Fixed-fee leasehold conveyancing in Congleton:

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Top Five Questions relating to Congleton leasehold conveyancing

My wife and I purchased a leasehold house in Congleton. Conveyancing and National Westminster Bank mortgage are in place. A letter has just been received from someone saying they have taken over the reversionary interest in the property. Attached was a ground rent demand for rent dating back to 1997. The conveyancing solicitor in Congleton who previously acted has long since retired.Do I pay?

The first thing you should do is make enquiries of HMLR to be sure that this person is in fact the new freeholder. It is not necessary to instruct a Congleton conveyancing firm 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.

I work for a long established estate agent office in Congleton where we have experienced a number of flat sales jeopardised as a result of leases having less than 80 years remaining. I have received inconsistent advice from local Congleton conveyancing firms. Can you confirm whether the seller of a flat can initiate the lease extension process for the buyer?

As long as 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 need not have to sit tight for 2 years to extend their lease. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment has to be done prior to, or simultaneously with completion of the disposal of the property.

Alternatively, it may be possible 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.

Can you provide any advice for leasehold conveyancing in Congleton with the intention of speeding up the sale process?

  • A significant proportion of the frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Congleton can be bypassed if you instruct lawyers as soon as your agents start advertising the property and request that they start to put together the leasehold information needed by the buyers conveyancers.
  • The majority landlords or managing agents in Congleton charge for providing management packs for a leasehold homes. You or your lawyers should discover the actual amount of the charges. The management information sought as soon as you have a buyer, thus accelerating the process. The typical amount of time it takes to obtain the necessary information is three weeks. It is the most frequent cause of frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Congleton.
  • In the event that you altered the property did you need the Landlord’s permission? In particular have you installed wooden flooring? Most leases in Congleton state that internal structural alterations or laying down wooden flooring calls for a licence from the Landlord acquiescing to such changes. If you fail to have the paperwork to hand you should not communicate with the landlord without contacting your solicitor in advance.
  • Some Congleton leases require Licence to Assign from the landlord. If this applies to your lease, you should notify your estate agents to make sure that the purchasers put in hand bank and professional references. The 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 service charge figures so that they can pass this information on to the purchasers or their lawyers.
  • You may think that you are aware of the number of years remaining on your lease but it would be advisable double-check by asking your conveyancers. A buyer’s lawyer will be unlikely to recommend their client to to exchange contracts if the remaining number of years is less than 75 years. In the circumstances it is essential at an early stage that you identify whether the lease term for your property needs extending. If it does, contact your solicitors before you put your premises on the market for sale.

  • If all goes to plan we aim to complete the disposal of our £250000 garden flat in Congleton in just under a week. The landlords agents has quoted £408 for Certificate of Compliance, building insurance schedule and 3 years service charge statements. Is the landlord entitled to charge an administration fee for a flat conveyance in Congleton?

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

    • Answering pre-exchange enquiries
    • Where consent is required before sale in Congleton
    • 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 conveyancer will have no control over the level of the charges for this information but the average costs for the information for Congleton leasehold property is £350. For Congleton 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 provide the information.

    What are the common deficiencies that you witness in leases for Congleton properties?

    There is nothing unique about leasehold conveyancing in Congleton. All leases are individual and legal mistakes in the legal wording can sometimes mean that certain clauses are erroneous. The following missing provisions could result in a defective lease:

    • Repairing obligations to or maintain elements of the premises
    • A duty to insure the building
    • Clauses dealing with recovering service charges for expenditure on the building or common parts.
    • Maintenance charge proportions which don’t add up to the correct percentage

    You may have a problem when selling your property if you have a defective lease primarily because it impacts on the ability to obtain a mortgage on the property. Santander, Coventry Building Society, and Platform Home Loans Ltd 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 purchaser to withdraw.

    Congleton Leasehold Conveyancing - Sample of Queries before buying

      The majority of Congleton leasehold flats will have a service bill for the upkeep of the block levied by the freeholder. If you buy the property you will have to meet this amount, normally periodically accross the year. This may differ from a couple of hundred pounds to thousands of pounds for bigger purpose-built blocks. In all probability there will be a ground rent for you to pay annual, ordinarily this is not a large figure, say about £50-£100 but you should to enquire as on occasion it could be surprisingly expensive. Is the freehold reversion owned collectively by the leaseholders? Best to be warned whether a new roof is being put on or some other significant cost is due in the foreseeable future that will be shared between the leaseholders and will dramatically increase the the maintenance fees or result in a one off invoice.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Congleton