Fixed-fee leasehold conveyancing in Cheltenham:

When it comes to leasehold conveyancing in Cheltenham, you will need to appoint a conveyancing solicitor with leasehold experience. Whether your mortgage company is to be Lloyds, Birmingham Midshires or NatWest be sure to choose a lawyer on their panel. Feel free to use our search tool

Frequently asked questions relating to Cheltenham leasehold conveyancing

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

If the lease is recorded at the land registry - and almost all are in Cheltenham - 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.

Last month I purchased a leasehold flat in Cheltenham. Am I liable to pay service charges relating to a period prior to 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. 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).

I am employed by a reputable estate agent office in Cheltenham where we see a few leasehold sales jeopardised due to short leases. I have received conflicting advice from local Cheltenham conveyancing firms. Can you confirm whether the seller of a flat can instigate 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 start the lease extension process and assign the benefit of the notice to the purchaser. The benefit of this is 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 extend the lease informally by agreement with the landlord 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.

If all goes to plan we aim to complete the sale of our £350000 maisonette in Cheltenham on Friday in a week. The management company has quoted £372 for Certificate of Compliance, building insurance schedule and 3 years statements of service charge. Is it legal for a freeholder to charge such fees for a leasehold conveyance in Cheltenham?

Cheltenham conveyancing on leasehold apartments ordinarily results in fees being levied by management companies :

  • Completing pre-exchange enquiries
  • Where consent is required before sale in Cheltenham
  • 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 Cheltenham leasehold property is £350. For Cheltenham 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 the information.

What makes a Cheltenham lease defective?

There is nothing unique about leasehold conveyancing in Cheltenham. All leases is drafted differently and legal mistakes in the legal wording can result in certain clauses are missing. The following missing provisions could result in a defective lease:

  • Repairing obligations to or maintain parts of the building
  • Insurance obligations
  • 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 may encounter a problem when selling your property if you have a defective lease primarily because it impacts on the ability to obtain a mortgage on the property. National Westminster Bank, Virgin Money, and Britannia all have express conveyancing instructions when it comes to what is expected in a lease. If a mortgage lender believes that the lease is problematic they may refuse to grant the mortgage, obliging the buyer to pull out.

Cheltenham Leasehold Conveyancing - A selection of Queries Prior to Purchasing

    Best to be warned if changing the roof or some other significant cost is due in the near future to be shared amongst the tenants and will materially increase the the service costs or result in a one time payment. Generally speaking the outlay for major works are not included within maintenance charges, albeit that there some managing agents in Cheltenham obliged leaseholders to contribute towards a reserve fund and this is used to offset against major repairs or maintenance. Who takes charge for maintaining and repairing the building?

Other Topics

Lease Extensions in Cheltenham