Fixed-fee leasehold conveyancing in Dunstable:

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Frequently asked questions relating to Dunstable leasehold conveyancing

I have just appointed agents to market my garden apartment in Dunstable.Conveyancing has not commenced but I have just received a half-yearly maintenance charge demand – Do I pay up?

The sensible thing to do is pay 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 managing agents 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 Dunstable. Conveyancing and Lloyds TSB Bank mortgage are in place. I have received a letter from someone saying they have taken over the freehold. It included a ground rent demand for rent dating back to 1995. The conveyancing practitioner in Dunstable who previously acted has long since retired.Any advice?

The first thing you should do is contact the Land Registry to be sure that the individual claiming to own the freehold is indeed the registered owner of the freehold reversion. It is not necessary to incur the fees of a Dunstable conveyancing lawyer to do this as you can do this on the Land Registry website for £3. You should note that in any event, even if this is the legitimate landlord, under the Limitation Act 1980 the limitation period for recovery of ground rent is six years.

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

If you are instructing a solicitor for lease extension works (regardless if they are a Dunstable conveyancing firm) it is most important that they be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of conveyancing. We advise that you talk with two or three firms including non Dunstable conveyancing practices prior to instructing a firm. If the firm is ALEP accredited then that’s a bonus. Some following of questions might be helpful:

  • What volume of lease extensions have they carried out in Dunstable in the last twenty four months?
  • Can they put you in touch with client in Dunstable who can give a testimonial?

  • We expect to complete the sale of our £325000 garden flat in Dunstable in 10 days. The managing agents has quoted £312 for Landlord’s certificate, insurance certificate and 3 years service charge statements. Is it legal for a freeholder to charge exorbitant fees for a leasehold conveyance in Dunstable?

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

    • Completing conveyancing due diligence questions
    • Where consent is required before sale in Dunstable
    • 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 solicitor will have no control over the level of the charges for this information but the average costs for the information for Dunstable leasehold premises is £350. For Dunstable 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 provide answers.

    What makes a Dunstable lease problematic?

    There is nothing unique about leasehold conveyancing in Dunstable. Most leases is drafted differently and drafting errors can result in certain clauses are not included. For example, if your lease is missing any of the following, it could be defective:

    • A provision to repair to or maintain elements of the building
    • Insurance obligations
    • A provision for the recovery of money spent for the benefit of another party.
    • Service charge per centages that don't add up correctly leaving a shortfall

    You could have a problem when selling your property if you have a defective lease as they can affect a potential buyer’s ability to obtain a mortgage. Halifax, Norwich and Peterborough Building Society, and Bank of Ireland all have express conveyancing instructions when it comes to what is expected in a lease. Where a lender has been advised by their lawyers that the lease is defective they may refuse to grant the mortgage, forcing the buyer to pull out.

    Dunstable Conveyancing for Leasehold Flats - A selection of Queries before Purchasing

      The prefered form of lease structure is a share of the freehold. In this arrangement the lessees benefit from being in charge if their destiny and notwithstanding that a managing agent is usually employed where it is bigger than a house conversion, the managing agent acts for the leaseholders themselves. Many Dunstable leasehold apartments will be liable to pay a service charge for maintenance of the building set on behalf of the landlord. If you buy the apartment you will have to meet this liability, normally periodically during the year. This can differ from a couple of hundred pounds to thousands of pounds for blocks with lifts and large common areas. In all probability there will be a rentcharge to be met yearly, normally this is not a large amount, say about £25-£75 but you should to enquire as sometimes it could be many hundreds of pounds. Does the lease contain onerous restrictions?

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Dunstable