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Examples of recent questions relating to leasehold conveyancing in Grays

I am hoping to sign contracts shortly on a basement flat in Grays. Conveyancing solicitors inform me that they are sending me a report within the next couple of days. Are there areas in the report that I should be focusing on?

Your report on title for your leasehold conveyancing in Grays should include some of the following:

  • You should receive a copy of the lease
  • Details of the parties to the lease, for example these could be the leaseholder (you), head lessor, freeholder
  • The total extent of the property. This will be the apartment itself but might incorporate a roof space or basement if applicable.
  • Do you need to have carpet in the flat or are you allowed wood flooring?
  • 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
  • Changes to the flat (alterations and additions)
  • I don't know whether the lease allows me to alter or improve anything in the flat - you should know whether it applies to all alterations or just structural alteration, and whether consent is required For details of the information to be contained in your report on your leasehold property in Grays please enquire of your solicitor in ahead of your conveyancing in Grays

  • Last month I purchased a leasehold flat in Grays. Am I liable to pay service charges relating to a period prior to completion of my purchase?

    In a situation 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. A critical element 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).

    What advice can you give us when it comes to appointing a Grays conveyancing firm to deal with our lease extension?

    If you are instructing a conveyancer for lease extension works (regardless if they are a Grays conveyancing practice) it is imperative that they be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of conveyancing. We suggested that you speak with several firms including non Grays conveyancing practices prior to instructing a firm. If the firm is ALEP accredited then that’s a bonus. Some following of questions could be of use:

    • If the firm is not ALEP accredited then why not?
  • What volume of lease extensions has the firm carried out in Grays in the last 12 months?

  • Can you provide any top tips for leasehold conveyancing in Grays with the purpose of saving time on the sale process?

    • A significant proportion of the frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Grays can be bypassed where you appoint lawyers as soon as you market your property and ask them to collate the leasehold documentation needed by the purchasers’ solicitors.
    • If you have carried out any alterations to the premises would they have required Landlord’s permission? Have you, for example laid down wooden flooring? Grays leases often stipulate that internal structural changes or addition of wooden flooring require a licence issued by the Landlord consenting to such alterations. Should you dont have the consents in place do not contact the landlord without contacting your lawyer first.
  • If you have had conflict with your freeholder or managing agents it is essential that these are resolved before the property is put on the market. The purchasers and their solicitors will be nervous about purchasing a property where a dispute is unresolved. You may have to bite the bullet and pay 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 ahead of the contract papers being issued to the buyers’ solicitors. You will still have to reveal details of the dispute to the purchasers, but it is better to reveal the dispute as historic rather than unresolved.
  • If you hold a share in a the freehold, you should ensure that you are holding the original share document. Arranging a duplicate share certificate can be a lengthy process and frustrates many a Grays home move. Where a new share is necessary, you should approach the company director and secretary or managing agents (if relevant) for this at the earliest opportunity.
  • You may think that you are aware of the number of years left on your lease but it would be wise to double-check by asking your conveyancers. A buyer’s lawyer will be unlikely to recommend their client to to exchange contracts if the remaining number of years is less than 80 years. In the circumstances it is important at an as soon as possible that you consider whether the lease term for your property needs extending. If it does, contact your solicitors before you put your premises on the market for sale.

  • We expect to complete the disposal of our £175000 maisonette in Grays in 5 days. The freeholder has quoted £396 for Certificate of Compliance, building insurance schedule and 3 years service charge statements. Is the landlord entitled to charge an administration fee for a leasehold conveyance in Grays?

    Grays conveyancing on leasehold flats typically involves fees being invoiced by freeholders :

    • Addressing pre-exchange questions
    • Where consent is required before sale in Grays
    • Copies of the building insurance and schedule
    • 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 Grays leasehold property is £350. For Grays 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 obliged to provide answers.

    I have attempted and failed to negotiate with my landlord to extend my lease without any joy. Can a leaseholder make an application to the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal? Can you recommend a Grays conveyancing firm to act on my behalf?

    Where there is a absentee freeholder or if there is disagreement about the premium for a lease extension, under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 you can apply to the LVT to decide the price.

    An example of a Lease Extension matter before the tribunal for a Grays residence is Various @ Colombus Square in January 2012. the Tribunal calculated the premiums to be paid for new leases for each of the flats in Mariners Walk to be £3822 and the premium to be paid for the new lease of 2 Knights Court to be £4439. This case related to 13 flats. The the number of years remaining on the existing lease(s) was 76 years.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Grays