Experts for Leasehold Conveyancing in Hungerford

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Hungerford leasehold conveyancing: Q and A’s

I have just started marketing my garden apartment in Hungerford.Conveyancing is yet to be initiated but I have just had a yearly maintenance charge demand – Do I pay up?

The sensible thing to do is 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 unless 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 Hungerford. Do I have any liability for service charges for periods before completion of my purchase?

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. 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 am a negotiator for a busy estate agent office in Hungerford where we have experienced a number of flat sales put at risk due to short leases. I have been given contradictory information from local Hungerford conveyancing solicitors. Can you confirm whether the owner 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 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 has to be done prior to, or at the same time as completion of the disposal of the property.

Alternatively, it may be possible 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.

What advice can you give us when it comes to choosing a Hungerford conveyancing firm to carry out our lease extension conveyancing?

When appointing a property lawyer for lease extension works (regardless if they are a Hungerford conveyancing firm) it is most important that he or she should be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of conveyancing. We recommend that you talk with several firms including non Hungerford 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 useful:

  • How many lease extensions has the firm conducted in Hungerford in the last 12 months?
  • What are the legal fees for lease extension conveyancing?

  • We expect to complete the sale of our £275000 apartment in Hungerford next Monday . The freeholder has quoted £300 for Landlord’s certificate, building insurance schedule and 3 years statements of service charge. Is the landlord entitled to charge an administration fee for a flat conveyance in Hungerford?

    Hungerford conveyancing on leasehold maisonettes typically involves administration charges levied by landlords agents :

    • Answering pre-contract questions
    • Where consent is required before sale in Hungerford
    • Supplying insurance information
    • Deeds of covenant upon sale
    • Registering of the assignment of the change of lessee after a sale
    Your solicitor will have no control over the level of the charges for this information but the average costs for the information for Hungerford leasehold property is £350. For Hungerford 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 obliged to supply answers.

    I am the registered owner of a 1st floor flat in Hungerford, conveyancing formalities finalised in 1999. Can you let me have an estimated range of the fair premium for a lease extension? Comparable properties in Hungerford with a long lease are worth £255,000. The average or mid-range amount of ground rent is £60 invoiced annually. The lease finishes on 21st October 2087

    With only 66 years left to run we estimate the premium for your lease extension to be between £13,300 and £15,400 as well as plus your own and the landlord's "reasonable" professional fees.

    The figure above a general guide to costs for extending a lease, but we cannot give you the actual costs in the absence of detailed investigations. Do not use this information in tribunal or court proceedings. There are no doubt other issues that need to be taken into account and clearly you should be as accurate as possible in your negotiations. Please do not take any other action based on this information before seeking the advice of a professional.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Hungerford