Guaranteed fixed fees for Leasehold Conveyancing in Heath

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Heath leasehold conveyancing: Q and A’s

There are only Sixty One years remaining on my lease in Heath. I now want to get lease extension but my landlord is absent. What options are available to me?

On the basis that you qualify, under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 you can submit an application to the County Court for an order to dispense with the service of the initial notice. This will enable the lease to be lengthened by the Court. You will be obliged to demonstrate that you have done all that could be expected to locate the landlord. On the whole a specialist should be helpful to conduct investigations and to produce an expert document which can be accepted by the court as evidence that the landlord is indeed missing. It is wise to seek advice from a property lawyer both on investigating the landlord’s disappearance and the application to the County Court overseeing Heath.

I've found a house that appears to tick a lot of boxes, at a reasonable figure which is making it all the more appealing. I have just been informed that it's a leasehold rather than freehold. I am assuming that there are particular concerns purchasing a leasehold house in Heath. Conveyancing lawyers have not yet been appointed. Will they explain the issues?

Most houses in Heath are freehold and not leasehold. This is one of the situations where having a local conveyancer used to dealing with such properties who can help the conveyancing process. It is clear that you are purchasing in Heath in which case you should be shopping around for a Heath conveyancing solicitor and be sure that they have experience in dealing with leasehold houses. As a matter of priority you will need to check the number of years remaining. Being a tenant you will not be at liberty to do whatever you want to the property. The lease comes with conditions such as requiring the landlord’sconsent to conduct alterations. It may be necessary to pay a service charge towards the upkeep of the communal areas where the house is located on an estate. Your lawyer will appraise you on the various issues.

I work for a long established estate agency in Heath 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 been given contradictory information from local Heath conveyancing firms. Please can you shed some light as to whether the seller of a flat can commence the lease extension process 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 proposed purchaser can avoid having to wait 2 years to extend their lease. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment has to be done before, or at the same time as 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 purchaser.

Can you provide any top tips for leasehold conveyancing in Heath from the point of view of saving time on the sale process?

  • A significant proportion of the frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Heath can be avoided if you instruct lawyers the minute your agents start advertising the property and ask them to put together the leasehold information which will be required by the buyers lawyers.
  • Many landlords or Management Companies in Heath charge for providing management packs for a leasehold property. You or your lawyers should discover the fee that they propose to charge. The management pack sought as soon as you have a buyer, thus reducing delays. The average time it takes to receive management information is three weeks. It is the most common reason for delay in leasehold conveyancing in Heath.
  • In the event that you altered the property did you need the Landlord’s consent? Have you, for example laid down wooden flooring? Most leases in Heath state that internal structural changes or addition of wooden flooring calls for a licence from the Landlord acquiescing to such works. If you fail to have the consents in place you should not communicate with the landlord without contacting your lawyer in advance.
  • If you have the benefit of shareholding in the Management Company, you should ensure that you have the original share document. Organising a duplicate share certificate is often a time consuming process and frustrates many a Heath conveyancing deal. If a duplicate share certificate is required, do contact the company director and secretary or managing agents (if applicable) 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 by asking your solicitors. A purchaser's lawyer will be unlikely to recommend their client to proceed with the purchase of a leasehold property the lease term is under 75 years. It is therefore essential at an as soon as possible that you identify whether the lease term for your property needs extending. If it does, contact your solicitors before you put your home on the market for sale.

  • Completion in due on our sale of a £400000 garden flat in Heath next Thursday . The landlords agents has quoted £372 for Certificate of Compliance, building insurance schedule and 3 years service charge statements. Is the landlord entitled to charge such fees for a flat conveyance in Heath?

    Heath conveyancing on leasehold maisonettes normally involves administration charges raised by management companies :

    • Addressing conveyancing due diligence questions
    • Where consent is required before sale in Heath
    • 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 Heath leasehold premises is £350. For Heath 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 the information.

    I own a garden flat in Heath, conveyancing formalities finalised half a dozen years ago. Can you please calculate a probable premium for a statutory lease extension? Comparable properties in Heath with over 90 years remaining are worth £196,000. The average or mid-range amount of ground rent is £65 levied per year. The lease expires on 21st October 2090

    With only 68 years left to run the likely cost is going to range between £9,500 and £11,000 plus legals.

    The suggested premium range above a general guide to costs for renewing a lease, but we cannot give you the actual costs in the absence of detailed due diligence. Do not use this information in tribunal or court proceedings. There are no doubt other concerns that need to be considered and clearly you want to be as accurate as possible in your negotiations. You should not move forward based on this information without first seeking the advice of a professional.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Heath