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Common questions relating to Hailsham leasehold conveyancing

I’m about to sell my garden apartment in Hailsham.Conveyancing has not commenced but I have just had a half-yearly service charge demand – should I leave it to the buyer to sort out?

The sensible thing to do is pay the service charge 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 looking at a couple of maisonettes in Hailsham which have approximately forty five years unexpired on the lease term. Should I regard a short lease as a deal breaker?

There are no two ways about it. A leasehold flat in Hailsham is a wasting asset as a result of the shortening lease. The nearer the lease gets to zero years unexpired, the more it reduces the salability of the property. The majority of buyers and lenders, leases with less than eighty years become less and less marketable. On a more upbeat note, leaseholders can extend their leases by serving a Section 42 Notice. One stipulation is that they must have owned the premises for two years (unlike a Section 13 notice for purchasing the freehold, when leaseholders can participate from day one of ownership). When successful, they will have the right to an extension of 90 years to the current term and ground rent is effectively reduced to zero. Before moving forward with a purchase of a residence with a short lease term remaining you should talk to a solicitor specialising in lease extensions and leasehold enfranchisement. We are are happy to put you in touch with Hailsham conveyancing experts who will explain the options available to you during an initial telephone conversation free of charge. More often than not it is possible to negotiate informally with the freeholder to extend the lease They may agree to a smaller lump sum and an increase in the ground rent, but to shorter extension terms in return. You need to ensure that the agreed terms represent good long-term value compared with the standard benefits of the Section 42 Notice and that onerous clauses are not inserted into any redrafting of the lease.

I am a negotiator for a busy estate agency in Hailsham where we have experienced a few leasehold sales jeopardised due to short leases. I have been given inconsistent advice from local Hailsham conveyancing firms. Could you clarify whether the vendor of a flat can initiate the lease extension process 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 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 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 purchaser.

Completion in due on our sale of a £500000 apartment in Hailsham next Friday . The freeholder has quoted £348 for Landlord’s certificate, insurance certificate and 3 years statements of service charge. Is the landlord entitled to charge an administration fee for a flat conveyance in Hailsham?

Hailsham conveyancing on leasehold maisonettes usually involves administration charges levied by managing agents :

  • Addressing conveyancing due diligence questions
  • Where consent is required before sale in Hailsham
  • 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 Hailsham leasehold property is £350. For Hailsham 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.

Are there common defects that you encounter in leases for Hailsham properties?

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

  • Repairing obligations to or maintain parts of the premises
  • Insurance obligations
  • 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 may have a problem when selling your property if you have a defective lease as they can affect a potential buyer’s ability to obtain a mortgage. Lloyds TSB Bank, Chelsea Building Society, and Nottingham Building Society all have express requirements when it comes to what is expected in a lease. If a mortgage lender believes that the lease is problematic they may refuse to grant the mortgage, obliging the buyer to withdraw.

I inherited a 2 bed flat in Hailsham, conveyancing formalities finalised in 2007. Can you give me give me an indication of the likely cost of a lease extension? Similar flats in Hailsham with over 90 years remaining are worth £188,000. The average or mid-range amount of ground rent is £60 invoiced annually. The lease runs out on 21st October 2079

With 58 years unexpired we estimate the premium for your lease extension to be between £25,700 and £29,600 plus plus your own and the landlord's "reasonable" professional fees.

The figure above a general guide to costs for extending a lease, but we cannot give you the actual costs in the absence of comprehensive investigations. You should not use the figures in a Notice of Claim or as an informal offer. There are no doubt other issues that need to be considered and clearly you should be as accurate as possible in your negotiations. Please do not move forward based on this information before seeking the advice of a professional.

Other Topics

Lease Extensions in Hailsham