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Top Five Questions relating to Alston leasehold conveyancing

I am hoping to exchange soon on a ground floor flat in Alston. Conveyancing solicitors have said that they are sending me a report tomorrow. What should I be looking out for?

The report on title for your leasehold conveyancing in Alston should include some of the following:

  • You should be sent a copy of the lease
  • Defining your rights in respect of common areas in the block.E.G., does the lease permit a right of way over a path or hallways?
  • Does the lease prevent you from subletting the flat, or working from home
  • Whether your lease has a provision for a sinking fund?
  • Changes to the flat (alterations and additions)
  • I don't know whether the lease allows me to alter or improve anything in the flat - you should know whether it applies to all alterations or just structural alteration, and whether consent is required
  • The landlord’s obligations to repair and maintain the building. It is important that you know who is responsible for the repair and maintenance of every part of the building For details of the information to be contained in your report on your leasehold property in Alston please enquire of your lawyer in ahead of your conveyancing in Alston

  • I have just appointed agents to market my basement apartment in Alston.Conveyancing has not commenced but I have just had a yearly maintenance charge demand – what should I do?

    The sensible thing to do is pay the invoice 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. Having a clear account will assist your cause and will leave you no worse off financially.

    I am a negotiator for a reputable estate agent office in Alston where we see a number of flat sales put at risk due to leases having less than 80 years remaining. I have been given inconsistent advice from local Alston conveyancing solicitors. Please can you shed some light as to whether the owner of a flat can instigate the lease extension process for the purchaser on completion of the sale?

    Provided that the seller has owned the lease for at least 2 years it is possible, to serve a Section 42 notice to kick-start the lease extension process and assign the benefit of the notice to the purchaser. This means that the proposed purchaser can avoid having to wait 2 years for a lease extension. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment needs to be completed before, or at the same time as completion of the sale.

    An alternative approach is to agree the lease extension with the freeholder either before or after the sale. If you are informally negotiating there are no rules and so you cannot insist on the landlord agreeing to grant an extension or transferring the benefit of an agreement to the buyer.

    Do you have any top tips for leasehold conveyancing in Alston with the purpose of speeding up the sale process?

    • A significant proportion of the delay in leasehold conveyancing in Alston can be avoided if you instruct lawyers the minute your agents start marketing the property and request that they start to put together the leasehold information which will be required by the purchasers’ solicitors.
    • The majority freeholders or Management Companies in Alston levy fees for supplying management packs for a leasehold premises. You or your lawyers should find out the fee that they propose to charge. The management information can be applied for as soon as you have a buyer, thus accelerating the process. The typical amount of time it takes to obtain the necessary information is three weeks. It is the most common reason for delay in leasehold conveyancing in Alston.
  • If there is a history of any disputes with your freeholder or managing agents it is very important that these are settled before the property is put on the market. The purchasers and their solicitors will be nervous about purchasing a flat where there is a current dispute. You will have to accept that you will have to pay any arrears of service charge or resolve the dispute prior to completion of the sale. It is therefore preferable to have any dispute settled ahead of the contract papers being issued to the buyers’ solicitors. You are still duty bound to disclose details of the dispute to the purchasers, but it is clearly preferable to reveal the dispute as historic rather than unresolved.
  • If you have the benefit of shareholding in the Management Company, you should ensure that you have the original share document. Organising a replacement share certificate is often a lengthy formality and delays many a Alston home move. Where a new share certificate is necessary, you should approach the company director and secretary or managing agents (if relevant) for this as soon as possible.
  • You may think that you are aware of the number of years remaining on your lease but it would be wise to verify this via your conveyancers. A buyer’s lawyer will not be happy to advise their client to to exchange contracts if the remaining number of years is less than 75 years. In the circumstances it is essential at an early stage that you consider whether the lease for your property needs extending. If it does, contact your solicitors before you put your home on the market for sale.

  • If all goes to plan we aim to complete the sale of our £350000 maisonette in Alston next Friday . The freeholder has quoted £360 for Certificate of Compliance, insurance certificate and previous years service charge statements. Is the landlord entitled to charge an administration fee for a leasehold conveyance in Alston?

    Alston conveyancing on leasehold apartments usually results in administration charges raised by freeholders :

    • Addressing pre-exchange questions
    • Where consent is required before sale in Alston
    • Supplying insurance information
    • Deeds of covenant upon sale
    • Registering of the assignment of the change of lessee after a sale
    Your solicitor will have no control over the level of the charges for this information but the average costs for the information for Alston leasehold property is £350. For Alston conveyancing transactions it is customary for the seller to pay for these costs. The landlord or their agents are under no legal obligation to answer such questions most will be willing to do so - albeit often at exorbitant prices where the fees bear little relation to the work involved. Unfortunately there is no law that requires fixed charges for administrative tasks. Neither is there any legal time frame by which they are obliged to provide the information.

    I purchased a studio flat in Alston, conveyancing formalities finalised in 2005. Can you please calculate a probable premium for a statutory lease extension? Comparable properties in Alston with an extended lease are worth £194,000. The average or mid-range amount of ground rent is £50 charged once a year. The lease ends on 21st October 2086

    With only 64 years left to run we estimate the price of your lease extension to range between £16,200 and £18,600 plus professional fees.

    The figure above a general guide to costs for renewing a lease, but we are not able to supply the actual costs without more detailed due diligence. You should not use this information in a Notice of Claim or as an informal offer. There may be additional issues that need to be taken into account and you obviously should be as accurate as possible in your negotiations. Please do not take any other action based on this information before seeking the advice of a professional.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Alston