Fixed-fee leasehold conveyancing in Greenfield:

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Examples of recent questions relating to leasehold conveyancing in Greenfield

I've recently bought a leasehold house in Greenfield. Do I have any liability for service charges for periods before completion of my purchase?

In a situation where the service charge has already been demanded from the previous lessee 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. 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).

I am employed by a long established estate agency in Greenfield where we have experienced a number of flat sales put at risk as a result of leases having less than 80 years remaining. I have received contradictory information from local Greenfield conveyancing solicitors. Please can you clarify whether the seller of a flat can instigate the lease extension formalities 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 kick-start the lease extension process and assign the benefit of the notice to the purchaser. The benefit of this is that the buyer can avoid having 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 prior to, or simultaneously with completion of the disposal of the property.

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 are your top tips when it comes to choosing a Greenfield conveyancing firm to carry out our lease extension conveyancing?

If you are instructing a conveyancer for your lease extension (regardless if they are a Greenfield conveyancing firm) it is most important that they be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of work. We advise that you make enquires with two or three firms including non Greenfield conveyancing practices before you instructing a firm. Where the conveyancing practice is ALEP accredited then that’s a bonus. Some following of questions might be helpful:

  • If they are not ALEP accredited then what is the reason?
  • Can they put you in touch with client in Greenfield who can give a testimonial?

  • Can you provide any advice for leasehold conveyancing in Greenfield with the intention of expediting the sale process?

    • A significant proportion of the delay in leasehold conveyancing in Greenfield can be avoided where you instruct lawyers as soon as you market your property and ask them to put together the leasehold information which will be required by the purchasers’ conveyancers.
    • A minority of Greenfield leases require Licence to Assign from the landlord. If this is the case, you should place the estate agents on notice to make sure that the purchasers put in hand financial (bank) and professional references. The bank reference will need to confirm that the buyers are able to meet the annual 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 settled prior to the flat being put on the market. The purchasers and their solicitors will be concerned about purchasing a flat where a dispute is unresolved. 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 prior to the contract papers being issued to the buyers’ solicitors. You are still duty bound to disclose details of the dispute to the purchasers, but it is clearly preferable to reveal the dispute as over rather than ongoing.
  • If you have the benefit of shareholding in the Management Company, you should ensure that you have the original share certificate. Organising a new share certificate is often a lengthy process and delays many a Greenfield conveyancing deal. If a reissued share is necessary, you should approach the company officers or managing agents (if relevant) for this as soon as possible.
  • You may think that you are aware of the number of years left on your lease but you should double-check via your lawyers. A buyer’s lawyer will not be happy to advise their client to where the remaining number of years is less than 75 years. In the circumstances it is essential at an early stage that you identify whether the lease for your property needs extending. If it does, contact your solicitors before you put your home on the market for sale.

  • All being well we will complete the sale of our £125000 apartment in Greenfield on Tuesday in a week. The managing agents has quoted £300 for Certificate of Compliance, insurance certificate and 3 years service charge statements. Is it legal for a freeholder to charge an administration fee for a flat conveyance in Greenfield?

    Greenfield conveyancing on leasehold apartments normally requires the purchaser’s conveyancer submitting questions for the landlord to address. Although the landlord is not legally bound to address such questions most will be willing to do so. They are entitled levy a reasonable charge for answering questions or supplying documentation. There is no set fee. The average costs for the paperwork that you are referring to is £350, in some transactions it is in excess of £800. The administration charge invoiced by the landlord must be accompanied by a synopsis of rights and obligations in respect of administration fees, otherwise the charge is not strictly payable. In reality you have no option but to pay whatever is demanded should you wish to exchange contracts with the buyer.

    Greenfield Leasehold Conveyancing - Sample of Questions you should consider Prior to Purchasing

      How is the lease structured? The best form of lease arrangement is a share of the freehold. In this situation the leaseholders enjoy being in charge if their destiny and although a managing agent is usually employed if the building is bigger than a house conversion, the managing agent retained by the leaseholders. On the whole the cost for major works tend not to be incorporated into the maintenance charges, although a few managing agents in Greenfield ask leaseholders to pay into a reserve fund and this is used to offset against major repairs or maintenance.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Greenfield