Guaranteed fixed fees for Leasehold Conveyancing in Cockermouth

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Sample questions relating to Cockermouth leasehold conveyancing

I own a leasehold flat in Cockermouth. Conveyancing and Platform Home Loans Ltd mortgage are in place. I have received a letter from someone claiming to own the reversionary interest in the property. It included a ground rent demand for rent dating back to 1993. The conveyancing solicitor in Cockermouth who previously acted has now retired.Any advice?

The first thing you should do is contact HMLR to make sure that the individual claiming to own the freehold is indeed the registered owner of the freehold reversion. It is not necessary to instruct a Cockermouth conveyancing lawyer to do this as it can be done on-line for less than a fiver. Rest assured that regardless, 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 Cockermouth. Do I have any liability for 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. 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).

I work for a long established estate agent office in Cockermouth where we see a number of leasehold sales derailed as a result of short leases. I have been given contradictory information from local Cockermouth conveyancing firms. Can you clarify whether the seller of a flat can commence the lease extension formalities 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 start the lease extension process and assign the benefit of the notice to the purchaser. The benefit of this is 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 has to be done prior to, 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 buyer.

What are your top tips when it comes to choosing a Cockermouth conveyancing practice to carry out our lease extension conveyancing?

If you are instructing a conveyancer for your lease extension (regardless if they are a Cockermouth conveyancing firm) it is essential that he or she should be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of work. We suggested that you speak with two or three firms including non Cockermouth conveyancing practices before you instructing a firm. If the firm is ALEP accredited then so much the better. Some following of questions could be helpful:

  • What volume of lease extensions have they carried out in Cockermouth in the last year?
  • What are the legal fees for lease extension conveyancing?

  • Can you provide any advice for leasehold conveyancing in Cockermouth from the perspective of speeding up the sale process?

    • A significant proportion of the frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Cockermouth can be bypassed where you instruct lawyers the minute your agents start advertising the property and ask them to collate the leasehold information needed by the buyers conveyancers.
    • Many freeholders or managing agents in Cockermouth levy fees for supplying management packs for a leasehold property. You or your lawyers should discover the fee that they propose to charge. The management information can be applied for on or before finding a buyer, thus accelerating the process. The average time it takes to obtain the necessary information is three weeks. It is the most common reason for delay in leasehold conveyancing in Cockermouth.
  • If you have carried out any alterations to the residence would they have required Landlord’s approval? In particular have you installed wooden flooring? Cockermouth leases often stipulate that internal structural alterations or addition of wooden flooring calls for a licence from the Landlord acquiescing to such changes. If you dont have the consents in place do not communicate with the landlord without checking with your lawyer before hand.
  • 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 marketed. The purchasers and their solicitors will be warry about purchasing 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 settle 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 will still have to reveal details of the dispute to the purchasers, but it is better to reveal the dispute as over rather than ongoing.
  • If you have the benefit of shareholding in the Management Company, you should make sure that you are holding the original share document. Arranging a re-issued share certificate can be a time consuming process and slows down many a Cockermouth home move. If a reissued share is needed, do contact the company director and secretary or managing agents (if applicable) for this as soon as possible.

  • I purchased a 1 bedroom flat in Cockermouth, conveyancing was carried out in 1999. How much will my lease extension cost? Similar properties in Cockermouth with a long lease are worth £206,000. The ground rent is £45 yearly. The lease finishes on 21st October 2088

    With only 66 years left to run the likely cost is going to span between £11,400 and £13,200 plus plus your own and the landlord's "reasonable" professional fees.

    The figure 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 detailed investigations. Do not use the figures in tribunal or court proceedings. There may be other concerns that need to be taken into account and clearly you want to be as accurate as possible in your negotiations. Please do not move forward placing reliance on this information before getting professional advice.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Cockermouth