Fixed-fee leasehold conveyancing in Aston:

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Sample questions relating to Aston leasehold conveyancing

I have just started marketing my ground floor apartment in Aston.Conveyancing is yet to be initiated but I have just received a half-yearly maintenance charge demand – Do I pay up?

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 management companies will not acknowledge the buyer until 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 property in Aston. Am I liable to pay service charges relating to a period prior to completion of my purchase?

In a situation where the service charge has already been demanded from the previous owner and they have not paid you would not usually be personally liable for the arrears. Strange as it may seem, 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).

What are your top tips when it comes to finding a Aston conveyancing firm to carry out our lease extension conveyancing?

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

  • How experienced is the firm with lease extension legislation?
  • What volume of lease extensions has the firm conducted in Aston in the last 12 months?

  • Can you provide any advice for leasehold conveyancing in Aston with the purpose of saving time on the sale process?

    • Much of the frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Aston can be avoided if you get in touch lawyers as soon as you market your property and ask them to collate the leasehold documentation which will be required by the buyers conveyancers.
    • In the event that you altered the property did you need the Landlord’s consent? In particular have you laid down wooden flooring? Most leases in Aston state that internal structural changes or laying down wooden flooring calls for a licence from the Landlord approving such alterations. Should you dont have the paperwork in place you should not contact the landlord without checking with your conveyancer in the first instance.
  • A minority of Aston leases require Licence to Assign from the landlord. If this applies to your lease, you should place the estate agents on notice to make sure that the purchasers obtain bank and professional references. Any bank reference will need to confirm that the buyers are able to meet the annual 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 solicitors.
  • If you have had any disputes with your freeholder or managing agents it is very important that these are resolved before the property is marketed. The buyers and their solicitors will be nervous about purchasing a property where there is a current dispute. You may need to swallow your pride and pay any arrears of service charge or settle 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 particulars of the dispute to the purchasers, but it is clearly preferable to present the dispute as over as opposed to unsettled.
  • You believe that you know the number of years remaining on your lease but you should verify this by asking your conveyancers. A purchaser's lawyer will not be happy to advise their client to where the remaining number of years is under 75 years. It is therefore important at an as soon as possible that you identify whether the lease term requires a lease extension. If it does, contact your solicitors before you put your premises on the market for sale.

  • Completion in due on our sale of a £200000 garden flat in Aston in just under a week. The landlords agents has quoted £372 for Landlord’s certificate, insurance certificate and previous years statements of service charge. Is the landlord entitled to charge an administration fee for a flat conveyance in Aston?

    Aston conveyancing on leasehold maisonettes usually results in fees being levied by management companies :

    • Completing pre-exchange questions
    • Where consent is required before sale in Aston
    • 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 Aston leasehold property is £350. For Aston 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 supply answers.

    I acquired a 1 bedroom flat in Aston, conveyancing was carried out in 2004. Can you please calculate a probable premium for a statutory lease extension? Equivalent flats in Aston with over 90 years remaining are worth £180,000. The ground rent is £60 levied per year. The lease expires on 21st October 2092

    With 72 years left to run we estimate the price of your lease extension to span between £9,500 and £11,000 plus legals.

    The figure above a general guide to costs for renewing a lease, but we cannot give you a more accurate figure in the absence of comprehensive due diligence. Do not use the figures in tribunal or court proceedings. There are no doubt other concerns that need to be taken into account and clearly you want to be as accurate as possible in your negotiations. Please do not move forward placing reliance on this information without first seeking the advice of a professional.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Aston