Fixed-fee leasehold conveyancing in Ditchling:

Any conveyancing solicitor can theoretically deal with your leasehold conveyancing in Ditchling, your mortgage provider may not be willing to work with them if the firm are not on their list of approved solicitors for conveyancing

Questions and Answers: Ditchling leasehold conveyancing

Helen (my wife) and I may need to rent out our Ditchling 1st floor flat for a while due to a career opportunity. We instructed a Ditchling conveyancing practice in 2001 but they have closed and we did not have the foresight to get any guidance as to whether the lease prohibits the subletting of the flat. How do we find out?

Even though your previous Ditchling conveyancing lawyer is not around you can review your lease to see if it allows you to sublet the premises. The rule is that if the lease is non-specific, subletting is allowed. Quite often there is a prerequisite that you need to seek permission via your landlord or some other party in advance of subletting. The net result is you not allowed to sublet without prior permission. Such consent is not allowed to be unreasonably withheld. If your lease prohibits you from subletting the property you should ask your landlord for their consent.

Back In 2004, I bought a leasehold flat in Ditchling. Conveyancing and Skipton Building Society mortgage are in place. I have received a letter from someone saying they have taken over the freehold. Attached was a demand for arrears of ground rent dating back to 1993. The conveyancing solicitor in Ditchling who previously acted has long since retired.Do I pay?

The first thing you should do is make enquiries of the Land Registry to be sure that this person is in fact the registered owner of the freehold reversion. You do not need to incur the fees of a Ditchling conveyancing solicitor to do this as it can be done on-line for less than a fiver. Rest assured that in any event, even if this is the rightful landlord, under the Limitation Act 1980 no more than 6 years of rent can be collected.

Last month I purchased a leasehold property in Ditchling. Am I liable to pay service charges for periods before 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. However, your landlord may still be able to take action to forfeit the lease. A critical element of leasehold conveyancing for your conveyancer to ensure 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).

What advice can you give us when it comes to finding a Ditchling conveyancing firm to deal with our lease extension?

When appointing a solicitor for lease extension works (regardless if they are a Ditchling conveyancing firm) it is most important that they be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of conveyancing. We recommend that you speak with two or three firms including non Ditchling conveyancing practices before you instructing a firm. Where the conveyancing practice is ALEP accredited then that’s a bonus. Some following of questions could be helpful:

  • What volume of lease extensions have they completed in Ditchling in the last 12 months?
  • Can they put you in touch with client in Ditchling who can give a testimonial?

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

    • A significant proportion of the delay in leasehold conveyancing in Ditchling can be reduced where you get in touch lawyers as soon as you market your property and request that they start to collate the leasehold documentation which will be required by the buyers representatives.
    • Many landlords or managing agents in Ditchling levy fees for supplying management packs for a leasehold homes. You or your lawyers should find out the fee that they propose to charge. The management pack sought on or before finding a buyer, thus reducing delays. The typical amount of time it takes to obtain the necessary information is three weeks. It is the most common cause of delay in leasehold conveyancing in Ditchling.
  • In the event that you altered the property did you need the Landlord’s approval? In particular have you installed wooden flooring? Ditchling leases often stipulate that internal structural alterations or addition of wooden flooring require a licence issued by the Landlord consenting to such changes. If you fail to have the consents to hand do not communicate with the landlord without contacting your lawyer in advance.
  • If there is a history of any disputes with your freeholder or managing agents it is very important that these are resolved before the property is put on the market. The buyers and their solicitors will be reluctant to purchase a property where a dispute is unsettled. You will have to accept that you will have to pay 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 particulars of the dispute to the purchasers, but it is better to reveal the dispute as historic as opposed to unresolved.
  • If you have the benefit of shareholding in the freehold, you should make sure that you have the original share certificate. Arranging a re-issued share certificate is often a time consuming process and delays many a Ditchling conveyancing deal. Where a duplicate share certificate is needed, you should approach the company officers or managing agents (where relevant) for this at the earliest opportunity.

  • I am the registered owner of a ground floor flat in Ditchling, conveyancing formalities finalised 6 years ago. Can you work out an approximate cost of a lease extension? Comparable flats in Ditchling with an extended lease are worth £185,000. The ground rent is £60 levied per year. The lease comes to an end on 21st October 2083

    You have 61 years left to run the likely cost is going to range between £20,000 and £23,000 plus plus your own and the landlord's "reasonable" professional fees.

    The figure above a general guide to costs for renewing a lease, but we are not able to supply the actual costs without more detailed investigations. Do not use the figures in tribunal or court proceedings. There are no doubt other issues that need to be taken into account and clearly you should be as accurate as possible in your negotiations. Neither should you take any other action placing reliance on this information before seeking the advice of a professional.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Ditchling