Quality lawyers for Leasehold Conveyancing in Caversham

When it comes to leasehold conveyancing in Caversham, you will need to chose a conveyancing practitioner with leasehold experience. Whether your mortgage company is to be Halifax, RBS or NatWest be sure to choose a lawyer on their panel. Feel free to use our search tool

Questions and Answers: Caversham leasehold conveyancing

Having had my offer accepted I require leasehold conveyancing in Caversham. Before I get started I would like to find out the number of years remaining on the lease.

If the lease is recorded at the land registry - and 99.9% are in Caversham - then the leasehold title will always include the basic details 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.

Helen (my wife) and I may need to sub-let our Caversham garden flat temporarily due to taking a sabbatical. We instructed a Caversham conveyancing practice in 2001 but they have since shut and we did not have the foresight to get any guidance as to whether the lease prohibits the subletting of the flat. How do we find out?

Even though your last Caversham conveyancing solicitor is no longer around you can check your lease to see if you are permitted to let out the property. The accepted inference is that if the deeds are non-specific, subletting is permitted. There may be a precondition that you must seek consent from your landlord or some other party before subletting. The net result is that you cannot sublet without first obtaining consent. Such consent should not be unreasonably turned down. If your lease does not allow you to sublet you should ask your landlord for their consent.

Last month I purchased a leasehold property in Caversham. Am I liable to pay 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).

I am a negotiator for a long established estate agent office in Caversham where we have witnessed a few leasehold sales put at risk as a result of short leases. I have been given contradictory information from local Caversham conveyancing solicitors. Please can you shed some light as to whether the seller of a flat can instigate the lease extension process for the buyer?

Provided that the seller has been the owner for at least 2 years it is possible, to serve a Section 42 notice to start the lease extension process and assign the benefit of the notice to the purchaser. The benefit of this is that the proposed purchaser need not have to sit tight for 2 years for a lease extension. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment has to be done before, or at the same time as completion of the disposal of the property.

Alternatively, it may be possible 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.

Do you have any top tips for leasehold conveyancing in Caversham with the aim of expediting the sale process?

  • A significant proportion of the frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Caversham can be avoided if you appoint lawyers as soon as your agents start marketing the property and request that they start to collate the leasehold information which will be required by the buyers conveyancers.
  • The majority freeholders or managing agents in Caversham levy fees for providing management packs for a leasehold property. You or your lawyers should discover the fee that they propose to charge. The management information can be applied for on or before finding a buyer, thus reducing delays. The typical amount of time it takes to receive management information is three weeks. It is the most usual reason for frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Caversham.
  • A minority of Caversham leases require Licence to Assign from the landlord. If this applies to your lease, you should notify your estate agents to make sure that the purchasers put in hand bank and professional references. Any 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 buyers or their solicitors.
  • If you have had any disputes with your landlord or managing agents it is very important that these are resolved before the property is marketed. The purchasers and their solicitors will be reluctant to purchase a property where there is an ongoing dispute. You may need to swallow your pride and discharge any arrears of service charge or settle 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 clearly preferable to reveal the dispute as over rather than unresolved.
  • You believe that you know the number of years left on your lease but you should verify this by asking your lawyers. A purchaser's conveyancer will be unlikely to recommend their client to where the remaining number of years is less than 80 years. It is therefore important at an as soon as possible that you identify whether the lease requires a lease extension. If it does, contact your solicitors before you put your home on the market for sale.

  • I purchased a ground floor flat in Caversham, conveyancing was carried out 5 years ago. Can you shed any light on how much the price could be for a 90 year extension to my lease? Corresponding flats in Caversham with an extended lease are worth £253,000. The ground rent is £50 invoiced every year. The lease ends on 21st October 2086

    With only 62 years left to run we estimate the premium for your lease extension to span between £20,000 and £23,000 as well as costs.

    The figure above a general guide to costs for extending a lease, but we cannot give you the actual costs in the absence of comprehensive due diligence. You should not use the figures in a Notice of Claim or as an informal offer. There may be additional issues that need to be considered and you obviously want to be as accurate as possible in your negotiations. Neither should you move forward placing reliance on this information without first getting professional advice.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Caversham