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Questions and Answers: Barton Le Clay leasehold conveyancing

Back In 2009, I bought a leasehold house in Barton Le Clay. Conveyancing and Barclays mortgage are in place. I have received a letter from someone saying they have taken over the freehold. Attached was a ground rent demand for rent dating back to 1995. The conveyancing solicitor in Barton Le Clay 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 this person is indeed the registered owner of the freehold reversion. It is not necessary to instruct a Barton Le Clay conveyancing firm to do this as you can do this on the Land Registry website for less than a fiver. You should note that in any event, even if this is the legitimate landlord, under the Limitation Act 1980 no more than 6 years of rent can be collected.

Last month I purchased a leasehold flat in Barton Le Clay. Do I have any liability for service charges for periods before my ownership?

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. 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).

What are your top tips when it comes to appointing a Barton Le Clay conveyancing firm to deal with our lease extension?

When appointing a conveyancer for lease extension works (regardless if they are a Barton Le Clay conveyancing firm) it is most important that he or she should be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of conveyancing. We advise that you speak with several firms including non Barton Le Clay conveyancing practices before you instructing a firm. If the firm is ALEP accredited then so much the better. Some following of questions could be helpful:

  • How experienced is the practice with lease extension legislation?
  • What volume of lease extensions has the firm conducted in Barton Le Clay in the last year?

  • Can you provide any advice for leasehold conveyancing in Barton Le Clay from the point of view of expediting the sale process?

    • A significant proportion of the delay in leasehold conveyancing in Barton Le Clay can be reduced if you get in touch lawyers the minute you market your property and request that they start to collate the leasehold information which will be required by the buyers lawyers.
    • Many freeholders or Management Companies in Barton Le Clay charge for providing management packs for a leasehold premises. You or your lawyers should find out the fee that they propose to charge. The management pack can be applied for as soon as you have a buyer, thus accelerating the process. The average time it takes to obtain the necessary information is three weeks. It is the most frequent cause of delay in leasehold conveyancing in Barton Le Clay.
  • A minority of Barton Le Clay leases require Licence to Assign from the landlord. If this is the case, it would be prudent to notify your estate agents to make sure that the purchasers put in hand bank and professional references. The bank reference will need to confirm that the buyers are financially capable of paying 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 purchasers or their solicitors.
  • If you have had any disputes with your freeholder or managing agents it is essential that these are resolved prior to the flat being put on the market. The purchasers and their solicitors will be reluctant to purchase a flat where there is a current dispute. You may need to swallow your pride and discharge any arrears of service charge or settle the dispute prior to the buyers completing the purchase. It is therefore preferable to have any dispute settled prior to the contract papers being issued to the buyers’ solicitors. You will still have to reveal details of the dispute to the purchasers, but it is better to present the dispute as historic rather than unsettled.
  • If you are supposed to have a share in the Management Company, you should ensure that you have the original share certificate. Arranging a replacement share certificate can be a lengthy process and delays many a Barton Le Clay home move. Where a reissued share is required, do contact the company director and secretary or managing agents (where applicable) for this as soon as possible.

  • We expect to complete the sale of our £450000 garden flat in Barton Le Clay in just under a week. The management company has quoted £312 for Certificate of Compliance, building insurance schedule and previous years statements of service charge. Is the landlord entitled to charge such fees for a leasehold conveyance in Barton Le Clay?

    For most leasehold sales in Barton Le Clay conveyancing will involve, queries regarding the management of a building inevitably needing to be answered directly by the freeholder or its agent, this includes :

    • Addressing pre-contract enquiries
    • Where consent is required before sale in Barton Le Clay
    • 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 Barton Le Clay leasehold premises is £350. For Barton Le Clay 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 the information.

    I invested in buying a 1 bedroom flat in Barton Le Clay, conveyancing was carried out in 1996. How much will my lease extension cost? Corresponding properties in Barton Le Clay with a long lease are worth £255,000. The average or mid-range amount of ground rent is £45 levied per year. The lease terminates on 21st October 2097

    With just 73 years unexpired we estimate the price of your lease extension to range between £10,500 and £12,000 plus professional fees.

    The figure above a general guide to costs for extending a lease, but we are not able to provide the actual costs in the absence of comprehensive due diligence. You should not use this information in tribunal or court proceedings. There are no doubt additional concerns that need to be considered and you obviously want to be as accurate as possible in your negotiations. Please do not take any other action based on this information before getting professional advice.

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    Lease Extensions in Barton Le Clay