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

Require a conveyancing quote from a solicitor for leasehold conveyancing in Christchurch on your lender’s panel? Make use of our search tool to find approved local Christchurch conveyancing lawyers or national solicitors on your lender’s panel .

Questions and Answers: Christchurch leasehold conveyancing

There are only 68 years unexpired on my flat in Christchurch. I need to extend my lease but my freeholder is absent. What options are available to me?

If you qualify, under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 you can apply to the County Court for an order to dispense with the service of the initial notice. This will mean that your lease can be extended by the Court. You will be obliged to demonstrate that you or your lawyers have done all that could be expected to track down the landlord. For most situations an enquiry agent would be helpful to carry out a search and prepare an expert document which can be accepted by the court as evidence that the landlord is indeed missing. It is advisable to get professional help from a property lawyer both on proving the landlord’s disappearance and the application to the County Court overseeing Christchurch.

I’m about to sell my 2 bed flat in Christchurch.Conveyancing has not commenced but I have just received a yearly maintenance charge invoice – Do I pay up?

It best that you clear the service charge as normal because all ground rent and service charges will be apportioned on completion, so you will be reimbursed by the buyer for the period running from after the completion date to the next payment date. Most management companies will not acknowledge the buyer unless the service charges have been paid and are up to date so it is important for both buyer and seller for the seller to show that they are up to date. This will smooth the conveyancing process.

I own a leasehold flat in Christchurch. Conveyancing and Chelsea Building Society mortgage went though with no issue. I have received a letter from someone saying they have taken over the reversionary interest in the property. It included a ground rent demand for rent dating back to 1992. The conveyancing practitioner in Christchurch who acted for me is not around.Any advice?

First contact HMLR to be sure that this person is in fact the registered owner of the freehold reversion. It is not necessary to incur the fees of a Christchurch conveyancing firm to do this as it can be done on-line for less than a fiver. You should note that in any event, even if this is the legitimate landlord, under the Limitation Act 1980 no more than 6 years of rent can be collected.

Last month I purchased a leasehold property in Christchurch. Am I liable to pay service charges relating to a period prior to completion of my purchase?

In a situation 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. 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).

Can you provide any top tips for leasehold conveyancing in Christchurch from the perspective of saving time on the sale process?

  • Much of the delay in leasehold conveyancing in Christchurch can be bypassed if you get in touch lawyers the minute your agents start marketing the property and request that they start to collate the leasehold documentation which will be required by the buyers solicitors.
  • If you have carried out any alterations to the premises would they have required Landlord’s approval? In particular have you installed wooden flooring? Christchurch leases often stipulate that internal structural alterations or laying down wooden flooring calls for a licence from the Landlord approving such changes. Where you dont have the approvals to hand do not communicate with the landlord without contacting your lawyer in advance.
  • A minority of Christchurch leases require Landlord’s consent to the sale and approval of the buyers. If this is the case, you should notify your estate agents 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 service charge figures so that they can pass this information on to the purchasers or their lawyers.
  • If there is a history of any disputes with your freeholder or managing agents it is essential that these are settled prior to the flat being put on the market. The buyers and their solicitors will be reluctant to purchase a flat where a dispute is ongoing. You may have to bite the bullet 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 purchasers, but it is clearly preferable to present the dispute as historic rather than unresolved.
  • You may think that you are aware of the number of years remaining on your lease but it would be wise to verify this via your solicitors. A buyer’s lawyer will not be happy to advise their client to to exchange contracts if the remaining number of years is less than 80 years. In the circumstances it is essential at an early stage that you consider whether the lease requires a lease extension. If it does, contact your solicitors before you put your property on the market for sale.

  • I am the registered owner of a leasehold flat in Christchurch, conveyancing having been completed 3 years ago. Can you let me have an estimated range of the fair premium for a lease extension? Equivalent properties in Christchurch with an extended lease are worth £178,000. The average or mid-range amount of ground rent is £55 per annum. The lease runs out on 21st October 2092

    With only 68 years remaining on your lease we estimate the premium for your lease extension to range between £9,500 and £11,000 as well as costs.

    The figure that we have given is a general guide to costs for extending a lease, but we are not able to supply a more accurate figure in the absence of detailed investigations. Do not use this information in a Notice of Claim or as an informal offer. There may be other concerns that need to be considered and you obviously should be as accurate as possible in your negotiations. Neither should you take any other action based on this information before seeking the advice of a professional.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Christchurch