Guaranteed fixed fees for Leasehold Conveyancing in Highnam

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

Highnam leasehold conveyancing: Q and A’s

I have just appointed agents to market my ground floor flat in Highnam.Conveyancing solicitors are to be appointed soon but I have just received a yearly service charge demand – should I leave it to the buyer to sort out?

Your conveyancing lawyer is likely to suggest that you should clear 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 managing agents 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. Having a clear account will assist your cause and will leave you no worse off financially.

I am hoping to put an offer on a small detached house that appears to be perfect, at a reasonable figure which is making it all the more appealing. I have subsequently found out that the title is leasehold as opposed to freehold. I would have thought that there are particular concerns purchasing a leasehold house in Highnam. Conveyancing lawyers have not yet been instructed. Will my lawyers set out the implications of buying a leasehold house in Highnam ?

Most houses in Highnam are freehold rather than leasehold. This is one of the situations where having a local solicitor used to dealing with such properties who can help the conveyancing process. We note that you are buying in Highnam so you should seriously consider shopping around for a Highnam conveyancing solicitor and be sure that they are used to advising on leasehold houses. As a matter of priority you will need to check the number of years remaining. As a lessee you will not be at liberty to do whatever you want with the house. The lease comes with conditions such as requiring the freeholder’sconsent to carry out alterations. It may be necessary to pay a service charge towards the upkeep of the estate where the house is part of an estate. Your lawyer should appraise you on the various issues.

Last month I purchased a leasehold house in Highnam. Do I have any liability for service charges relating to a period prior to my ownership?

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. 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 am employed by a reputable estate agent office in Highnam where we see a few leasehold sales jeopardised as a result of leases having less than 80 years remaining. I have received contradictory information from local Highnam conveyancing firms. Please can you clarify whether the owner of a flat can instigate the lease extension process for the purchaser on completion of the sale?

Provided that 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. The benefit of this is that the buyer 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 needs to be completed before, or simultaneously with 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.

Can you provide any advice for leasehold conveyancing in Highnam from the point of view of speeding up the sale process?

  • Much of the frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Highnam can be avoided if you appoint lawyers the minute you market your property and ask them to collate the leasehold documentation needed by the purchasers’ solicitors.
  • The majority freeholders or managing agents in Highnam charge for providing management packs for a leasehold premises. You or your lawyers should find out the fee that they propose to charge. The management pack can be applied for on or before finding a buyer, thus accelerating the process. The typical amount of time it takes to obtain the necessary information is three weeks. It is the most common cause of delay in leasehold conveyancing in Highnam.
  • Some Highnam leases require Landlord’s consent to the sale and approval of the buyers. If this is the case, you should notify your estate agents to make sure that the purchasers put in hand bank and professional references. The 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 buyers or their lawyers.
  • If you have had conflict with your freeholder or managing agents it is essential that these are resolved before the property is marketed. The buyers and their solicitors will be reluctant to purchase a flat where a dispute is ongoing. You will have to accept that you will have to pay any arrears of service charge or settle the dispute prior to the buyers completing the purchase. It is therefore preferable to have any dispute settled ahead of the contract papers being issued to the buyers’ solicitors. You are still duty bound to disclose details of the dispute to the buyers, but it is clearly preferable to reveal the dispute as historic rather than ongoing.
  • 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 lawyers. A buyer’s lawyer will be unlikely to recommend their client to where the remaining number of years is under 80 years. It is therefore important at an early stage that you consider whether the lease requires a lease extension. If it does, contact your solicitors before you put your premises on the market for sale.

  • Leasehold Conveyancing in Highnam - Examples of Queries Prior to buying

      Is there a share of the freehold? How much is the ground rent and service charge? How many of the leaseholders are in arrears for their maintenance charge payments?

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Highnam