Leasehold Conveyancing in Chester - Get a Quote from the leasehold experts approved by your lender

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Examples of recent questions relating to leasehold conveyancing in Chester

I've found a house that seems to be perfect, at a great price which is making it all the more appealing. I have since discovered that it's a leasehold rather than freehold. I would have thought that there are issues purchasing a house with a leasehold title in Chester. Conveyancing advisers have not yet been instructed. Will they explain the issues?

Most houses in Chester are freehold rather than leasehold. In this scenario it’s worth having a local solicitor who is familiar with the area can help the conveyancing process. it is apparent that you are purchasing in Chester so you should seriously consider looking for a Chester conveyancing practitioner and check that they have experience in dealing with leasehold houses. First you will need to check the number of years remaining. As a leaseholder you will not be at liberty to do whatever you want with the house. The lease will likely included provisions such as requiring the freeholder’spermission to conduct alterations. It may be necessary to pay a maintenance charge towards the upkeep of the communal areas where the property is located on an estate. Your solicitor should advise you fully on all the issues.

I've recently bought a leasehold property in Chester. Do I have any liability for service charges for periods before my ownership?

Where the service charge has already been demanded from the previous lessee 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 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 work for a long established estate agent office in Chester where we see a few leasehold sales jeopardised as a result of leases having less than 80 years remaining. I have been given contradictory information from local Chester conveyancing solicitors. Could you clarify whether the seller of a flat can start the lease extension process for the purchaser on completion of the sale?

Provided that the seller has been the owner 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 wait 2 years to extend their lease. 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 sale.

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.

What are your top tips when it comes to choosing a Chester conveyancing firm to deal with our lease extension?

When appointing a conveyancer for your lease extension (regardless if they are a Chester conveyancing firm) it is most important that they be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of work. We advise that you make enquires with several firms including non Chester conveyancing practices prior to instructing a firm. Where the conveyancing practice is ALEP accredited then so much the better. Some following of questions could be useful:

  • How many lease extensions has the firm carried out in Chester in the last 12 months?
  • Can they put you in touch with client in Chester who can give a testimonial?

  • Can you provide any top tips for leasehold conveyancing in Chester with the purpose of expediting the sale process?

    • A significant proportion of the frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Chester can be avoided where you appoint lawyers the minute your agents start advertising the property and request that they start to collate the leasehold information which will be required by the buyers lawyers.
    • 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 Chester state that internal structural alterations or addition of wooden flooring necessitate a licence issued by the Landlord acquiescing to such alterations. If you dont have the consents to hand you should not contact the landlord without contacting your lawyer before hand.
  • Some Chester leases require Licence to Assign from the landlord. If this is the case, you should notify your estate agents to make sure that the purchasers obtain financial (bank) and professional references. Any bank reference will need to confirm that the buyers are able to meet the yearly 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 actual amount of the service charge so that they can pass this information on to the buyers or their solicitors.
  • If there is a history of any disputes with your freeholder 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 flat where a dispute is ongoing. You may have to bite the bullet and discharge any arrears of service charge or resolve 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 details of the dispute to the purchasers, but it is better to reveal the dispute as historic rather than unsettled.
  • You may think that you are aware of the number of years remaining on your lease but it would be wise to double-check via your lawyers. A purchaser's lawyer will be unlikely to recommend their client to where the remaining number of years is less than 80 years. In the circumstances it is important at an as soon as possible that you identify whether the lease term for your property needs extending. If it does, contact your solicitors before you put your property on the market for sale.

  • Leasehold Conveyancing in Chester - Sample of Questions you should consider before Purchasing

      Please note that where the lease has less than 80 years it will affect the salability of the property. Check with your mortgage company that they are content with residual term of the lease. Leases with less than 80 years remaining means that you will almost definitely require a lease extension sooner rather than later and it is worth discovering what this would cost. Remember, in most cases you would be be obliged to have owned the property for 24 months in order to be entitled to extend the lease. How much is the ground rent and service charge? What prohibitions are there in the Chester Lease?

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Chester