Fixed-fee leasehold conveyancing in Biggleswade:

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Recently asked questions relating to Biggleswade leasehold conveyancing

Due to complete next month on a ground floor flat in Biggleswade. Conveyancing solicitors assured me that they will have a report out to me next week. What should I be looking out for?

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

  • Ground rent - how much and when you need to pay, and also know whether this is subject to change
  • An explanation as to the provision in the lease to pay service charges - with regard to both the building, and the more general rights a leaseholder has
  • Repair and maintenance of the flat
  • 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 rights to access the flat you be made aware that your landlord has rights of access and I know how much notice s/he must provide.
  • 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 contained in your report on your leasehold property in Biggleswade please ask your lawyer in ahead of your conveyancing in Biggleswade

  • I am looking at a two flats in Biggleswade which have in the region of fifty years remaining on the leases. Will this present a problem?

    There is no doubt about it. A leasehold apartment in Biggleswade is a deteriorating asset as a result of the reducing lease term. The closer the lease gets to its expiry date, the more it adversely affects the salability of the premises. For most purchasers and lenders, leases with under 75 years become less and less attractive. On a more upbeat note, leaseholders can extend their leases by serving a Section 42 Notice. One stipulation is that they must have owned the premises for two years (unlike a Section 13 notice for purchasing the freehold, when leaseholders can participate from day one of ownership). When successful, they will have the right to an extension of 90 years to the current term and ground rent is effectively reduced to zero. Before moving forward with a purchase of property with a short lease term remaining you should talk to a solicitor specialising in lease extensions and leasehold enfranchisement. We are are happy to put you in touch with Biggleswade conveyancing experts who will explain the options available to you during an initial telephone conversation free of charge. More often than not it is possible to negotiate informally with the freeholder to extend the lease You may find he or she is happy to negotiate informally and willing to consider your offer straight off, without having to involve anyone else. This will save you time and money and it could help you reach a lower price on the lease. You need to ensure that any new terms represent good long-term value compared with the standard benefits of the Section 42 Notice and that onerous clauses are not inserted into any redrafting of the lease.

    Last month I purchased a leasehold property in Biggleswade. Am I liable to pay 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. 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).

    Do you have any advice for leasehold conveyancing in Biggleswade with the aim of expediting the sale process?

    • Much of the delay in leasehold conveyancing in Biggleswade can be avoided if you get in touch lawyers the minute your agents start marketing the property and ask them to put together the leasehold documentation needed by the purchasers’ lawyers.
    • Many freeholders or Management Companies in Biggleswade charge for providing management packs for a leasehold premises. You or your lawyers should discover the fee that they propose to charge. The management information can be applied for on or before finding a buyer, thus accelerating the process. 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 Biggleswade.
  • A minority of Biggleswade leases require Landlord’s consent to the sale and approval of the buyers. If this is the case, you should notify your estate agents to make sure that the purchasers put in hand financial (bank) and professional references. The bank reference should make it clear that the buyer is 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 lawyers.
  • If you have had conflict 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 warry about purchasing a flat where a dispute is unresolved. You may have to bite the bullet and pay 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 ahead of the contract papers being issued to the buyers’ solicitors. You are still duty bound to disclose details of the dispute to the purchasers, but it is clearly preferable to present the dispute as historic as opposed to ongoing.
  • You believe that you know the number of years left on your lease but it would be advisable double-check via your conveyancers. A buyer’s lawyer will not be happy to advise their client to where the remaining number of years is under 75 years. It is therefore essential at an early stage that you identify whether the lease requires a lease extension. If it does, contact your solicitors before you put your property on the market for sale.

  • When it comes to leasehold conveyancing in Biggleswade what are the most frequent lease defects?

    Leasehold conveyancing in Biggleswade is not unique. All leases are individual and legal mistakes in the legal wording can sometimes mean that certain provisions are not included. For example, if your lease is missing any of the following, it could be defective:

    • A provision to repair to or maintain elements of the property
    • A duty to insure the building
    • A provision for the recovery of money spent for the benefit of another party.
    • Maintenance charge proportions which don’t add up to the correct percentage

    A defective lease can cause issues when trying to sell a property as they can affect a potential buyer’s ability to obtain a mortgage. HSBC Bank, The Royal Bank of Scotland, and Britannia all have very detailed conveyancing instructions when it comes to what is expected in a lease. Where a lender has been advised by their lawyers that the lease is problematic they may refuse to provide security, obliging the purchaser to pull out.

    I inherited a basement flat in Biggleswade, conveyancing was carried out 9 years ago. Can you let me have an estimate of the premium that my landlord can legally expect in return for granting a renewal of my lease? Comparable properties in Biggleswade with an extended lease are worth £242,000. The ground rent is £45 per annum. The lease ends on 21st October 2097

    With 76 years left to run we estimate the premium for your lease extension to range between £9,500 and £11,000 plus legals.

    The figure above a general guide to costs for extending a lease, but we are not able to advice on the actual costs in the absence of comprehensive due diligence. Do not use the figures in a Notice of Claim or as an informal offer. There may be other issues that need to be considered and clearly you should be as accurate as possible in your negotiations. You should not take any other action based on this information without first getting professional advice.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Biggleswade