Guaranteed fixed fees for Leasehold Conveyancing in Gerrards Cross

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Top Five Questions relating to Gerrards Cross leasehold conveyancing

Looking forward to exchange soon on a basement flat in Gerrards Cross. Conveyancing lawyers have said that they report fully within the next couple of days. What should I be looking out for?

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

  • The total extent of the demise. This will be the apartment itself but might incorporate a loft or cellar if appropriate.
  • Setting out your rights in respect of common areas in the building.For example, does the lease include a right of way over an accessway or staircase?
  • Are pets allowed in the flat?
  • Ground rent - how much and when you need to pay, and also know whether this is subject to change
  • 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
  • The landlord’s rights to access the flat you be made aware that your landlord has rights of access and I know how much notice s/he must provide.
  • What options are open to you if a neighbour is in violation of a provision in their lease? For a comprehensive list of information to be contained in your report on your leasehold property in Gerrards Cross please enquire of your solicitor in advance of your conveyancing in Gerrards Cross

  • Estate agents have just been given the go-ahead to market my 2 bed apartment in Gerrards Cross.Conveyancing solicitors are to be appointed soon but I have just had a quarterly service charge invoice – should I leave it to the buyer to sort out?

    The sensible thing to do is clear 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 management companies will not acknowledge the buyer until 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. This will smooth the conveyancing process.

    I am employed by a busy estate agency in Gerrards Cross where we have experienced a few flat sales jeopardised as a result of leases having less than 80 years remaining. I have received conflicting advice from local Gerrards Cross conveyancing firms. Please can you confirm whether the owner of a flat can commence the lease extension formalities for the purchaser on completion of the sale?

    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. This means that the proposed purchaser need not have to sit tight for 2 years for a lease extension. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment needs to be completed before, or simultaneously with completion of the sale.

    An alternative approach is to extend the lease informally by agreement with the landlord 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.

    Do you have any top tips for leasehold conveyancing in Gerrards Cross from the point of view of expediting the sale process?

    • Much of the frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Gerrards Cross can be avoided if you instruct lawyers the minute your agents start marketing the property and request that they start to put together the leasehold documentation needed by the buyers representatives.
    • The majority freeholders or Management Companies in Gerrards Cross charge for providing management packs for a leasehold homes. You or your lawyers should find out the actual amount of the charges. The management pack sought as soon as you have a buyer, thus reducing delays. The typical amount of time it takes to receive management information is three weeks. It is the most frequent cause of frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Gerrards Cross.
  • If you have carried out any alterations to the residence would they have required Landlord’s consent? Have you, for example laid down wooden flooring? Most leases in Gerrards Cross state that internal structural changes or laying down wooden flooring necessitate a licence from the Landlord acquiescing to such alterations. Where you fail to have the paperwork in place do not contact the landlord without checking with your lawyer in the first instance.
  • If there is a history of conflict with your freeholder or managing agents it is very important that these are settled prior to the flat being marketed. The buyers and their solicitors will be nervous about purchasing a flat where there is an ongoing dispute. You will have to accept that you will have to 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 prior to the contract papers being issued to the buyers’ solicitors. You are still duty bound to disclose particulars of the dispute to the purchasers, but it is clearly preferable to reveal the dispute as historic rather than unresolved.
  • You may think that you are aware of the number of years left on your lease but it would be advisable double-check via your solicitors. A purchaser's conveyancer will not be happy to advise their client to to exchange contracts if the lease term is below 80 years. It is therefore essential at an as soon as possible that you identify whether the lease requires a lease extension. If it does, contact your solicitors before you put your property on the market for sale.

  • Our conveyancer has advised that he intends to complete and exchange simultaneously on our sale of a £475000 flat in Gerrards Cross on Friday in a week. The freeholder has quoted £348 for Certificate of Compliance, building insurance schedule and 3 years service charge statements. Is it legal for a freeholder to charge exorbitant fees for a flat conveyance in Gerrards Cross?

    Gerrards Cross conveyancing on leasehold flats usually involves administration charges invoiced by managing agents :

    • Answering conveyancing due diligence enquiries
    • Where consent is required before sale in Gerrards Cross
    • Supplying insurance information
    • Deeds of covenant upon sale
    • Registering of the assignment of the change of lessee after a sale
    Your lawyer will have no control over the level of the charges for this information but the average costs for the information for Gerrards Cross leasehold property is £350. For Gerrards Cross conveyancing transactions it is customary for the seller to pay for these costs. The landlord or their agents are under no legal obligation to answer such questions most will be willing to do so - albeit often at exorbitant prices where the fees bear little relation to the work involved. Unfortunately there is no law that requires fixed charges for administrative tasks. Neither is there any legal time frame by which they are required to provide the information.

    Having spent months of negotiations we are unable to agree with our landlord on how much the lease extension should cost for our flat in Gerrards Cross. Does the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal have jurisdiction to calculate the appropriate figures?

    You certainly can. We are happy to put you in touch with a Gerrards Cross conveyancing firm who can help.

    An example of a Lease Extension decision for a Gerrards Cross flat is Flats 8, 11 and 15 Craigmore Court 46 Murray Road in December 2013. The tribunal held that the price payable by the Applicant tenant of Flat 8 to acquire an extended lease shall be £26,438 plus £1 to the intermediate lessee . The tribunal held that the price payable by the Applicant tenants of Flat 11 to acquire an extended lease shall be £26,791 plus £1 to the intermediate lessee. The tribunal held that the price payable by the Applicant tenant of Flat 15 to acquire an extended lease shall be £26,638 plus £1 to the intermediate lessee . This case was in relation to 3 flats. The unexpired lease term was 71 years.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Gerrards Cross