Common questions relating to High Wycombe leasehold conveyancing
Looking forward to sign contracts shortly on a ground floor flat in High Wycombe. Conveyancing lawyers inform me that they are sending me a report next week. What should I be looking out for?
The report on title for your leasehold conveyancing in High Wycombe should include some of the following:
- Details of the parties to the lease, for example these could be the leaseholder (you), head lessor, freeholder
I've recently bought a leasehold property in High Wycombe. Am I liable to pay service charges relating to a period prior to my ownership?
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. A critical element 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 long established estate agent office in High Wycombe where we have witnessed a few flat sales put at risk due to short leases. I have received conflicting advice from local High Wycombe conveyancing solicitors. Please 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?
As long as the seller has owned the lease for at least 2 years it is possible, to serve a Section 42 notice to 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 to extend their lease. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment needs to be completed prior to, 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.
What advice can you give us when it comes to finding a High Wycombe conveyancing practice to carry out our lease extension conveyancing?
If you are instructing a conveyancer for lease extension works (regardless if they are a High Wycombe conveyancing firm) it is essential that they be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of conveyancing. We advise that you talk with several firms including non High Wycombe conveyancing practices before you instructing a firm. Where the conveyancing practice is ALEP accredited then so much the better. Some following of questions might be helpful:
- How experienced is the practice with lease extension legislation?
If all goes to plan we aim to complete the disposal of our £400000 apartment in High Wycombe in 8 days. The management company has quoted £384 for Landlord’s certificate, insurance certificate and previous years statements of service charge. Is it legal for a freeholder to charge exorbitant fees for a flat conveyance in High Wycombe?
High Wycombe conveyancing on leasehold apartments normally necessitates the buyer’s lawyer submitting enquiries for the landlord to address. Although the landlord is not legally bound to respond to such questions the majority will be content to do so. They may invoice a reasonable charge for responding to enquiries or supplying documentation. There is no set fee. The average costs for the paperwork that you are referring to is over three hundred pounds, in some transactions it is in excess of £800. The administration charge demanded by the landlord must be accompanied by a synopsis of rights and obligations in respect of administration charges, without which the invoice is technically not due. Reality however dictates that one has no choice but to pay whatever is demanded if you want to exchange contracts with the buyer.
I acquired a 1 bedroom flat in High Wycombe, conveyancing was carried out 2011. Can you work out an approximate cost of a lease extension? Corresponding flats in High Wycombe with a long lease are worth £205,000. The average or mid-range amount of ground rent is £45 per annum. The lease expires on 21st October 2091
With 71 years unexpired we estimate the premium for your lease extension to span between £12,400 and £14,200 as well as professional fees.
The suggested premium range that we have given is a general guide to costs for renewing a lease, but we cannot give you the actual costs without more detailed due diligence. You should not use this information in tribunal or court proceedings. There are no doubt other issues that need to be considered and clearly you should be as accurate as possible in your negotiations. You should not move forward placing reliance on this information before getting professional advice.