Fixed-fee leasehold conveyancing in Heath:

Leasehold conveyancing in Heath is more complex than freehold. Your home move will be smoother where you choose a lawyer with a wealth of experience of leasehold conveyancing in Heath and across next step up in loc. The lawyers we recommend have been approved by your lender so use our search tool to check.

Heath leasehold conveyancing: Q and A’s

I am on look out for some leasehold conveyancing in Heath. Before I set the wheels in motion I would like to find out the remaining lease term.

Assuming the lease is registered - and most are in Heath - then the leasehold title will always include the short particulars of the lease, namely the date; the term; and the original parties. From a conveyancing perspective such details then enable any prospective buyer and lender to confirm that any lease they are looking at is the one relevant to that title.For any other purpose, such as confirming how long the term was granted for and calculating what is left, then the register should be sufficient on it's own.

I am looking at a couple of flats in Heath both have in the region of forty five years remaining on the leases. Do I need to be concerned?

There are no two ways about it. A leasehold apartment in Heath is a deteriorating asset as a result of the reducing lease term. The closer the lease gets to zero years unexpired, the more it reduces the marketability of the property. For most buyers and lenders, leases with under 75 years become less and less marketable. On a more positive 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 property 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 Heath 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.

Last month I purchased a leasehold property in Heath. 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. 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 ensure 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).

Can you provide any advice for leasehold conveyancing in Heath with the aim of speeding up the sale process?

  • Much of the frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Heath can be bypassed if you appoint lawyers as soon as you market your property and ask them to collate the leasehold information which will be required by the buyers lawyers.
  • In the event that you altered the property did you need the Landlord’s permission? In particular have you laid down wooden flooring? Most leases in Heath state that internal structural alterations or addition of wooden flooring necessitate a licence from the Landlord consenting to such alterations. Where you fail to have the paperwork in place do not communicate with the landlord without contacting your lawyer before hand.
  • A minority of Heath leases require Landlord’s consent to the sale and approval of the buyers. If this applies to your lease, it would be prudent to notify your estate agents to make sure that the purchasers obtain bank and professional references. Any bank reference will need to confirm that the buyers are financially capable of paying the yearly 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 purchasers or their lawyers.
  • If you are supposed to have a share in the Management Company, you should ensure that you hold the original share document. Arranging a re-issued share certificate is often a time consuming formality and frustrates many a Heath home move. If a reissued share is required, you should approach the company officers or managing agents (where applicable) 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 verify this via your conveyancers. A purchaser's lawyer will not be happy to advise their client to to exchange contracts if the remaining number of years is under 80 years. It is therefore essential at an as soon as possible 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.

  • What makes a Heath lease unacceptable for security purposes?

    There is nothing unique about leasehold conveyancing in Heath. All leases are individual and legal mistakes in the legal wording can sometimes mean that certain sections are wrong. For example, if your lease is missing any of the following, it could be defective:

    • Repairing obligations to or maintain parts of the property
    • A duty to insure the building
    • A provision for the recovery of money spent for the benefit of another party.
    • Service charge per centages that don't add up correctly leaving a shortfall

    A defective lease can cause issues when trying to sell a property primarily because it impacts on the ability to obtain a mortgage on the property. Santander, Norwich and Peterborough Building Society, and Clydesdale all have express requirements when it comes to what is expected in a lease. Where a lender has been advised by their lawyers that the lease is defective they may refuse to provide security, obliging the purchaser to pull out.

    I inherited a leasehold flat in Heath, conveyancing was carried out in 1999. Can you let me have an estimated range of the fair premium for a lease extension? Equivalent flats in Heath with an extended lease are worth £193,000. The ground rent is £45 charged once a year. The lease expires on 21st October 2091

    With 70 years left to run the likely cost is going to be between £12,400 and £14,200 plus costs.

    The figure that we have given is a general guide to costs for renewing a lease, but we cannot give you a more accurate figure without more detailed investigations. You should not use the figures in a Notice of Claim or as an informal offer. There are no doubt other concerns that need to be taken into account and you obviously want to be as accurate as possible in your negotiations. Neither should you take any other action based on this information before getting professional advice.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Heath