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Is the charge registered against the land registry title of the property?
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If the maintenance bill is effectively “service charge” (ie. amounts that the seller is obligated to pay for the upkeep of the common areas of the development block) then this will only be noted on the service charge account by the landlord.This information will be requested by your solicitor during the pre-exchange process. They will ascertain that there is a large amount owing and ask the seller’s solicitors for a solicitor’s undertaking to repay all such monies owing upon completion.
The Sellers solicitor will only give the undertaking if there is sufficient funds from the proceeds of sale. Once they have given the undertaking then you can be assured that they will repay the sum upon completion (the could be struck of if they do not comply with an undertaking) so that the property can be transferred to you in the normal way.
If the amounts owing are registered against the legal registered land registry title for the property, then the situation is the same: the seller’s solicitor will give undertaking to repay such sums in the Replies to Requisitions which are provided to your solicitor.
Either way, your solicitor will not allow the sale to proceed without ensuring that such sums are repaid by the seller upon completion.
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If the works have not actually been carried out and will be invoiced in due course, then it's a matter for you to attempt to negotiate with the seller to see if they are willing to contribute.
If they are not willing to contribute then it's a simply case of bad luck and ultiamtely for you to decide whether or not you wish to proceed with the purchase knowing that you will have to pay such fees.
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There is no legal element to the question. It's simply for you to determine what is the best possible deal you can extract from the seller. If they are willing to reduce the purchase price to help you cover the future cost then you have to negotiate the best possible reduction that you can and then determine if you are willing to purchase the property at this price knowing that you will have to pay the increased maintenance charge in the future.
If they are not willing to negotiate at all then you just have to decide whether to purchase at the agreed price knowing that the future maintenance charge is coming.
I would make the point that a £30, 000.00 one-off maintenance charge is a very large amount in the scheme of leasehold maintanance charges and there will be other flats out there without the bad luck of having such a charge payable.
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