Guaranteed fixed fees for Leasehold Conveyancing in Brentwood

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Recently asked questions relating to Brentwood leasehold conveyancing

I wish to rent out my leasehold flat in Brentwood. Conveyancing solicitor who did the purchase is retired - so can't ask her. Do I need to ask my freeholder for permission?

Some leases for properties in Brentwood do contain a provision to say that subletting is only allowed with permission. The landlord is not entitled to unreasonably refuse but, in such cases, they would need to see references. Experience suggests that problems are usually caused by unsatisfactory tenants rather than owner-occupiers and for that reason you can expect the freeholder to take up the references and consider them carefully before granting consent.

Estate agents have just been given the go-ahead to market my ground floor apartment in Brentwood.Conveyancing has not commenced but I have just received a half-yearly maintenance charge invoice – what should I do?

The sensible thing to do is clear 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. Having a clear account will assist your cause and will leave you no worse off financially.

Last month I purchased a leasehold flat in Brentwood. Do I have any liability for service charges for periods before my ownership?

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 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).

What advice can you give us when it comes to appointing a Brentwood conveyancing firm to deal with our lease extension?

If you are instructing a solicitor for your lease extension (regardless if they are a Brentwood conveyancing firm) it is imperative that he or she should be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of conveyancing. We suggested that you talk with several firms including non Brentwood conveyancing practices before you instructing a firm. Where the conveyancing practice is ALEP accredited then that’s a bonus. Some following of questions could be helpful:

  • How experienced is the firm with lease extension legislation?
  • How many lease extensions have they completed in Brentwood in the last twenty four months?

  • Can you provide any top tips for leasehold conveyancing in Brentwood with the purpose of saving time on the sale process?

    • Much of the delay in leasehold conveyancing in Brentwood can be bypassed if you appoint lawyers as soon as your agents start advertising the property and ask them to collate the leasehold documentation which will be required by the buyers lawyers.
    • In the event that you altered the property did you need the Landlord’s consent? Have you, for example laid down wooden flooring? Brentwood leases often stipulate that internal structural changes or installing wooden flooring require a licence from the Landlord acquiescing to such works. Where you dont have the paperwork in place do not contact the landlord without contacting your solicitor before hand.
  • Some Brentwood leases require Landlord’s consent to the sale and approval of the buyers. If this applies to your lease, you should place the estate agents on notice 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 able to meet the annual 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 solicitors.
  • If there is a history of conflict with your freeholder or managing agents it is very important that these are resolved before the property is marketed. The buyers and their solicitors will be nervous about purchasing a property where there is an ongoing dispute. You will have to accept that you will have to pay any arrears of service charge or settle 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 are still duty bound to disclose particulars of the dispute to the purchasers, but it is clearly preferable to present the dispute as historic as opposed to unresolved.
  • If you hold a share in a the Management Company, you should ensure that you have the original share certificate. Obtaining a duplicate share certificate can be a time consuming formality and slows down many a Brentwood conveyancing deal. Where a duplicate share certificate is necessary, you should approach the company director and secretary or managing agents (if applicable) for this sooner rather than later.

  • I have tried to negotiate informally with with my landlord for a lease extension without success. Can one make an application to the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal? Can you recommend a Brentwood conveyancing firm to assist?

    in cases where there is a absentee freeholder or where there is disagreement about the premium for a lease extension, under the relevant statutes you can apply to the First-tier Tribunal (Property Chamber) to assess the price.

    An example of a Lease Extension matter before the tribunal for a Brentwood flat is 37 Lodge Court High Street in November 2013. the decision of the LVT was that the premium to be paid for the new lease was £25,559 This case was in relation to 1 flat. The the unexpired residue of the current lease was 57.5 years.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Brentwood