Fixed-fee leasehold conveyancing in Exeter:

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Exeter leasehold conveyancing: Q and A’s

I am in need of some leasehold conveyancing in Exeter. Before diving in I want to be sure as to the unexpired term of the lease.

Assuming the lease is registered - and most are in Exeter - then the leasehold title will always include the short particulars 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.

I am hoping to put an offer on a small detached house that seems to tick a lot of boxes, at a reasonable price which is making it all the more appealing. I have subsequently discovered that the title is leasehold rather than freehold. I would have thought that there are issues buying a house with a leasehold title in Exeter. Conveyancing lawyers have are soon to be instructed. Will my lawyers set out the implications of buying a leasehold house in Exeter ?

The majority of houses in Exeter are freehold rather than leasehold. In this scenario it’s worth having a local solicitor who is familiar with the area can assist with the conveyancing process. We note that you are purchasing in Exeter in which case you should be looking for a Exeter conveyancing solicitor and check that they have experience in transacting on leasehold houses. First you will need to check the unexpired lease term. Being a lessee you will not be at liberty to do whatever you want to the property. The lease comes with conditions for example requiring the landlord’sconsent to conduct changes to the property. You may also be required to pay a contribution towards the maintenance of the estate where the house is part of an estate. Your solicitor will advise you fully on all the issues.

I work for a busy estate agent office in Exeter where we see a number of leasehold sales derailed as a result of short leases. I have been given conflicting advice from local Exeter conveyancing firms. Can you shed some light as to whether the vendor of a flat can start the lease extension formalities for the buyer?

Provided that the seller has owned the lease for at least 2 years it is possible, to serve a Section 42 notice to start the lease extension process and assign the benefit of the notice to the purchaser. This means that the buyer can avoid having to wait 2 years for a lease extension. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment needs to be completed prior to, or at the same time as 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 buyer.

What advice can you give us when it comes to appointing a Exeter conveyancing firm to carry out our lease extension conveyancing?

If you are instructing a property lawyer for your lease extension (regardless if they are a Exeter conveyancing practice) it is most important that they be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of conveyancing. We advise that you make enquires with several firms including non Exeter conveyancing practices before you instructing a firm. If the firm is ALEP accredited then so much the better. Some following of questions could be of use:

  • How experienced is the practice with lease extension legislation?
  • If they are not ALEP accredited then what is the reason?

  • In relation to leasehold conveyancing in Exeter what are the most common lease defects?

    There is nothing unique about leasehold conveyancing in Exeter. Most leases is drafted differently and drafting errors can sometimes mean that certain provisions are missing. For example, if your lease is missing any of the following, it could be defective:

    • Repairing obligations to or maintain elements of the premises
    • Insurance obligations
    • 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 will encounter difficulties when selling your property if you have a defective lease as they can affect a potential buyer’s ability to obtain a mortgage. Nationwide Building Society, The Royal Bank of Scotland, and Bank of Ireland all have very detailed conveyancing instructions when it comes to what is expected in a lease. Where a lender has been advised by their lawyers that the lease does not cover certain provisions they may refuse to grant the mortgage, obliging the purchaser to withdraw.

    I own a 1 bedroom flat in Exeter, conveyancing was carried out half a dozen 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 Exeter with over 90 years remaining are worth £180,000. The average or mid-range amount of ground rent is £45 invoiced annually. The lease runs out on 21st October 2084

    You have 62 years unexpired we estimate the premium for your lease extension to be between £21,900 and £25,200 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 provide the actual costs without more detailed due diligence. Do not use this information in tribunal or court proceedings. There may be other concerns that need to be taken into account and clearly you should be as accurate as possible in your negotiations. Please do not take any other action placing reliance on this information without first seeking the advice of a professional.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Exeter