Fixed-fee leasehold conveyancing in Atherton:

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Top Five Questions relating to Atherton leasehold conveyancing

I am in need of some leasehold conveyancing in Atherton. Before diving in I want to be sure as to the number of years remaining on the lease.

If the lease is recorded at the land registry - and most are in Atherton - 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.

Frank (my husband) and I may need to rent out our Atherton garden flat for a while due to taking a sabbatical. We used a Atherton conveyancing practice in 2001 but they have since shut and we did not have the foresight to get any advice as to whether the lease prohibits the subletting of the flat. How do we find out?

Some leases for properties in Atherton do contain a provision to say that subletting is only permitted with prior consent from the landlord. The landlord cannot unreasonably refuse but, in such cases, they would need to see references. Experience suggests that problems are usually caused by unsatisfactory tenants rather than owner-occupiers and for that reason you can expect the freeholder to take up the references and consider them carefully before granting consent.

My wife and I purchased a leasehold house in Atherton. Conveyancing and TSB mortgage organised. A letter has just been received from someone saying they have taken over the reversionary interest in the property. Attached was a demand for arrears of ground rent dating back to 1997. The conveyancing practitioner in Atherton who previously acted has long since retired.Any advice?

The first thing you should do is make enquiries of the Land Registry to be sure that the individual claiming to own the freehold is indeed the registered owner of the freehold reversion. It is not necessary to incur the fees of a Atherton conveyancing lawyer to do this as it can be done on-line for a few pound. Rest assured that in any event, even if this is the rightful freeholder, under the Limitation Act 1980 no more than 6 years of rent can be collected.

I work for a long established estate agent office in Atherton where we see a few flat sales jeopardised as a result of leases having less than 80 years remaining. I have received contradictory information from local Atherton conveyancing solicitors. Can you confirm whether the vendor of a flat can start the lease extension formalities for the purchaser on completion of the sale?

Provided that the seller has been the owner 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. The benefit of this is that the proposed purchaser need not have to sit tight for 2 years for a lease extension. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment has to be done prior to, or at the same time as 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 buyer.

Our conveyancer has advised that he intends to complete and exchange simultaneously on our sale of a £125000 apartment in Atherton in seven days. The management company has quoted £360 for Certificate of Compliance, building insurance schedule and 3 years service charge statements. Is it legal for a freeholder to charge exorbitant fees for a flat conveyance in Atherton?

For the majority of leasehold sales in Atherton conveyancing will involve, questions about the management of a building inevitably needing to be answered directly by the freeholder or its agent, this includes :

  • Completing pre-exchange enquiries
  • Where consent is required before sale in Atherton
  • Copies of the building insurance and schedule
  • Deeds of covenant upon sale
  • Registering of the assignment of the change of lessee after a sale
Your lawyer will have no control over the level of the charges for this information but the average costs for the information for Atherton leasehold premises is £350. For Atherton 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 required to supply answers.

Atherton Conveyancing for Leasehold Flats - Sample of Queries Prior to Purchasing

    The majority of Atherton leasehold flats will incur a service bill for maintenance of the building set by the landlord. If you buy the apartment you will have to meet this amount, normally periodically during the year. This may differ from two or three hundred pounds to thousands of pounds for blocks with lifts and large communal areas. In all probability there will be a ground rent for you to pay annual, normally this is not a significant amount, say approximately £25-£75 but you need to check as sometimes it could be prohibitively expensive. Is anyone aware of any major works anticipated that will likely add a premium to the service charges? For many Atherton leaseholds the cost for major works tend not to be included within maintenance charges, although there some managing agents in Atherton require leasehold owners to pay into a reserve fund and this is used to offset against larger repairs or maintenance.

Other Topics

Lease Extensions in Atherton