Experts for Leasehold Conveyancing in Birkenhead

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Common questions relating to Birkenhead leasehold conveyancing

Estate agents have just been given the go-ahead to market my garden apartment in Birkenhead.Conveyancing solicitors are to be appointed soon but I have just received a yearly maintenance charge demand – what should I do?

It best that you discharge 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 managing agents 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. Having a clear account will assist your cause and will leave you no worse off financially.

I am attracted to a couple of flats in Birkenhead both have approximately forty five years remaining on the lease term. Should I regard a short lease as a deal breaker?

A lease is a right to use the property for a period of time. As a lease shortens the marketability of the lease reduces and results in it becoming more costly to extend the lease. This is why it is generally wise to increase the term of the lease. It is often difficult to sell a property with a short lease as mortgage lenders less inclined to grant a loan on such properties. Lease enfranchisement can be a protracted process. We advise that you get professional help from a solicitor and surveyor with experience in this field

I am employed by a long established estate agent office in Birkenhead where we have witnessed a number of flat sales jeopardised due to leases having less than 80 years remaining. I have been given conflicting advice from local Birkenhead conveyancing solicitors. Can you clarify whether the vendor of a flat can initiate the lease extension formalities 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 kick-start the lease extension process and assign the benefit of the notice to the purchaser. This means that the proposed purchaser can avoid having 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 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.

All being well we will complete the sale of our £275000 garden flat in Birkenhead in just under a week. The management company has quoted £360 for Certificate of Compliance, insurance certificate and 3 years statements of service charge. Is it legal for a freeholder to charge such fees for a leasehold conveyance in Birkenhead?

Birkenhead conveyancing on leasehold maisonettes usually necessitates administration charges levied by landlords agents :

  • Answering pre-exchange 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 lawyer 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 obliged to supply answers.

Are there common defects that you encounter in leases for Birkenhead properties?

There is nothing unique about leasehold conveyancing in Birkenhead. Most leases are unique and drafting errors can result in certain provisions are erroneous. For example, if your lease is missing any of the following, it could be defective:

  • Repairing obligations to or maintain parts of the property
  • A duty to insure the building
  • A provision for the recovery of money spent for the benefit of another party.
  • Service charge per centages that don't add up correctly leaving a shortfall

You could have a problem when selling your property if you have a defective lease as they can affect a potential buyer’s ability to obtain a mortgage. Santander, Chelsea Building Society, and Platform Home Loans Ltd all have very detailed requirements 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 1 bedroom flat in Birkenhead, conveyancing formalities finalised 3 years ago. Can you let me have an estimated range of the fair premium for a lease extension? Equivalent properties in Birkenhead with an extended lease are worth £185,000. The ground rent is £60 yearly. The lease finishes on 21st October 2079

You have 58 years left to run we estimate the premium for your lease extension to be between £23,800 and £27,400 as well as professional fees.

The figure that we have given is a general guide to costs for renewing a lease, but we are not able to supply the actual costs in the absence of detailed investigations. Do not use this information in a Notice of Claim or as an informal offer. There may be other issues that need to be taken into account and clearly you should be as accurate as possible in your negotiations. Neither should you take any other action based on this information before seeking the advice of a professional.

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Lease Extensions in Birkenhead