Fixed-fee leasehold conveyancing in Brixham:

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Frequently asked questions relating to Brixham leasehold conveyancing

I've recently bought a leasehold flat in Brixham. 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. However, your landlord may still be able to take action to forfeit the lease. A critical element 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).

I am a negotiator for a busy estate agency in Brixham where we have witnessed a number of flat sales put at risk due to short leases. I have been given inconsistent advice from local Brixham conveyancing solicitors. Could you clarify whether the vendor of a flat can commence the lease extension formalities for the buyer?

Provided that 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 before, 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 buyer.

What are your top tips when it comes to finding a Brixham conveyancing practice to deal with our lease extension?

If you are instructing a conveyancer for your lease extension (regardless if they are a Brixham conveyancing firm) it is imperative that they be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of conveyancing. We recommend that you speak with two or three firms including non Brixham conveyancing practices before you instructing a firm. Where the conveyancing practice is ALEP accredited then so much the better. Some following of questions could be of use:

  • What volume of lease extensions has the firm conducted in Brixham in the last year?
  • What are the costs for lease extension conveyancing?

  • Do you have any advice for leasehold conveyancing in Brixham from the point of view of expediting the sale process?

    • Much of the delay in leasehold conveyancing in Brixham can be reduced if you instruct lawyers the minute your agents start advertising the property and request that they start to put together the leasehold information which will be required by the purchasers’ conveyancers.
    • In the event that you altered the property did you need the Landlord’s consent? In particular have you installed wooden flooring? Most leases in Brixham state that internal structural alterations or laying down wooden flooring calls for a licence from the Landlord consenting to such alterations. Where you fail to have the approvals in place you should not contact the landlord without contacting your solicitor first.
  • If you have had conflict with your landlord or managing agents it is very important that these are settled before the property is put on the market. The buyers and their solicitors will be concerned about purchasing a property where there is a current dispute. You may need to swallow your pride and discharge any arrears of service charge or resolve the dispute prior to completion of the sale. 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 details of the dispute to the buyers, but it is better 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 hold the original share document. Obtaining a new share certificate can be a lengthy formality and frustrates many a Brixham home move. If a reissued share certificate is needed, you should approach the company officers or managing agents (if applicable) for this sooner rather than later.
  • You may think that you are aware of the number of years left on your lease but you should verify this via your solicitors. A buyer’s lawyer will be unlikely to recommend their client to proceed with the purchase of a leasehold property the lease term is less than 75 years. It is therefore essential at an as soon as possible that you consider whether the lease requires a lease extension. If it does, contact your solicitors before you put your home on the market for sale.

  • Completion in due on the disposal of our £450000 apartment in Brixham in just under a week. The management company has quoted £372 for Landlord’s certificate, building insurance schedule and previous years service charge statements. Is the landlord entitled to charge an administration fee for a flat conveyance in Brixham?

    Brixham conveyancing on leasehold maisonettes normally involves fees being raised by freeholders :

    • Completing conveyancing due diligence questions
    • Where consent is required before sale in Brixham
    • 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 Brixham leasehold property is £350. For Brixham 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 provide answers.

    Brixham Conveyancing for Leasehold Flats - Examples of Queries before Purchasing

      Are any of leasehold owners in arrears of their service charge payments? Many Brixham leasehold properties will be liable to pay a service bill for the upkeep of the block levied by the landlord. Where you buy the flat you will have to meet this amount, usually in instalments accross the year. This could be anything from a few hundred pounds to thousands of pounds for large purpose-built buildings. There will also be a ground rent to be met annual, normally this is not a large sum, say approximately £50-£100 but you need to enquire it because occasionally it could be many hundreds of pounds. The best form of lease arrangement is if the freehold title is in the ownership of the leaseholders. In this arrangement the tenants have being in charge if their destiny and notwithstanding that a managing agent is frequently retained where it is larger than a house conversion, the managing agent acts for the leaseholders themselves.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Brixham