Fixed-fee leasehold conveyancing in Formby:

While any conveyancing solicitor can theoretically deal with your leasehold conveyancing in Formby, your mortgage provider may not be willing to work with them if the firm are not on their list of approved solicitors for conveyancing

Formby leasehold conveyancing: Q and A’s

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

Assuming the lease is registered - and most are in Formby - 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.

My husband and I may need to rent out our Formby 1st floor flat temporarily due to a career opportunity. We instructed a Formby conveyancing firm in 2003 but they have since shut and we did not think at the time get any guidance as to whether the lease prohibits the subletting of the flat. How do we find out?

A small minority of properties in Formby do contain a provision to say that subletting is only allowed with permission. The landlord cannot unreasonably withhold but, in such cases, they would need to review references. Experience dictates that problems are usually caused by unsatisfactory tenants rather than owner-occupiers and for that reason you can expect the freeholder to take up the references and consider them carefully before granting consent.

I am a negotiator for a busy estate agent office in Formby where we see a few leasehold sales put at risk as a result of short leases. I have received inconsistent advice from local Formby conveyancing solicitors. Please can you confirm whether the seller of a flat can start the lease extension process for the buyer?

Provided that 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 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 before, 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 buyer.

Can you offer any advice when it comes to finding a Formby conveyancing firm to deal with our lease extension?

When appointing a property lawyer for lease extension works (regardless if they are a Formby conveyancing firm) it is most important that they be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of work. We recommend that you speak with several firms including non Formby conveyancing practices before you instructing a firm. Where the conveyancing practice is ALEP accredited then so much the better. Some following of questions could be useful:

  • How experienced is the practice with lease extension legislation?
  • What are the charges for lease extension conveyancing?

  • Can you provide any advice for leasehold conveyancing in Formby with the aim of speeding up the sale process?

    • A significant proportion of the delay in leasehold conveyancing in Formby can be bypassed where you instruct lawyers as soon as your agents start advertising the property and request that they start to put together the leasehold documentation needed by the buyers representatives.
    • The majority freeholders or managing agents in Formby charge for providing management packs for a leasehold premises. You or your lawyers should find out the actual amount of the charges. The management pack can be applied for as soon as you have a buyer, thus accelerating the process. The average time it takes to receive management information is three weeks. It is the most common reason for frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Formby.
  • A minority of Formby leases require Landlord’s consent to the sale and approval of the buyers. If this applies to your lease, it would be prudent to notify your estate agents to make sure that the purchasers put in hand 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 actual amount of the service charge so that they can pass this information on to the purchasers or their lawyers.
  • If there is a history of conflict with your freeholder or managing agents it is essential that these are settled prior to the flat being marketed. The purchasers and their solicitors will be reluctant to purchase a flat where a dispute is unresolved. You will have to accept that you will have to discharge any arrears of service charge or resolve the dispute prior to the buyers completing the purchase. It is therefore preferable to have any dispute settled prior to the contract papers being issued to the buyers’ solicitors. You will still have to reveal particulars of the dispute to the buyers, but it is clearly preferable to reveal the dispute as historic rather than unresolved.
  • You believe that you know the number of years left on your lease but it would be advisable double-check via your solicitors. A buyer’s lawyer will be unlikely to recommend their client to proceed with the purchase of a leasehold property the lease term is less than 75 years. It is therefore essential at an as soon as possible that you identify whether the lease term for your property needs extending. If it does, contact your solicitors before you put your home on the market for sale.

  • Formby Leasehold Conveyancing - Sample of Questions you should ask Prior to Purchasing

      How much is the ground rent and service charge? Most Formby leasehold flats will be liable to pay a service charge for the upkeep of the building levied by the freeholder. Should you purchase the flat you will have to meet this charge, usually periodically throughout the year. This can differ from two or three hundred pounds to thousands of pounds for buildings with lifts and large communal grounds. In all probability there will be a rentcharge to be met yearly, ordinarily this is not a exorbitant sum, say approximately £25-£75 but you need to check as sometimes it can be many hundreds of pounds. Is the freehold reversion owned collectively by the leaseholders?

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Formby