Quality lawyers for Leasehold Conveyancing in Knutsford

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Top Five Questions relating to Knutsford leasehold conveyancing

I have just started marketing my basement apartment in Knutsford.Conveyancing has not commenced but I have just had a half-yearly maintenance charge invoice – Do I pay up?

Your conveyancing lawyer is likely to suggest that you should discharge the invoice 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.

Back In 2007, I bought a leasehold flat in Knutsford. Conveyancing and The Royal Bank of Scotland mortgage are in place. A letter has just been received from someone claiming to own the reversionary interest in the property. It included a demand for arrears of ground rent dating back to 1998. The conveyancing practitioner in Knutsford who acted for me is not around.Do I pay?

First make enquiries of HMLR to make sure that this person is in fact the registered owner of the freehold reversion. There is no need to instruct a Knutsford conveyancing solicitor to do this as it can be done on-line for £3. You should note that in any event, even if this is the legitimate landlord, under the Limitation Act 1980 the limitation period for recovery of ground rent is six years.

Last month I purchased a leasehold flat in Knutsford. Am I liable to pay service charges for periods before 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. Strange as it may seem, 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).

Do you have any top tips for leasehold conveyancing in Knutsford from the perspective of saving time on the sale process?

  • Much of the delay in leasehold conveyancing in Knutsford can be bypassed if you get in touch lawyers as soon as your agents start advertising the property and request that they start to collate the leasehold information which will be required by the buyers conveyancers.
  • In the event that you altered the property did you need the Landlord’s approval? Have you, for example laid down wooden flooring? Knutsford leases often stipulate that internal structural changes or laying down wooden flooring necessitate a licence issued by the Landlord approving such alterations. Where you dont have the consents to hand you should not contact the landlord without contacting your conveyancer in the first instance.
  • Some Knutsford leases require Licence to Assign from the landlord. If this is the case, you should place the estate agents on notice to make sure that the purchasers obtain bank and professional references. Any 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 purchasers or their lawyers.
  • If you have had any disputes with your landlord or managing agents it is very important that these are resolved before the property is put on the market. The purchasers and their solicitors will be reluctant to purchase a flat where there is an ongoing dispute. You may have to bite the bullet and pay any arrears of service charge or resolve the dispute prior to completion of the sale. It is therefore preferable to have any dispute settled prior to 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 better to reveal the dispute as over rather than unresolved.
  • You may think that you are aware of the number of years left on your lease but you should double-check via your lawyers. A buyer’s lawyer will not be happy to advise their client to to exchange contracts if the remaining number of years is less than 75 years. In the circumstances it is 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 property on the market for sale.

  • Completion in due on the disposal of our £300000 maisonette in Knutsford in just under a week. The management company has quoted £372 for Landlord’s certificate, insurance certificate and previous years service charge statements. Is it legal for a freeholder to charge exorbitant fees for a leasehold conveyance in Knutsford?

    Knutsford conveyancing on leasehold apartments normally results in administration charges invoiced by managing agents :

    • Answering conveyancing due diligence enquiries
    • Where consent is required before sale in Knutsford
    • Supplying insurance information
    • Deeds of covenant upon sale
    • Registering of the assignment of the change of lessee after a sale
    Your lawyer will have no control over the level of the charges for this information but the average costs for the information for Knutsford leasehold property is £350. For Knutsford 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 required to supply the information.

    Knutsford Conveyancing for Leasehold Flats - Examples of Questions you should consider Prior to buying

      Please inform me if there are any major works in the planning that will likely increase the service fees? Best to be warned if redecorating or some other major work is coming up to be shared by the leaseholders and could well materially impact the level of the service costs or require a one time payment. Is the freehold owned collectively by the tenants?

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Knutsford