Experts for Leasehold Conveyancing in Birkenhead

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Birkenhead leasehold conveyancing: Q and A’s

I am in need of some leasehold conveyancing in Birkenhead. Before I set the wheels in motion I would like to find out the number of years remaining on the lease.

If the lease is registered - and most are in Birkenhead - then the leasehold title will always include the short particulars of the lease, namely the date; the term; and the original parties. From a conveyancing perspective such details then enable any prospective buyer and lender to confirm that any lease they are looking at is the one relevant to that title.For any other purpose, such as confirming how long the term was granted for and calculating what is left, then the register should be sufficient on it's own.

I've found a house that appears to be perfect, at a great figure which is making it all the more appealing. I have since been informed that it's a leasehold rather than freehold. I am assuming that there are issues purchasing a house with a leasehold title in Birkenhead. Conveyancing advisers have not yet been appointed. Will they explain the issues?

The majority of houses in Birkenhead are freehold and not leasehold. In this scenario it’s worth having a local solicitor who is familiar with the area can assist with the conveyancing process. It is clear that you are buying in Birkenhead in which case you should be shopping around for a Birkenhead conveyancing solicitor and be sure that they are used to dealing with leasehold houses. First you will need to check the number of years remaining. As a lessee you will not be at liberty to do whatever you want with the house. The lease comes with conditions such as obtaining the freeholder’spermission to conduct changes to the property. You may also be required to pay a service charge towards the maintenance of the communal areas where the house is located on an estate. Your solicitor should advise you fully on all the issues.

I am employed by a busy estate agency in Birkenhead where we have witnessed a few leasehold sales derailed as a result of leases having less than 80 years remaining. I have been given conflicting advice from local Birkenhead conveyancing firms. Please can you clarify whether the vendor of a flat can instigate the lease extension process for the purchaser on completion of the sale?

As long as the seller has been the owner for at least 2 years it is possible, to serve a Section 42 notice to kick-start the lease extension process and assign the benefit of the notice to the purchaser. The benefit of this is that the buyer can avoid having to wait 2 years to extend their lease. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment has to be done prior to, or simultaneously with 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.

We expect to complete the disposal of our £150000 flat in Birkenhead next week. The managing agents has quoted £408 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 Birkenhead?

Birkenhead conveyancing on leasehold maisonettes ordinarily involves administration charges invoiced by managing agents :

  • Addressing conveyancing due diligence enquiries
  • Where consent is required before sale in Birkenhead
  • 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 solicitor will have no control over the level of the charges for this information but the average costs for the information for Birkenhead leasehold premises is £350. For Birkenhead 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 supply answers.

In relation to leasehold conveyancing in Birkenhead what are the most frequent lease defects?

Leasehold conveyancing in Birkenhead is not unique. Most leases are unique and legal mistakes in the legal wording can sometimes mean that certain clauses are wrong. The following missing provisions could result in a defective lease:

  • Repairing obligations to or maintain parts of the building
  • Insurance obligations
  • Clauses dealing with recovering service charges for expenditure on the building or common parts.
  • Service charge per centages that don't add up correctly leaving a shortfall

A defective lease will likely cause problems when trying to sell a property as they can affect a potential buyer’s ability to obtain a mortgage. Barclays , The Mortgage Works, and TSB all have express requirements when it comes to what is expected in a lease. Where a lender has been advised by their lawyers that the lease does not cover certain provisions they may refuse to provide security, obliging the buyer to withdraw.

Birkenhead Leasehold Conveyancing - A selection of Queries Prior to buying

    Its a good idea to discover as much as possible regarding the managing agents as they will affect your use and enjoyment of the property. As the owner of a leasehold property you are often at the mercy of the managing agents both financially and when it comes to practical matters such as the upkeep of the communal areas. Ask prospective neighbours what they think of their service. Finally, investigate as to the dates that the maintenance charges are due to the managing agents and precisely what it includes. The best form of lease structure is a share of the freehold. In this arrangement the lessees enjoy control and although a managing agent is often retained if it is bigger than a house conversion, the managing agent acts for the leaseholders themselves. Is there a share of the freehold?

Other Topics

Lease Extensions in Birkenhead