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Top Five Questions relating to Barnstaple leasehold conveyancing

I am hoping to complete next month on a basement flat in Barnstaple. Conveyancing solicitors assured me that they are sending me a report tomorrow. Are there areas in the report that I should be focusing on?

Your report on title for your leasehold conveyancing in Barnstaple should include some of the following:

  • Details of the parties to the lease, for example these could be the leaseholder (you), head lessor, freeholder
  • The total extent of the demise. This will be the apartment itself but might include a roof space or basement if applicable.
  • Do you need to have carpet in the flat or are you allowed wood flooring?
  • Whether your lease has a provision for a sinking fund?
  • Whether the landlord has obligations to ensure rights of quiet enjoyment over your premises and do you know what it means in practice?
  • Responsibility for repairing the window frames
  • 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 Barnstaple please enquire of your solicitor in ahead of your conveyancing in Barnstaple

  • I’m about to sell my garden apartment in Barnstaple.Conveyancing is yet to be initiated but I have just had a quarterly maintenance charge demand – Do I pay up?

    Your conveyancing lawyer is likely to suggest that you should pay the invoice 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 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 flat in Barnstaple. 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. Strange as it may seem, 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).

    Do you have any top tips for leasehold conveyancing in Barnstaple with the aim of saving time on the sale process?

    • A significant proportion of the delay in leasehold conveyancing in Barnstaple can be reduced where you appoint lawyers as soon as your agents start advertising the property and ask them to collate the leasehold documentation which will be required by the purchasers’ solicitors.
    • The majority landlords or managing agents in Barnstaple charge for supplying management packs for a leasehold premises. You or your lawyers should find out the fee that they propose to charge. The management information can be applied for on or before finding a buyer, thus reducing delays. The typical amount of time it takes to obtain the necessary information is three weeks. It is the most usual cause of delay in leasehold conveyancing in Barnstaple.
  • Some Barnstaple leases require Landlord’s consent to the sale and approval of the buyers. If this is the case, it would be prudent to place the estate agents on notice to make sure that the purchasers obtain financial (bank) and professional references. The 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 buyers or their solicitors.
  • If you have had conflict with your freeholder or managing agents it is essential that these are settled before the property is marketed. The purchasers and their solicitors will be reluctant to purchase a flat where there is a current dispute. You may have to bite the bullet 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 buyers, but it is better to reveal the dispute as historic as opposed to unsettled.
  • If you have the benefit of shareholding in the Management Company, you should make sure that you are holding the original share document. Obtaining a duplicate share certificate is often a lengthy formality and slows down many a Barnstaple home move. Where a duplicate share certificate is needed, you should approach the company director and secretary or managing agents (if applicable) for this as soon as possible.

  • If all goes to plan we aim to complete our sale of a £250000 flat in Barnstaple next Monday . The management company has quoted £348 for Landlord’s certificate, insurance certificate and 3 years statements of service charge. Is it legal for a freeholder to charge exorbitant fees for a flat conveyance in Barnstaple?

    Barnstaple conveyancing on leasehold flats ordinarily involves administration charges raised by freeholders :

    • Addressing conveyancing due diligence enquiries
    • Where consent is required before sale in Barnstaple
    • Supplying insurance information
    • 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 Barnstaple leasehold premises is £350. For Barnstaple 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.

    Barnstaple Leasehold Conveyancing - Sample of Queries Prior to Purchasing

      You should be aware if it is no more than eighty years it will affect the marketability of the apartment. It is worth checking with your bank that they are willing to lend given the lease term. A short lease means that you will almost definitely require a lease extension at some point and you need to have some idea of how much this will be. For most Barnstaplelease extensions you would be be obliged to have been the owner of the premises for two years in order to be eligible to extend the lease. What is the service charge and ground rent on the flat? Make sure you enquire if the the lease includes any unreasonable restrictions in the lease. For instance it is very common in Barnstaple leases that pets are not permitted in in a block in Barnstaple. If you love the flatin Barnstaple yet your cat can’t make the move with you then you will be faced hard decision.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Barnstaple