Guaranteed fixed fees for Leasehold Conveyancing in Ampthill

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Top Five Questions relating to Ampthill leasehold conveyancing

Having had my offer accepted I require leasehold conveyancing in Ampthill. Before I get started I want to be sure as to the remaining lease term.

If the lease is registered - and almost all are in Ampthill - then the leasehold title will always include the short particulars of the lease, namely the date; the term; and the original parties. From a conveyancing perspective such details then enable any prospective buyer and lender to confirm that any lease they are looking at is the one relevant to that title.For any other purpose, such as confirming how long the term was granted for and calculating what is left, then the register should be sufficient on it's own.

I’m about to sell my garden apartment in Ampthill.Conveyancing lawyers have not yet been instructed but I have just had a half-yearly service charge demand – what should I do?

Your conveyancing lawyer is likely to suggest that you should pay the service charge 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 managing agents 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.

Last month I purchased a leasehold house in Ampthill. Am I liable to pay service charges relating to a period prior to my ownership?

In a situation where the service charge has already been demanded from the previous lessee and they have not paid you would not usually be personally liable for the arrears. However, your landlord may still be able to take action to forfeit the lease. It is an essential part of leasehold conveyancing for your conveyancer to ensure to have an up to date clear service charge receipt before completion of your purchase. If you have a mortgage this is likely to be a requirement of your lender.

If you purchase part way through an accounting year you may be liable for charges not yet demanded even if they relate to a period prior to your purchase. In such circumstances your conveyancer would normally arrange for the seller to set aside some money to cover their part of the period (usually called a service charge retention).

I am a negotiator for a reputable estate agency in Ampthill where we see a few leasehold sales derailed due to short leases. I have received conflicting advice from local Ampthill conveyancing solicitors. Could you shed some light as to whether the seller of a flat can start the lease extension process for the purchaser on completion of the sale?

As long as the seller has owned the lease for at least 2 years it is possible, to serve a Section 42 notice to commence the lease extension process and assign the benefit of the notice to the purchaser. This means that the proposed purchaser can avoid having to sit tight for 2 years to extend their lease. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment has to be done before, or simultaneously with completion of the sale.

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 buyer.

What advice can you give us when it comes to choosing a Ampthill conveyancing practice to carry out our lease extension conveyancing?

If you are instructing a property lawyer for lease extension works (regardless if they are a Ampthill conveyancing firm) it is imperative that they be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of work. We recommend that you speak with several firms including non Ampthill conveyancing practices prior to instructing a firm. If the firm is ALEP accredited then so much the better. Some following of questions might be of use:

  • If they are not ALEP accredited then what is the reason?
  • How many lease extensions have they completed in Ampthill in the last year?

  • Ampthill Conveyancing for Leasehold Flats - A selection of Questions you should consider before Purchasing

      Best to be warned if fixing the lift or some other major work is anticipated to be shared amongst the leaseholders and may well materially increase the the service costs or result in a specific invoice. The prefered form of lease structure is if the freehold interest is owned by the leaseholders. In this arrangement the lessees benefit from control and although a managing agent is often retained if it is larger than a house conversion, the managing agent is directed by the tenants. If a Ampthill lease has fewer than eighty years it will have adverse implications on the value of the flat. It is worth checking with your bank that they are willing to lend given the lease term. A short lease means that you will most likely have to extend the lease sooner rather than later and you need to have some idea of what this would cost. Remember, in most cases you would need to own the premises for a couple of years before you are legally able to carry out a lease extension.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Ampthill