Experts for Leasehold Conveyancing in Chesterfield

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Questions and Answers: Chesterfield leasehold conveyancing

Having had my offer accepted I require leasehold conveyancing in Chesterfield. Before I get started I require certainty as to the number of years remaining on the lease.

If the lease is recorded at the land registry - and 99.9% are in Chesterfield - then the leasehold title will always include the short particulars 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.

I am a negotiator for a long established estate agency in Chesterfield where we have experienced a number of leasehold sales put at risk as a result of leases having less than 80 years remaining. I have received inconsistent advice from local Chesterfield conveyancing solicitors. Could you confirm whether the vendor of a flat can initiate the lease extension process 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 buyer can avoid having to wait 2 years for a lease extension. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment needs to be completed before, or simultaneously with 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 buyer.

Do you have any advice for leasehold conveyancing in Chesterfield with the aim of speeding up the sale process?

  • Much of the frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Chesterfield can be reduced where you appoint lawyers as soon as you market your property and ask them to put together the leasehold documentation needed by the buyers lawyers.
  • Many landlords or managing agents in Chesterfield levy fees for supplying management packs for a leasehold property. You or your lawyers should find out the actual amount of the charges. The management pack sought on or before finding a buyer, thus reducing delays. The average time it takes to receive management information is three weeks. It is the most usual cause of frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Chesterfield.
  • Some Chesterfield leases require Landlord’s consent to the sale and approval of the buyers. If this is the case, you should place the estate agents on notice to make sure that the purchasers put in hand financial (bank) and professional references. Any bank reference should make it clear that the buyer is financially capable of paying 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 actual amount of the service charge so that they can pass this information on to the purchasers 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 prior to the flat being put on the market. The buyers and their solicitors will be reluctant to purchase a property where there is an ongoing dispute. You will have to accept that you will have to 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 will still have to reveal particulars of the dispute to the buyers, but it is better to reveal the dispute as over as opposed to unresolved.
  • You may think that you are aware of the number of years left on your lease but you should double-check via your solicitors. A purchaser's lawyer will be unlikely to recommend their client to to exchange contracts if the remaining number of years is below 75 years. It is therefore important at an early stage that you identify whether the lease for your property needs extending. If it does, contact your solicitors before you put your property on the market for sale.

  • Completion in due on the sale of our £200000 garden flat in Chesterfield on Tuesday in a week. The landlords agents has quoted £360 for Certificate of Compliance, building insurance schedule and previous years statements of service charge. Is the landlord entitled to charge such fees for a flat conveyance in Chesterfield?

    For the majority of leasehold sales in Chesterfield conveyancing will involve, questions about the management of a building inevitably needing to be answered directly by the freeholder or its agent, this includes :

    • Completing pre-exchange questions
    • Where consent is required before sale in Chesterfield
    • 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 lawyer will have no control over the level of the charges for this information but the average costs for the information for Chesterfield leasehold premises is £350. For Chesterfield 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 Chesterfield lease defective?

    Leasehold conveyancing in Chesterfield is not unique. Most leases are individual and legal mistakes in the legal wording can result in certain provisions are wrong. For example, if your lease is missing any of the following, it could be defective:

    • A provision to repair to or maintain parts of the building
    • Insurance obligations
    • A provision for the recovery of money spent for the benefit of another party.
    • Maintenance charge proportions which don’t add up to the correct percentage

    You may encounter difficulties when selling your property if you have a defective lease primarily because it impacts on the ability to obtain a mortgage on the property. Halifax, Norwich and Peterborough Building Society, and Clydesdale 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 provide security, forcing the buyer to pull out.

    I own a split level flat in Chesterfield, conveyancing formalities finalised in 1999. Can you please calculate a probable premium for a statutory lease extension? Equivalent flats in Chesterfield with over 90 years remaining are worth £220,000. The ground rent is £65 invoiced annually. The lease expires on 21st October 2094

    With 73 years unexpired we estimate the premium for your lease extension to span between £8,600 and £9,800 plus plus your own and the landlord's "reasonable" professional fees.

    The suggested premium range that we have given is a general guide to costs for renewing a lease, but we cannot give you a more accurate figure in the absence of comprehensive investigations. Do not use this information in a Notice of Claim or as an informal offer. There are no doubt additional issues that need to be taken into account and you obviously should be as accurate as possible in your negotiations. Neither should you move forward based on this information before seeking the advice of a professional.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Chesterfield