Things to know before you buy a flat
Estate agents are obliged to tell you anything material that may affect your buying decision. There are two main ways...
If there are any outstanding service charges which have been demanded but not paid, you would be responsible to pay once you purchase the property.
In legal terms you would not be personally liable. However, your landlord may still be able to take action to forfeit the lease.
Your conveyancer should pro actively request this information from the seller’s solicitor at the time of purchase of the property. The seller’s solicitor is not obliged to provide this information voluntarily unless they have been asked to do so.
Your conveyancer should therefore ensure that service charge payments are up to date before you complete the purchase.
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 retention).
More information you might find useful:
- Service Charges and other issues
- Freehold vs leasehold conveyancing flowchart
- More Frequently Asked Questions on Purchase/Sale
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