Experts for Leasehold Conveyancing in Heathfield

Leasehold conveyancing in Heathfield 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 Heathfield and throughout next step up in loc. The lawyers we recommend have been approved by your lender so use our search tool to check.

Heathfield leasehold conveyancing Example Support Desk Enquiries

Last month I purchased a leasehold flat in Heathfield. Do I have any liability for service charges relating to a period prior to completion of my purchase?

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 work for a reputable estate agency in Heathfield where we see a number of flat sales jeopardised due to short leases. I have been given conflicting advice from local Heathfield conveyancing firms. Please can you clarify whether the vendor of a flat can initiate the lease extension process for the purchaser on completion of the sale?

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 can avoid having 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 at the same time as completion of the disposal of the property.

An alternative approach is 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.

Do you have any advice for leasehold conveyancing in Heathfield with the purpose of saving time on the sale process?

  • A significant proportion of the frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Heathfield can be avoided where you appoint lawyers as soon as you market your property and ask them to collate the leasehold documentation needed by the buyers lawyers.
  • Many landlords or Management Companies in Heathfield levy fees for supplying management packs for a leasehold homes. You or your lawyers should discover the actual amount of the charges. The management pack sought on or before finding a buyer, thus reducing delays. The average time it takes to receive management information is three weeks. It is the most common cause of delay in leasehold conveyancing in Heathfield.
  • A minority of Heathfield leases require Licence to Assign from the landlord. If this is the case, it would be prudent to place the estate agents on notice to make sure that the purchasers obtain bank and professional references. Any bank reference should make it clear that the buyer is financially capable of paying 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 actual amount of the service charge so that they can pass this information on to the purchasers or their lawyers.
  • If you have the benefit of shareholding in the freehold, you should make sure that you are holding the original share certificate. Organising a re-issued share certificate is often a time consuming process and delays many a Heathfield home move. If a duplicate share is needed, do contact the company officers or managing agents (if relevant) for this at the earliest opportunity.
  • You believe that you know the number of years remaining on your lease but you should verify this by asking your lawyers. A buyer’s lawyer will be unlikely to recommend their client to proceed with the purchase of a leasehold property the remaining number of years is less than 80 years. It is therefore important at an early stage that you consider 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 the sale of our £450000 flat in Heathfield in just under a week. The freeholder has quoted £324 for Landlord’s certificate, insurance certificate and 3 years service charge statements. Is it legal for a freeholder to charge exorbitant fees for a leasehold conveyance in Heathfield?

    Heathfield conveyancing on leasehold maisonettes ordinarily necessitates administration charges raised by landlords agents :

    • Completing pre-contract enquiries
    • Where consent is required before sale in Heathfield
    • 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 conveyancer will have no control over the level of the charges for this information but the average costs for the information for Heathfield leasehold premises is £350. For Heathfield 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.

    What makes a Heathfield lease unacceptable for security purposes?

    Leasehold conveyancing in Heathfield is not unique. Most leases are unique and legal mistakes in the legal wording can sometimes mean that certain clauses are missing. The following missing provisions could result in a defective lease:

    • A provision to repair to or maintain parts of the property
    • Insurance obligations
    • Clauses dealing with recovering service charges for expenditure on the building or common parts.
    • Service charge per centages that don't add up correctly leaving a shortfall

    A defective lease will likely cause issues when trying to sell a property primarily because it impacts on the ability to obtain a mortgage on the property. Nationwide Building Society, The Mortgage Works, and Aldermore 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 grant the mortgage, obliging the buyer to pull out.

    I inherited a 1st floor flat in Heathfield, conveyancing formalities finalised 4 years ago. Can you give me give me an indication of the likely cost of a lease extension? Comparable properties in Heathfield with an extended lease are worth £235,000. The ground rent is £50 yearly. The lease runs out on 21st October 2100

    With just 76 years unexpired the likely cost is going to be between £8,600 and £9,800 as well as plus your own and the landlord's "reasonable" professional fees.

    The figure above a general guide to costs for renewing a lease, but we are not able to provide a more accurate figure without more detailed due diligence. Do not use this information in tribunal or court proceedings. There are no doubt other issues that need to be considered and you obviously should be as accurate as possible in your negotiations. Please do not take any other action based on this information without first seeking the advice of a professional.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Heathfield