Fixed-fee leasehold conveyancing in Forest of Dean:

When it comes to leasehold conveyancing in Forest of Dean, you will need to appoint a conveyancing solicitor with leasehold experience. Whether your mortgage company is to be Halifax, Yorkshire Building Society or Bradford & Bingley make sure you choose a lawyer on their panel. Feel free to use our search tool

Forest of Dean leasehold conveyancing: Q and A’s

Expecting to sign contracts shortly on a leasehold property in Forest of Dean. Conveyancing lawyers have said that they report fully next week. Are there areas in the report that I should be focusing on?

The report on title for your leasehold conveyancing in Forest of Dean should include some of the following:

  • The physical extent of the property. This will be the flat itself but could also incorporate a loft or basement if appropriate.
  • Do you need to have carpet in the flat or are you allowed wood flooring?
  • Does the lease prevent you from renting out the flat, or having a home office for business
  • An explanation as to the provision in the lease to pay service charges - with regard to both the building, and the more general rights a leaseholder has
  • Whether your lease has a provision for a reserve fund?
  • Changes to the flat (alterations and additions)
  • What the implications are if you breach a clause of your lease? For a comprehensive list of information to be included in your report on your leasehold property in Forest of Dean please enquire of your lawyer in advance of your conveyancing in Forest of Dean

  • Last month I purchased a leasehold flat in Forest of 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 owner and they have not paid you would not usually be personally liable for the arrears. Strange as it may seem, 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 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).

    I am a negotiator for a busy estate agent office in Forest of Dean where we have experienced a number of leasehold sales jeopardised due to leases having less than 80 years remaining. I have received conflicting advice from local Forest of Dean conveyancing firms. Can you shed some light as to whether the owner of a flat can start the lease extension process for the purchaser on completion of the sale?

    Provided that the seller has been the owner 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. The benefit of this is that the buyer need not have to sit tight for 2 years to extend their lease. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment has to be done prior to, or at the same time as completion of the sale.

    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 advice can you give us when it comes to appointing a Forest of Dean conveyancing firm to deal with our lease extension?

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

    • How familiar is the practice with lease extension legislation?
  • How many lease extensions has the firm conducted in Forest of Dean in the last year?

  • Do you have any top tips for leasehold conveyancing in Forest of Dean from the perspective of saving time on the sale process?

    • Much of the frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Forest of Dean can be bypassed if you instruct lawyers as soon as your agents start advertising the property and ask them to collate the leasehold documentation needed by the purchasers’ conveyancers.
    • If you have carried out any alterations to the premises would they have required Landlord’s approval? Have you, for example installed wooden flooring? Most leases in Forest of Dean state that internal structural alterations or addition of wooden flooring calls for a licence from the Landlord consenting to such alterations. Should you dont have the approvals in place do not communicate with the landlord without checking with your solicitor first.
  • A minority of Forest of Dean leases require Licence to Assign from the landlord. If this applies to your lease, it would be prudent to place the estate agents on notice to make sure that the purchasers put in hand financial (bank) and professional references. The bank reference should make it clear that the buyer is able to meet the yearly service charge and the actual amount of the service charge should be quoted in the bank’s letter. You will therefore need to provide your estate agents with the service charge figures so that they can pass this information on to the buyers or their lawyers.
  • If you have had any disputes with your landlord or managing agents it is very important that these are resolved prior to the flat being marketed. The purchasers and their solicitors will be warry about purchasing a flat where a dispute is ongoing. You may need to swallow your pride and discharge any arrears of service charge or settle the dispute prior to completion of the sale. It is therefore preferable to have any dispute settled ahead of the contract papers being issued to the buyers’ solicitors. You are still duty bound to disclose particulars of the dispute to the buyers, but it is better to reveal the dispute as historic as opposed to unresolved.
  • If you are supposed to have a share in the freehold, you should ensure that you hold the original share certificate. Arranging a re-issued share certificate is often a time consuming process and delays many a Forest of Dean conveyancing transaction. Where a duplicate share is required, do contact the company officers or managing agents (where applicable) for this sooner rather than later.

  • I am the registered owner of a basement flat in Forest of Dean, conveyancing formalities finalised in 2007. Can you shed any light on how much the price could be for a 90 year extension to my lease? Comparable flats in Forest of Dean with over 90 years remaining are worth £169,000. The average or mid-range amount of ground rent is £50 per annum. The lease expires on 21st October 2082

    You have 61 years remaining on your lease the likely cost is going to range between £19,000 and £22,000 plus professional fees.

    The suggested premium range above a general guide to costs for extending a lease, but we are not able to advice on the actual costs in the absence of comprehensive investigations. Do not use this information in tribunal or court proceedings. There may be additional issues that need to be taken into account and you obviously should be as accurate as possible in your negotiations. Neither should you move forward based on this information before seeking the advice of a professional.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Forest of Dean