Experts for Leasehold Conveyancing in Henbury

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Henbury leasehold conveyancing: Q and A’s

I have just appointed agents to market my garden apartment in Henbury.Conveyancing lawyers have not yet been instructed but I have just received a yearly service charge demand – what should I do?

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've recently bought a leasehold property in Henbury. Am I liable to pay service charges for periods before my ownership?

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. 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 busy estate agent office in Henbury where we see a few leasehold sales put at risk as a result of short leases. I have received inconsistent advice from local Henbury conveyancing solicitors. Can you shed some light as to whether the vendor of a flat can commence the lease extension formalities 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 kick-start the lease extension process and assign the benefit of the notice to the purchaser. This means that the proposed purchaser can avoid having to sit tight for 2 years for a lease extension. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment has to be done prior to, or at the same time as 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 buyer.

What are your top tips when it comes to choosing a Henbury conveyancing practice to carry out our lease extension conveyancing?

When appointing a solicitor for your lease extension (regardless if they are a Henbury conveyancing practice) it is imperative that he or she should be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of conveyancing. We suggested that you make enquires with two or three firms including non Henbury conveyancing practices prior to instructing a firm. If the firm is ALEP accredited then so much the better. Some following of questions might be of use:

  • If they are not ALEP accredited then what is the reason?
  • Can they put you in touch with client in Henbury who can give a testimonial?

  • Are there common problems that you witness in leases for Henbury properties?

    There is nothing unique about leasehold conveyancing in Henbury. All leases are unique and legal mistakes in the legal wording can sometimes mean that certain provisions are erroneous. The following missing provisions could result in a defective lease:

    • Repairing obligations to or maintain parts of the building
    • 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 will have difficulties when selling your property if you have a defective lease as they can affect a potential buyer’s ability to obtain a mortgage. Halifax, Chelsea Building Society, and Alliance & Leicester all have express requirements when it comes to what is expected in a lease. If a mortgage lender believes that the lease is defective they may refuse to grant the mortgage, forcing the buyer to withdraw.

    I inherited a 1st floor flat in Henbury, conveyancing formalities finalised half a dozen years ago. How much will my lease extension cost? Comparable properties in Henbury with a long lease are worth £220,000. The ground rent is £50 levied per year. The lease runs out on 21st October 2089

    With just 68 years left to run the likely cost is going to be between £14,300 and £16,400 plus legals.

    The figure that we have given is a general guide to costs for renewing a lease, but we are not able to advice on a more accurate figure in the absence of comprehensive due diligence. Do not use this information in a Notice of Claim or as an informal offer. There may be additional issues that need to be taken into account and clearly you should be as accurate as possible in your negotiations. Please do not move forward placing reliance on this information without first seeking the advice of a professional.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Henbury