During a sale a purchase of a leasehold property most managing agents or landlords are usually be asked to supply the answer to a number of pre-contract conveyancing enquiries about the leasehold management of the block and the lessee’s payments of service charge and ground rent.
These conveyancing queries will usually be raised by the property solicitor for the buyer but will be sent on to the managing agent or landlord by the seller’s property solicitor or licensed conveyancer. Most people fail to recognise that a managing agent cannot give information direct to the buyer because of breach data protection legislation.
The questions have never been standardised and there is no Law Society Protocol document in this regard. The nature and number of conveyancing queries that a managing agent is expected to answer can vary depending on the conveyancing solicitors involved in the conveyancing transaction.
The usual subjects include requests for the following :‐
- Copies of insurance policies
- Provide copies of last 3 years’ service charge accounts
- Provide latest service charge budget
- latest ground rent and service charge
- Confirm that payments of service charge and ground rent are up to date
- Advise if any surplus or deficit may be due after the end of the current financial year
- Provide information on any major works underway and planned