Recently asked questions relating to Littleport leasehold conveyancing
I am employed by a busy estate agent office in Littleport where we see a number of leasehold sales derailed due to leases having less than 80 years remaining. I have been given contradictory information from local Littleport conveyancing firms. Could you shed some light as to whether the seller of a flat can initiate the lease extension formalities for the purchaser on completion of the sale?
Provided that the seller has owned the lease 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 wait 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 sale.
An alternative approach is 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 buyer.
Can you offer any advice when it comes to choosing a Littleport conveyancing firm to deal with our lease extension?
If you are instructing a conveyancer for lease extension works (regardless if they are a Littleport conveyancing practice) it is most important that they be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of work. We suggested that you speak with two or three firms including non Littleport conveyancing practices prior to instructing a firm. If the firm is ALEP accredited then that’s a bonus. Some following of questions could be of use:
- How experienced is the firm with lease extension legislation?
Can you provide any top tips for leasehold conveyancing in Littleport from the perspective of speeding up the sale process?
- Much of the delay in leasehold conveyancing in Littleport can be reduced if you appoint lawyers the minute you market your property and request that they start to collate the leasehold information needed by the purchasers’ conveyancers.
- If you have carried out any alterations to the property would they have required Landlord’s consent? Have you, for example installed wooden flooring? Littleport leases often stipulate that internal structural alterations or laying down wooden flooring calls for a licence issued by the Landlord acquiescing to such works. Where you dont have the paperwork to hand you should not communicate with the landlord without checking with your lawyer in advance.
All being well we will complete the sale of our £225000 maisonette in Littleport next week. The managing agents has quoted £348 for Certificate of Compliance, building insurance schedule and previous years service charge statements. Is it legal for a freeholder to charge such fees for a leasehold conveyance in Littleport?
Littleport conveyancing on leasehold flats more often than not requires the purchaser’s solicitor sending questions for the landlord to answer. Although the landlord is not legally bound to address these enquiries the majority will be willing to assist. They are at liberty invoice a reasonable administration fee for responding to enquiries or supplying documentation. There is no upper cap for such fees. The average costs for the paperwork that you are referring to is over three hundred pounds, in some situations it is in excess of £800. The administration charge invoiced by the landlord must be sent together with a summary of entitlements and obligations in relation to administration fees, without which the invoice is technically not due. In reality you have little choice but to pay whatever is demanded if you want to exchange contracts with the buyer.
What makes a Littleport lease unmortgageable?
There is nothing unique about leasehold conveyancing in Littleport. All leases is drafted differently and legal mistakes in the legal wording can result in certain sections are wrong. The following missing provisions could result in a defective lease:
- Repairing obligations to or maintain elements of the property
- A duty to insure the building
- A provision for the recovery of money spent for the benefit of another party.
- Service charge per centages that don't add up correctly leaving a shortfall
You could encounter difficulties when selling your property if you have a defective lease as they can affect a potential buyer’s ability to obtain a mortgage. National Westminster Bank, Chelsea Building Society, and Godiva Mortgages Ltd all have very detailed requirements when it comes to what is expected in a lease. If a mortgage lender believes that the lease does not cover certain provisions they may refuse to provide security, obliging the buyer to withdraw.
Leasehold Conveyancing in Littleport - Sample of Queries before buying
The best form of lease structure is a share of the freehold. In this arrangement the leaseholders benefit from control and notwithstanding that a managing agent is usually employed if it is larger than a house conversion, the managing agent retained by the leaseholders.
The answer will be important as a) areas may cause problems for the building as the communal areas may start to deteriorate if maintenance are not paid for b) if the tenants have a dispute with the running of the building you will need to have full disclosure
Are any of leasehold owners in dispute over their service charge payments?