Last week saw the launch of a new standardised questionnaire designed to secure all the necessary information if a property being sold is “managed freehold”. This is where a freehold property has a shared amenity requiring a maintenance either through an estate rent charge or covenants set out in the title.
When purchasing leasehold property, the seller’s solicitor would expect to obtain replies to form LPE1 from the landlord or management company. Some companies provide their own standard management pack, but form LPE1 is widely recognised as covering the salient matters needed to fully inform the buyer of the management arrangements and other matters affecting the leasehold ownership.
Some freehold properties are situated on estates where either there is a mix of leasehold and freehold ownership or the communal areas, such as roads, en bloc garage forecourts, play areas and green spaces and looked after by a separate managing agent. Some freehold properties pay a Service Change similar to leasehold property, albeit it is known as a Rent Charge or Maintenance Charge.
The information required by the new FME1 would come from the Rent charge Owner, the Management Company, the Managing Agent or any appointed representative of them, and would provide greater certainty around the provision of the information required to ensure the conveyancing process can progress. Use of the new FME1 form should now ensure that prospective purchasers have full details of any contribution required, who organises the maintenance arrangements for the shared areas/amenities, likely increases to these amounts, and who owes what.
The introduction of this new form will assist with freehold sales where previously a seller’s solicitor either had to use their own standard enquiries, adapt the LPE1 (which is not entirely relevant for freehold properties) or in the worst case, not obtain all of the relevant information at all!
For more information on any of the above or your conveyancing needs generally, please contact Alex Le Messurier, Solicitor, by email: firstname.lastname@example.org, or by telephone (0207 644 6092) or contact him on LinkedIn