Fixed-fee leasehold conveyancing in Beaconsfield:

When it comes to leasehold conveyancing in Beaconsfield, you will need to instruct a conveyancing lawyer with leasehold experience. Whether your lender is to be Clydesdale , RBS or Bradford & Bingley be sure to choose a lawyer on their approved list. Find a Beaconsfield conveyancing lawyer with our search tool

Top Five Questions relating to Beaconsfield leasehold conveyancing

Estate agents have just been given the go-ahead to market my ground floor apartment in Beaconsfield.Conveyancing solicitors are to be appointed soon but I have just received a half-yearly service charge invoice – what should I do?

It best that you 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 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. This will smooth the conveyancing process.

Last month I purchased a leasehold property in Beaconsfield. Do I have any liability for service charges for periods before completion of my purchase?

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. 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).

I am a negotiator for a reputable estate agency in Beaconsfield where we see a few flat sales jeopardised due to short leases. I have received conflicting advice from local Beaconsfield conveyancing firms. Please can you clarify whether the owner of a flat can commence the lease extension process 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 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 to extend their lease. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment needs to be completed prior to, or at the same time as completion of the disposal of the property.

An alternative approach is to agree the lease extension with the freeholder 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 purchaser.

Do you have any top tips for leasehold conveyancing in Beaconsfield with the intention of expediting the sale process?

  • Much of the delay in leasehold conveyancing in Beaconsfield can be avoided if you appoint lawyers as soon as you market your property and ask them to put together the leasehold information needed by the buyers lawyers.
  • If you have carried out any alterations to the property would they have required Landlord’s approval? Have you, for example installed wooden flooring? Most leases in Beaconsfield state that internal structural changes or laying down wooden flooring necessitate a licence from the Landlord approving such works. Should you fail to have the approvals in place you should not contact the landlord without checking with your conveyancer first.
  • If you have had any disputes with your freeholder or managing agents it is essential that these are settled prior to the flat being marketed. The purchasers and their solicitors will be reluctant to purchase a property where there is an ongoing dispute. You may have to bite the bullet and discharge any arrears of service charge or resolve 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 buyers, but it is clearly preferable to present the dispute as historic as opposed to unresolved.
  • If you have the benefit of shareholding in the Management Company, you should ensure that you are holding the original share document. Arranging a re-issued share certificate is often a lengthy process and frustrates many a Beaconsfield home move. If a reissued share certificate is necessary, do contact the company director and secretary or managing agents (where relevant) for this as soon as possible.
  • You believe that you know the number of years left on your lease but it would be advisable double-check via your conveyancers. A purchaser's lawyer will be unlikely to recommend their client to to exchange contracts if the remaining number of years is under 80 years. In the circumstances it is important at an as soon as possible that you identify whether the lease for your property needs extending. If it does, contact your solicitors before you put your home on the market for sale.

  • Our conveyancer has advised that he intends to complete and exchange simultaneously on the sale of our £475000 maisonette in Beaconsfield in seven days. The managing agents has quoted £372 for Landlord’s certificate, building insurance schedule and previous years service charge statements. Is the landlord entitled to charge exorbitant fees for a flat conveyance in Beaconsfield?

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

    • Completing conveyancing due diligence questions
    • Where consent is required before sale in Beaconsfield
    • 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 Beaconsfield leasehold premises is £350. For Beaconsfield 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 provide answers.

    Beaconsfield Leasehold Conveyancing - A selection of Questions you should ask Prior to buying

      Is anyone aware of any major works on the horizon that will increase the service fees? It would be prudent to investigate if there is anything that is prohibited in the lease. By way of example it is fairly common in Beaconsfield leases that pets are not permitted in in a block in Beaconsfield. If you love the apartmentin Beaconsfield but your cat can’t live with you then you will be presented with a hard compromise. Most Beaconsfield leasehold apartments will be liable to pay a service bill for maintenance of the building set by the management company. Where you purchase the apartment you will have to meet this charge, usually periodically accross the year. This could vary from a couple of hundred pounds to thousands of pounds for bigger purpose-built blocks. There will also be a ground rent for you to pay annual, this is usually not a significant sum, say approximately £25-£75 but you need to check as on occasion it could be prohibitively expensive.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Beaconsfield