Fixed-fee leasehold conveyancing in Woolacombe:

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Examples of recent questions relating to leasehold conveyancing in Woolacombe

I've recently bought a leasehold property in Woolacombe. Am I liable to pay service charges relating to a period prior to 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 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 long established estate agent office in Woolacombe where we have witnessed a number of flat sales put at risk as a result of short leases. I have been given conflicting advice from local Woolacombe conveyancing firms. Can you clarify whether the vendor of a flat can commence the lease extension process for the purchaser on completion of the sale?

As long as the seller has been the owner 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. This means that the proposed purchaser need not have to sit tight for 2 years to extend their lease. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment needs to be completed before, or simultaneously with 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 buyer.

Do you have any top tips for leasehold conveyancing in Woolacombe from the point of view of expediting the sale process?

  • Much of the frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Woolacombe can be avoided where you appoint lawyers as soon as your agents start advertising the property and request that they start to put together the leasehold information which will be required by the buyers lawyers.
  • If you have carried out any alterations to the residence would they have required Landlord’s approval? Have you, for example installed wooden flooring? Most leases in Woolacombe state that internal structural changes or laying down wooden flooring necessitate a licence from the Landlord consenting to such alterations. Where you fail to have the consents in place you should not communicate with the landlord without contacting your solicitor first.
  • If you have had conflict with your freeholder or managing agents it is essential that these are resolved prior to the flat being marketed. The purchasers and their solicitors will be warry about purchasing a property where a dispute is unresolved. You may have to bite the bullet and pay any arrears of service charge or settle the dispute prior to completion of the sale. It is therefore preferable to have any dispute settled prior to the contract papers being issued to the buyers’ solicitors. You will still have to reveal details of the dispute to the purchasers, but it is better to present the dispute as historic as opposed to ongoing.
  • If you are supposed to have a share in the Management Company, you should make sure that you have the original share document. Organising a duplicate share certificate can be a lengthy formality and frustrates many a Woolacombe home move. Where a new share certificate is necessary, you should approach the company officers or managing agents (if relevant) for this sooner rather than later.
  • You may think that you are aware of the number of years left on your lease but you should verify this by asking your lawyers. A purchaser's conveyancer will not be happy to advise their client to proceed with the purchase of a leasehold property the lease term is less than 75 years. It is therefore essential at an early stage that you consider whether the lease requires a lease extension. If it does, contact your solicitors before you put your property on the market for sale.

  • Completion in due on the sale of our £175000 apartment in Woolacombe next Thursday . The freeholder has quoted £324 for Landlord’s certificate, building insurance schedule and previous years service charge statements. Is the landlord entitled to charge an administration fee for a leasehold conveyance in Woolacombe?

    Woolacombe conveyancing on leasehold flats nine out of ten times involves fees being raised by landlords agents :

    • Answering pre-exchange enquiries
    • Where consent is required before sale in Woolacombe
    • Copies of the building insurance and schedule
    • Deeds of covenant upon sale
    • Registering of the assignment of the change of lessee after a sale
    Your solicitor will have no control over the level of the charges for this information but the average costs for the information for Woolacombe leasehold property is £350. For Woolacombe conveyancing transactions it is customary for the seller to pay for these costs. The landlord or their agents are under no legal obligation to answer such questions most will be willing to do so - albeit often at exorbitant prices where the fees bear little relation to the work involved. Unfortunately there is no law that requires fixed charges for administrative tasks. Neither is there any legal time frame by which they are obliged to supply the information.

    What are the frequently found defects that you see in leases for Woolacombe properties?

    There is nothing unique about leasehold conveyancing in Woolacombe. Most leases is drafted differently and legal mistakes in the legal wording can result in certain clauses are missing. For example, if your lease is missing any of the following, it could be defective:

    • Repairing obligations to or maintain parts of the property
    • Insurance obligations
    • Clauses dealing with recovering service charges for expenditure on the building or common parts.
    • Maintenance charge proportions which don’t add up to the correct percentage

    A defective lease can cause problems when trying to sell a property as they can affect a potential buyer’s ability to obtain a mortgage. HSBC Bank, Chelsea Building Society, and Bank of Ireland all have very detailed requirements 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, forcing the purchaser to pull out.

    Woolacombe Conveyancing for Leasehold Flats - A selection of Queries before Purchasing

      Best to be warned if a new roof is being put on or some other major work is pending to be shared by the tenants and could well dramatically impact the level of the maintenance fees or necessitate a one time payment. What restrictions are there in the Woolacombe Lease? In the main the outlay for major works are not included within maintenance charges, although a few managing agents in Woolacombe obliged leaseholders to contribute towards a sinking fund and this is used to offset against major repairs or maintenance.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Woolacombe