Fixed-fee leasehold conveyancing in Great Linford:

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Great Linford leasehold conveyancing: Q and A’s

Last month I purchased a leasehold property in Great Linford. Am I liable to pay service charges relating to a period prior to my ownership?

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. However, 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 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).

I am a negotiator for a long established estate agency in Great Linford where we have experienced a number of flat sales jeopardised as a result of short leases. I have received inconsistent advice from local Great Linford conveyancing firms. Can you shed some light as to whether the owner of a flat can commence 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 kick-start the lease extension process and assign the benefit of the notice to the purchaser. This means that the buyer need not have to wait 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.

Alternatively, it may be possible 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 buyer.

What advice can you give us when it comes to choosing a Great Linford conveyancing firm to deal with our lease extension?

When appointing a solicitor for your lease extension (regardless if they are a Great Linford 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 several firms including non Great Linford conveyancing practices before you instructing a firm. If the firm is ALEP accredited then that’s a bonus. Some following of questions might be useful:

  • How experienced is the firm with lease extension legislation?
  • Can they put you in touch with client in Great Linford who can give a testimonial?

  • We expect to complete the sale of our £125000 apartment in Great Linford next week. The managing agents has quoted £396 for Certificate of Compliance, building insurance schedule and previous years service charge statements. Is the landlord entitled to charge such fees for a leasehold conveyance in Great Linford?

    Great Linford conveyancing on leasehold maisonettes nine out of ten times involves fees being levied by freeholders :

    • Answering pre-contract enquiries
    • Where consent is required before sale in Great Linford
    • 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 Great Linford leasehold property is £350. For Great Linford 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 supply answers.

    Are there frequently found defects that you encounter in leases for Great Linford properties?

    There is nothing unique about leasehold conveyancing in Great Linford. All leases is drafted differently and drafting errors can sometimes mean that certain clauses are missing. The following missing provisions could result in a defective lease:

    • Repairing obligations to or maintain elements of the premises
    • A duty to insure the building
    • A provision for the recovery of money spent for the benefit of another party.
    • Maintenance charge proportions which don’t add up to the correct percentage

    You will have difficulties when selling your property if you have a defective lease primarily because it impacts on the ability to obtain a mortgage on the property. Nationwide Building Society, Virgin Money, and Godiva Mortgages Ltd all have very detailed requirements when it comes to what is expected in a lease. If a mortgage lender believes that the lease is defective they may refuse to provide security, forcing the buyer to withdraw.

    Leasehold Conveyancing in Great Linford - A selection of Queries Prior to buying

      What is the yearly service fee and ground rent? The prefered form of lease arrangement is if the freehold title is in the ownership of the leaseholders. In this situation the tenants enjoy being in charge if their destiny and although a managing agent is often retained where the building is bigger than a house conversion, the managing agent retained by the leaseholders. What prohibitions exist in the Great Linford Lease?

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Great Linford