Fixed-fee leasehold conveyancing in East Dean:

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Frequently asked questions relating to East Dean leasehold conveyancing

Estate agents have just been given the go-ahead to market my garden flat in East Dean.Conveyancing solicitors are to be appointed soon but I have just received a half-yearly service charge invoice – what should I do?

It best that you discharge the invoice 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 am hoping to put an offer on a small detached house that seems to meet my requirements, at a reasonable price which is making it all the more appealing. I have subsequently found out that the title is leasehold rather than freehold. I would have thought that there are issues purchasing a house with a leasehold title in East Dean. Conveyancing advisers have not yet been appointed. Will my lawyers set out the implications of buying a leasehold house in East Dean ?

The majority of houses in East Dean are freehold and not leasehold. In this scenario it’s worth having a local conveyancer who is familiar with the area can assist with the conveyancing process. It is clear that you are buying in East Dean in which case you should be looking for a East Dean conveyancing solicitor and be sure that they have experience in dealing with leasehold houses. First you will need to check the number of years remaining. As a lessee you will not be at liberty to do whatever you want with the house. The lease comes with conditions such as requiring the landlord’spermission to conduct changes to the property. You may also be required to pay a contribution towards the upkeep of the communal areas where the property is part of an estate. Your conveyancer should appraise you on the various issues.

Back In 2003, I bought a leasehold flat in East Dean. Conveyancing and Britannia mortgage are in place. I have received a letter from someone claiming to own the freehold. It included a demand for arrears of ground rent dating back to 1996. The conveyancing practitioner in East Dean who previously acted has now retired.Any advice?

First make enquiries of HMLR to make sure that this person is indeed the new freeholder. It is not necessary to incur the fees of a East Dean conveyancing firm to do this as it can be done on-line for a few pound. Rest assured that in any event, 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 flat in East Dean. 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 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).

Can you offer any advice when it comes to finding a East Dean conveyancing firm to carry out our lease extension conveyancing?

If you are instructing a property lawyer for lease extension works (regardless if they are a East Dean conveyancing firm) it is imperative that he or she should be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of conveyancing. We suggested that you make enquires with several firms including non East Dean conveyancing practices before you instructing a firm. If the firm is ALEP accredited then that’s a bonus. Some following of questions could be useful:

  • If they are not ALEP accredited then why not?
  • How many lease extensions has the firm conducted in East Dean in the last 12 months?

  • I acquired a garden flat in East Dean, conveyancing having been completed half a dozen years ago. Can you work out an approximate cost of a lease extension? Comparable flats in East Dean with an extended lease are worth £180,000. The ground rent is £60 yearly. The lease ceases on 21st October 2101

    You have 77 years remaining on your lease we estimate the price of your lease extension to be between £10,500 and £12,000 plus plus your own and the landlord's "reasonable" 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 comprehensive due diligence. You should not use the figures in a Notice of Claim or as an informal offer. There are no doubt additional issues that need to be considered and clearly you should be as accurate as possible in your negotiations. You should not take any other action based on this information without first seeking the advice of a professional.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in East Dean