Fixed-fee leasehold conveyancing in Lewes:

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Common questions relating to Lewes leasehold conveyancing

Having had my offer accepted I require leasehold conveyancing in Lewes. Before diving in I would like to find out the unexpired term of the lease.

Assuming the lease is registered - and most are in Lewes - then the leasehold title will always include the short particulars of the lease, namely the date; the term; and the original parties. From a conveyancing perspective such details then enable any prospective buyer and lender to confirm that any lease they are looking at is the one relevant to that title.For any other purpose, such as confirming how long the term was granted for and calculating what is left, then the register should be sufficient on it's own.

I am tempted by the attractive purchase price for a couple of maisonettes in Lewes both have about fifty years remaining on the lease term. Do I need to be concerned?

There are no two ways about it. A leasehold flat in Lewes is a deteriorating asset as a result of the reducing lease term. The closer the lease gets to its expiry date, the more it adversely affects the salability of the premises. For most buyers and lenders, leases with less than eighty years become less and less marketable. On a more upbeat note, leaseholders can extend their leases by serving a Section 42 Notice. One stipulation is that they must have owned the premises for two years (unlike a Section 13 notice for purchasing the freehold, when leaseholders can participate from day one of ownership). When successful, they will have the right to an extension of 90 years to the current term and ground rent is effectively reduced to zero. Before moving forward with a purchase of property with a short lease term remaining you should talk to a solicitor specialising in lease extensions and leasehold enfranchisement. We are are happy to put you in touch with Lewes conveyancing experts who will explain the options available to you during an initial telephone conversation free of charge. More often than not it is possible to negotiate informally with the freeholder to extend the lease They may agree to a smaller lump sum and an increase in the ground rent, but to shorter extension terms in return. You need to ensure that the agreed terms represent good long-term value compared with the standard benefits of the Section 42 Notice and that onerous clauses are not inserted into any redrafting of the lease.

I've recently bought a leasehold property in Lewes. Do I have any liability for service charges relating to a period prior to completion of my purchase?

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. 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 Lewes with the purpose of saving time on the sale process?

  • Much of the delay in leasehold conveyancing in Lewes can be avoided where you instruct lawyers the minute your agents start marketing the property and request that they start to collate the leasehold documentation which will be required by the purchasers’ solicitors.
  • Many freeholders or Management Companies in Lewes charge for supplying management packs for a leasehold premises. You or your lawyers should enquire as to the fee that they propose to charge. The management pack sought as soon as you have 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 usual reason for delay in leasehold conveyancing in Lewes.
  • If you have carried out any alterations to the property would they have required Landlord’s consent? Have you, for example installed wooden flooring? Most leases in Lewes state that internal structural alterations or addition of wooden flooring require a licence from the Landlord consenting to such works. If you dont have the paperwork in place you should not contact the landlord without contacting your conveyancer before hand.
  • A minority of Lewes leases require Landlord’s consent to the sale and approval of the buyers. If this is the case, you should place the estate agents on notice to make sure that the purchasers put in hand financial (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 actual amount of the service charge so that they can pass this information on to the buyers or their solicitors.
  • If you have the benefit of shareholding in the Management Company, you should ensure that you have the original share document. Obtaining a re-issued share certificate is often a time consuming process and frustrates many a Lewes conveyancing deal. Where a reissued share certificate is necessary, do contact the company officers or managing agents (if applicable) for this as soon as possible.

  • We expect to complete the disposal of our £500000 flat in Lewes on Monday in a week. The freeholder has quoted £312 for Landlord’s certificate, building insurance schedule and 3 years statements of service charge. Is it legal for a freeholder to charge an administration fee for a flat conveyance in Lewes?

    Lewes conveyancing on leasehold maisonettes normally involves the buyer’s lawyer sending questions 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 charge a reasonable charge for responding to enquiries or supplying documentation. There is no upper cap for such fees. The average fee for the paperwork that you are referring to is over three hundred pounds, in some situations it exceeds £800. The administration charge required by the landlord must be sent together with a summary of entitlements and obligations in respect of administration charges, without which the invoice is not strictly payable. In reality you have little choice but to pay whatever is requested of you should you wish to complete the sale of your home.

    Lewes Conveyancing for Leasehold Flats - Sample of Questions you should ask Prior to Purchasing

      Does this lease have in excess of 85 years left? How is the lease structured? How much is the ground rent and service charge?

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Lewes