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Questions and Answers: Bacup leasehold conveyancing

Expecting to sign contracts shortly on a basement flat in Bacup. Conveyancing solicitors assured me that they are sending me a report on Monday. Are there areas in the report that I should be focusing on?

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

  • You should be sent a copy of the lease
  • Details of the parties to the lease, for example these could be the leaseholder (you), head lessor, landlord
  • You need to be told what constitutes a Nuisance in the lease
  • 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
  • What the implications are if you breach a clause of your lease? For details of the information to be included in your report on your leasehold property in Bacup please ask your conveyancer in advance of your conveyancing in Bacup

  • Estate agents have just been given the go-ahead to market my basement flat in Bacup.Conveyancing has not commenced but I have just had a yearly service charge invoice – should I leave it to the buyer to sort out?

    The sensible thing to do is discharge 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.

    I've recently bought a leasehold house in Bacup. Do I have any liability for 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 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. A critical element 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 work for a busy estate agent office in Bacup where we see a few leasehold sales jeopardised as a result of short leases. I have received contradictory information from local Bacup conveyancing solicitors. Could you confirm whether the owner of a flat can initiate the lease extension formalities for the buyer?

    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. The benefit of this is 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 needs to be completed prior to, or simultaneously with completion of the disposal of the property.

    Alternatively, it may be possible 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 are your top tips when it comes to finding a Bacup conveyancing practice to carry out our lease extension conveyancing?

    If you are instructing a conveyancer for lease extension works (regardless if they are a Bacup conveyancing practice) it is most important that they be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of work. We advise that you talk with several firms including non Bacup conveyancing practices before you instructing a firm. Where the conveyancing practice is ALEP accredited then that’s a bonus. Some following of questions might be of use:

    • Can they put you in touch with client in Bacup who can give a testimonial?
  • What are the legal fees for lease extension conveyancing?

  • I bought a 1 bedroom flat in Bacup, conveyancing was carried out 2001. Can you let me have an estimated range of the fair premium for a lease extension? Equivalent properties in Bacup with a long lease are worth £169,000. The average or mid-range amount of ground rent is £55 yearly. The lease ends on 21st October 2089

    With just 69 years remaining on your lease the likely cost is going to be between £11,400 and £13,200 as well as costs.

    The figure that we have given is a general guide to costs for extending a lease, but we cannot give you the actual costs in the absence of detailed investigations. Do not use the figures in a Notice of Claim or as an informal offer. There are no doubt additional issues that need to be taken into account and you obviously should be as accurate as possible in your negotiations. You should not take any other action placing reliance on this information without first getting professional advice.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Bacup