Leasehold Conveyancing in Amersham - Get a Quote from the leasehold experts approved by your lender

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Amersham leasehold conveyancing: Q and A’s

I own a leasehold flat in Amersham. Conveyancing and Yorkshire Building Society mortgage organised. A letter has just been received from someone claiming to own the reversionary interest in the property. Attached was a demand for arrears of ground rent dating back to 1992. The conveyancing solicitor in Amersham who acted for me is not around.What should I do?

First contact the Land Registry to make sure that this person is indeed the new freeholder. There is no need to instruct a Amersham conveyancing firm to do this as you can do this on the Land Registry website for less than a fiver. You should note that in any event, even if this is the rightful landlord, under the Limitation Act 1980 the limitation period for recovery of ground rent is six years.

I work for a reputable estate agent office in Amersham where we have witnessed a few flat sales jeopardised as a result of short leases. I have received contradictory information from local Amersham conveyancing firms. Can you shed some light as to whether the vendor of a flat can instigate the lease extension formalities for the purchaser on completion of the sale?

As long as the seller has been the owner for at least 2 years it is possible, to serve a Section 42 notice to 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 prior to, or simultaneously with completion of the disposal of the property.

An alternative approach is to extend the lease informally by agreement with the landlord 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 purchaser.

Can you provide any top tips for leasehold conveyancing in Amersham with the purpose of saving time on the sale process?

  • A significant proportion of the delay in leasehold conveyancing in Amersham can be bypassed where you instruct lawyers the minute you market your property and request that they start to collate the leasehold information which will be required by the purchasers’ lawyers.
  • In the event that you altered the property did you need the Landlord’s consent? Have you, for example laid down wooden flooring? Amersham leases often stipulate that internal structural changes or installing wooden flooring necessitate a licence from the Landlord acquiescing to such changes. Should you dont have the consents to hand do not contact the landlord without checking with your conveyancer before hand.
  • A minority of Amersham leases require Landlord’s consent to the sale and approval of the buyers. If this applies to your lease, you should notify your estate agents to make sure that the purchasers put in hand financial (bank) and professional references. Any bank reference should make it clear that the buyer is able to meet the yearly service charge and the actual amount of the service charge should be quoted in the bank’s letter. You will therefore need to provide your estate agents with the service charge figures so that they can pass this information on to the purchasers or their lawyers.
  • If there is a history of conflict with your freeholder or managing agents it is very important that these are settled prior to the flat being put on the market. The purchasers and their solicitors will be warry about purchasing a property where there is a current dispute. You may have to bite the bullet and discharge any arrears of service charge or resolve the dispute prior to the buyers completing the purchase. It is therefore preferable to have any dispute settled prior to the contract papers being issued to the buyers’ solicitors. You are still duty bound to disclose particulars of the dispute to the buyers, but it is clearly preferable to present the dispute as over as opposed to unresolved.
  • If you hold a share in a the Management Company, you should make sure that you have the original share certificate. Obtaining a re-issued share certificate is often a lengthy formality and slows down many a Amersham conveyancing transaction. If a new share certificate is necessary, do contact the company director and secretary or managing agents (where applicable) for this at the earliest opportunity.

  • Our conveyancer has advised that he intends to complete and exchange simultaneously on our sale of a £225000 garden flat in Amersham in just under a week. The landlords agents has quoted £312 for Certificate of Compliance, building insurance schedule and 3 years service charge statements. Is it legal for a freeholder to charge such fees for a leasehold conveyance in Amersham?

    Amersham conveyancing on leasehold apartments normally involves the purchaser’s solicitor sending questions for the landlord to answer. Although the landlord is under no legal obligation to answer such questions the majority will be content to do so. They may invoice a reasonable charge for responding to enquiries or supplying documentation. There is no set fee. The average fee for the information that you are referring to is £350, in some transactions it is above £800. The administration charge invoiced by the landlord must be accompanied by a synopsis of rights and obligations in respect of administration fees, otherwise the charge is technically not due. In reality you have little choice but to pay whatever is requested of you if you want to sell the property.

    What makes a Amersham lease defective?

    Leasehold conveyancing in Amersham is not unique. Most leases are individual and drafting errors can result in certain sections are erroneous. The following missing provisions could result in a defective lease:

    • A provision to repair to or maintain parts of the building
    • A duty to insure the building
    • Clauses dealing with recovering service charges for expenditure on the building or common parts.
    • Service charge per centages that don't add up correctly leaving a shortfall

    A defective lease will likely cause issues when trying to sell a property primarily because it impacts on the ability to obtain a mortgage on the property. Santander, The Royal Bank of Scotland, and Platform Home Loans Ltd all have express conveyancing instructions when it comes to what is expected in a lease. Where a lender has been advised by their lawyers that the lease is problematic they may refuse to provide security, forcing the buyer to withdraw.

    I purchased a 2 bed flat in Amersham, conveyancing was carried out 5 years ago. Can you let me have an estimated range of the fair premium for a lease extension? Similar flats in Amersham with over 90 years remaining are worth £205,000. The average or mid-range amount of ground rent is £50 yearly. The lease expires on 21st October 2085

    You have 63 years left to run we estimate the price of your lease extension to span between £17,100 and £19,800 plus plus your own and the landlord's "reasonable" professional fees.

    The figure that we have given is a general guide to costs for renewing a lease, but we are not able to advice on the actual costs without more comprehensive investigations. Do not use this information in a Notice of Claim or as an informal offer. There may be additional issues that need to be considered and you obviously want to be as accurate as possible in your negotiations. You should not take any other action placing reliance on this information before getting professional advice.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Amersham