Experts for Leasehold Conveyancing in Cirencester

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Frequently asked questions relating to Cirencester leasehold conveyancing

Estate agents have just been given the go-ahead to market my 2 bed flat in Cirencester.Conveyancing solicitors are to be appointed soon but I have just received a quarterly service charge invoice – should I leave it to the buyer to sort out?

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 until 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 today plan to offer on a house that appears to tick a lot of boxes, at a great price which is making it more attractive. I have just been informed that the title is leasehold as opposed to freehold. I would have thought that there are particular concerns buying a house with a leasehold title in Cirencester. Conveyancing advisers have are soon to be appointed. Will they explain the issues?

The majority of houses in Cirencester are freehold rather than leasehold. In this scenario it’s worth having a local conveyancer used to dealing with such properties who can assist with the conveyancing process. It is clear that you are purchasing in Cirencester so you should seriously consider shopping around for a Cirencester conveyancing practitioner and check that they are used to transacting on leasehold houses. First you will need to check the unexpired lease term. Being a leaseholder you will not be entirely free to do whatever you want with the house. The lease comes with conditions for example obtaining the freeholder’spermission to conduct changes to the property. It may be necessary to pay a service charge towards the maintenance of the estate where the house is located on an estate. Your conveyancer will appraise you on the various issues.

I've recently bought a leasehold property in Cirencester. 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 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. A critical element 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).

Do you have any advice for leasehold conveyancing in Cirencester with the intention of saving time on the sale process?

  • Much of the frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Cirencester can be avoided where you appoint lawyers the minute your agents start advertising the property and request that they start to collate the leasehold documentation which will be required by the purchasers’ lawyers.
  • The majority freeholders or managing agents in Cirencester charge for providing management packs for a leasehold property. You or your lawyers should discover the actual amount of the charges. The management information can be applied for as soon as you have a buyer, thus reducing delays. The typical amount of time it takes to receive management information is three weeks. It is the most frequent reason for frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Cirencester.
  • If you have carried out any alterations to the residence would they have required Landlord’s consent? In particular have you laid down wooden flooring? Cirencester leases often stipulate that internal structural changes or laying down wooden flooring necessitate a licence from the Landlord consenting to such changes. Should you dont have the consents in place do not contact the landlord without contacting your solicitor in advance.
  • If you are supposed to have a share in the Management Company, you should make sure that you have the original share certificate. Obtaining a re-issued share certificate can be a lengthy process and slows down many a Cirencester home move. Where a reissued share certificate is necessary, you should approach the company director and secretary or managing agents (where relevant) for this at the earliest opportunity.
  • You may think that you are aware of the number of years remaining on your lease but it would be advisable verify this via your conveyancers. A buyer’s conveyancer will not be happy to advise their client to to exchange contracts if the remaining number of years is below 80 years. In the circumstances it is essential 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 premises on the market for sale.

  • We expect to complete the disposal of our £150000 apartment in Cirencester next Tuesday . The management company has quoted £348 for Landlord’s certificate, building insurance schedule and previous years service charge statements. Is it legal for a freeholder to charge exorbitant fees for a leasehold conveyance in Cirencester?

    Cirencester conveyancing on leasehold apartments normally results in fees being raised by management companies :

    • Completing conveyancing due diligence enquiries
    • Where consent is required before sale in Cirencester
    • Supplying insurance information
    • 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 Cirencester leasehold property is £350. For Cirencester 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 obliged to supply answers.

    Cirencester Conveyancing for Leasehold Flats - Sample of Questions you should consider before buying

      Where a Cirencester lease has fewer than eighty years it will impact the salability of the flat. Check with your bank that they are happy with remaining years on the lease. Leases with fewer than 80 years remaining means that you will probably need a lease extension sooner rather than later and you need to have some idea of what this will be. For most Cirencesterlease extensions you will need to own the property for two years before you are eligible to exercise a lease extension. What is the service charge and ground rent on the flat? What is the name of the managing agents?

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Cirencester