website for less than a fiver. You should note that regardless, even if this is the rightful freeholder, under the Limitation Act 1980 the limitation period for recovery of ground rent is six years.
I am tempted by the attractive purchase price for a couple of apartments in Witham which have in the region of fifty years remaining on the lease term. should I be concerned?
There are no two ways about it. A leasehold apartment in Witham is a wasting asset as a result of the shortening lease. The nearer the lease gets to its expiry date, the more it reduces the value of the premises. For most purchasers and lenders, leases with under 75 years become less and less attractive. On a more positive note, leaseholders can extend their leases by serving a Section 42 Notice. One stipulation is that they must have owned the property for two years (unlike a Section 13 notice for purchasing the freehold, when leaseholders can participate from day one of ownership). When successful, they will have the right to an extension of 90 years to the current term and ground rent is effectively reduced to zero. Before moving forward with a purchase of property with a short lease term remaining you should talk to a solicitor specialising in lease extensions and leasehold enfranchisement. We are are happy to put you in touch with Witham conveyancing experts who will explain the options available to you during an initial telephone conversation free of charge. More often than not it is possible to negotiate informally with the freeholder to extend the lease You may find he or she is happy to negotiate informally and willing to consider your offer straight off, without having to involve anyone else. This will save you time and money and it could help you reach a lower price on the lease. You need to ensure that the agreed terms represent good long-term value compared with the standard benefits of the Section 42 Notice and that onerous clauses are not inserted into any redrafting of the lease.
I've recently bought a leasehold property in Witham. Do I have any liability for service charges for periods before my ownership?
In a situation 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).
Witham Leasehold Conveyancing - Sample of Questions you should consider Prior to Purchasing
What restrictions exist in the Witham Lease?
For most Witham leaseholds the outlay for major works are not incorporated into the service charges, albeit that some managing agents in Witham obliged leaseholders to pay into a reserve fund and this is used to offset against major repairs or maintenance.
How many of the leaseholders are in arrears for their maintenance charge payments?