Fixed-fee leasehold conveyancing in Heathfield:

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Top Five Questions relating to Heathfield leasehold conveyancing

I am on look out for some leasehold conveyancing in Heathfield. Before diving in I require certainty as to the remaining lease term.

If the lease is recorded at the land registry - and 99.9% are in Heathfield - 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 Heathfield which have about fifty years left on the leases. Should I regard a short lease as a deal breaker?

There is no doubt about it. A leasehold apartment in Heathfield is a wasting asset as a result of the reducing lease term. The nearer the lease gets to zero years unexpired, the more it reduces the salability of the property. The majority of buyers and banks, 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 Heathfield conveyancing experts who will explain the options available to you during an initial telephone conversation free of charge. A more straightforward and quicker method of extending would be to contact your landlord directly and sound him out on the prospect of extending 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 employed by a long established estate agent office in Heathfield where we have experienced a number of leasehold sales jeopardised as a result of short leases. I have received conflicting advice from local Heathfield conveyancing solicitors. Could you clarify whether the seller of a flat can start the lease extension process for the purchaser on completion of the sale?

As long as the seller has been the owner 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. This means 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 sale.

An alternative approach is to agree the lease extension with the freeholder 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 offer any advice when it comes to choosing a Heathfield conveyancing firm to deal with our lease extension?

When appointing a solicitor for your lease extension (regardless if they are a Heathfield conveyancing firm) it is essential that they be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of conveyancing. We recommend that you make enquires with several firms including non Heathfield conveyancing practices before you instructing a firm. Where the conveyancing practice is ALEP accredited then that’s a bonus. Some following of questions could be helpful:

  • How experienced is the practice with lease extension legislation?
  • If they are not ALEP accredited then why not?

  • If all goes to plan we aim to complete the sale of our £450000 flat in Heathfield next Wednesday . The management company has quoted £420 for Landlord’s certificate, building insurance schedule and 3 years statements of service charge. Is it legal for a freeholder to charge such fees for a leasehold conveyance in Heathfield?

    Heathfield conveyancing on leasehold maisonettes normally necessitates the buyer’s conveyancer submitting questions for the landlord to address. Although the landlord is not legally bound to address these enquiries most will be content to do so. They may invoice a reasonable administration fee for answering enquiries or supplying documentation. There is no set fee. The average fee for the paperwork that you are referring to is £350, in some situations it exceeds £800. The management information fee required by the landlord must be sent together with a synopsis of rights and obligations in relation to administration fees, otherwise the invoice is technically not due. In reality you have little option but to pay whatever is demanded if you want to sell the property.

    Heathfield Conveyancing for Leasehold Flats - A selection of Questions you should ask Prior to Purchasing

      Are any of leasehold owners in dispute over their service charge payments? What is the yearly service fee and ground rent? It is important to be aware if redecorating or some other significant cost is anticipated that will be shared between the leaseholders and will dramatically increase the the maintenance charges or necessitate a specific payment.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Heathfield