Fixed-fee leasehold conveyancing in Billericay:

Any conveyancing practice can theoretically deal with your leasehold conveyancing in Billericay, your mortgage provider may unwilling to work with them if the firm are not on their list of approved solicitors for conveyancing

Top Five Questions relating to Billericay leasehold conveyancing

Estate agents have just been given the go-ahead to market my garden apartment in Billericay.Conveyancing lawyers have not yet been instructed but I have just received a yearly service charge invoice – Do I pay up?

Your conveyancing lawyer is likely to suggest that you should pay 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 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. This will smooth the conveyancing process.

I am attracted to a two apartments in Billericay which have about 50 years unexpired on the leases. should I be concerned?

There is no doubt about it. A leasehold apartment in Billericay is a deteriorating asset as a result of the reducing lease term. The closer the lease gets to zero years unexpired, the more it reduces the salability of the premises. For most purchasers and banks, leases with less than eighty years become less and less marketable. On a more positive note, leaseholders can extend their leases by serving a Section 42 Notice. One stipulation is that they must have owned the property 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 a residence 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 Billericay conveyancing experts who will explain the options available to you during an initial telephone conversation free of charge. A more straightforward and quicker method of extending would be to contact your landlord directly and sound him out on the prospect of extending the lease They may agree to a smaller lump sum and an increase in the ground rent, but to shorter extension terms in return. You need to ensure that the agreed 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.

I've recently bought a leasehold flat in Billericay. 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. 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 be sure 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).

Can you offer any advice when it comes to finding a Billericay conveyancing practice to carry out our lease extension conveyancing?

When appointing a property lawyer for lease extension works (regardless if they are a Billericay conveyancing firm) it is imperative that they be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of conveyancing. We advise that you make enquires with several firms including non Billericay conveyancing practices prior to instructing a firm. Where the conveyancing practice is ALEP accredited then so much the better. Some following of questions could be of use:

  • How familiar is the firm with lease extension legislation?
  • What volume of lease extensions has the firm completed in Billericay in the last twenty four months?

  • Do you have any top tips for leasehold conveyancing in Billericay from the perspective of speeding up the sale process?

    • A significant proportion of the frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Billericay can be reduced where you instruct lawyers the minute your agents start advertising the property and ask them to collate the leasehold documentation which will be required by the buyers conveyancers.
    • Many freeholders or managing agents in Billericay levy fees for providing management packs for a leasehold homes. You or your lawyers should find out the fee that they propose to charge. The management information sought as soon as you have a buyer, thus reducing delays. The typical amount of time it takes to receive management information is three weeks. It is the most usual cause of frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Billericay.
  • Some Billericay leases require Licence to Assign from the landlord. If this is the case, you should place the estate agents on notice to make sure that the purchasers put in hand 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 buyers or their lawyers.
  • If you have had conflict with your freeholder or managing agents it is very important that these are settled before the property is put on the market. 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 over rather than unresolved.
  • You believe that you know the number of years remaining on your lease but it would be wise to verify this by asking your conveyancers. A purchaser's conveyancer will be unlikely to recommend their client to to exchange contracts if the lease term is below 80 years. It is therefore essential at an as soon as possible that you consider whether the lease term for your property needs extending. If it does, contact your solicitors before you put your home on the market for sale.

  • I inherited a 1 bedroom flat in Billericay, conveyancing having been completed in 2003. 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? Similar flats in Billericay with over 90 years remaining are worth £265,000. The average or mid-range amount of ground rent is £60 per annum. The lease comes to an end on 21st October 2078

    You have 54 years left to run we estimate the price of your lease extension to range between £34,200 and £39,600 as well as professional fees.

    The suggested premium range above a general guide to costs for extending a lease, but we cannot give you a more accurate figure in the absence of detailed due diligence. You should not use the figures in tribunal or court proceedings. There are no doubt additional issues that need to be taken into account and clearly you want to be as accurate as possible in your negotiations. You should not take any other action based on this information before getting professional advice.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Billericay