Frequently asked questions relating to Wythenshawe leasehold conveyancing
I have recently realised that I have Sixty One years unexpired on my flat in Wythenshawe. I now want to get lease extension 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 for permission to dispense with the service of the initial notice. This will enable the lease to be lengthened by the Court. However, you will be required to demonstrate that you have made all reasonable attempts to find the landlord. For most situations an enquiry agent would be helpful to carry out a search and prepare a report which can be used as proof that the freeholder is indeed missing. It is advisable to get professional help from a solicitor in relation to proving the landlord’s disappearance and the vesting order request to the County Court overseeing Wythenshawe.
Estate agents have just been given the go-ahead to market my garden flat in Wythenshawe.Conveyancing is yet to be initiated but I have just received a quarterly service charge demand – what should I do?
The sensible thing to do is clear the service charge 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 unless 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 am looking at a two apartments in Wythenshawe which have about 50 years unexpired on the leases. Should I regard a short lease as a deal breaker?
There is no doubt about it. A leasehold flat in Wythenshawe is a wasting asset as a result of the reducing lease term. The closer the lease gets to its expiry date, the more it adversely affects the value of the property. For most buyers and lenders, leases with under 75 years become less and less marketable. On a more upbeat note, leaseholders can extend their leases by serving a Section 42 Notice. One stipulation is that they must have owned the premises 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 a residence 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 Wythenshawe 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.
Last month I purchased a leasehold flat in Wythenshawe. 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. 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).
Can you offer any advice when it comes to choosing a Wythenshawe conveyancing firm to carry out our lease extension conveyancing?
When appointing a property lawyer for your lease extension (regardless if they are a Wythenshawe conveyancing practice) it is most important that he or she should be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of work. We advise that you speak with several firms including non Wythenshawe conveyancing practices before you instructing a firm. Where the conveyancing practice is ALEP accredited then that’s a bonus. Some following of questions might be helpful:
- How experienced is the firm with lease extension legislation?
Wythenshawe Conveyancing for Leasehold Flats - Examples of Queries Prior to Purchasing
Where a Wythenshawe lease has less than eighty years it will impact the salability of the property. It is worth checking with your bank that they are happy with residual term of the lease. A short lease means that you will almost definitely have to extend the lease sooner rather than later and it is worth discovering what this would cost. For most Wythenshawelease extensions you will need to own the premises for two years in order to be legally able to exercise a lease extension.
It would be wise to enquire if the the lease includes any unreasonable restrictions in the lease. By way of example plenty of leases prohibit pets being permitted in in a block in Wythenshawe. If you love the apartmentin Wythenshawe yet your cat is not allowed to live with you then you will be presented with a hard choice.
How much is the yearly maintenance fee and ground rent?