Fixed-fee leasehold conveyancing in East Dean:

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Questions and Answers: East Dean leasehold conveyancing

I am on look out for some leasehold conveyancing in East Dean. Before I get started I want to be sure as to the number of years remaining on the lease.

Assuming the lease is recorded at the land registry - and 99.9% are in East Dean - then the leasehold title will always include the basic details of the lease, namely the date; the term; and the original parties. From a conveyancing perspective such details then enable any prospective buyer and lender to confirm that any lease they are looking at is the one relevant to that title.For any other purpose, such as confirming how long the term was granted for and calculating what is left, then the register should be sufficient on it's own.

Estate agents have just been given the go-ahead to market my 2 bed apartment in East Dean.Conveyancing lawyers have not yet been instructed but I have just had a half-yearly maintenance charge demand – what should I do?

The sensible thing to do is 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 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. Having a clear account will assist your cause and will leave you no worse off financially.

I've recently bought a leasehold flat in East Dean. Am I liable to pay service charges for periods before completion of my purchase?

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. It is an essential part 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 am a negotiator for a busy estate agency in East Dean where we see a number of leasehold sales put at risk as a result of short leases. I have been given conflicting advice from local East Dean conveyancing solicitors. Could you confirm whether the seller of a flat can start the lease extension formalities 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 commence the lease extension process and assign the benefit of the notice to the purchaser. The benefit of this is that the proposed purchaser need not have 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 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.

What are your top tips when it comes to appointing a East Dean conveyancing firm to deal with our lease extension?

If you are instructing a conveyancer for your lease extension (regardless if they are a East Dean 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 East Dean conveyancing practices prior to instructing a firm. Where the conveyancing practice is ALEP accredited then so much the better. Some following of questions could be helpful:

  • How familiar is the practice with lease extension legislation?
  • Can they put you in touch with client in East Dean who can give a testimonial?

  • I acquired a split level flat in East Dean, conveyancing was carried out 5 years ago. Can you shed any light on how much the price could be for a 90 year extension to my lease? Similar properties in East Dean with over 90 years remaining are worth £216,000. The average or mid-range amount of ground rent is £65 yearly. The lease finishes on 21st October 2087

    With 67 years unexpired we estimate the premium for your lease extension to range between £11,400 and £13,200 as well as professional fees.

    The suggested premium range above a general guide to costs for renewing a lease, but we cannot give you the actual costs in the absence of detailed due diligence. You should not use this information in tribunal or court proceedings. There may be additional concerns that need to be considered and you obviously should be as accurate as possible in your negotiations. Neither should you take any other action based on this information before seeking the advice of a professional.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in East Dean