Fixed-fee leasehold conveyancing in Littleport:

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Top Five Questions relating to Littleport leasehold conveyancing

I have just started marketing my basement apartment in Littleport.Conveyancing solicitors are to be appointed soon but I have just received a quarterly 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 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 today plan to offer on a house that appears to tick a lot of boxes, at a reasonable figure which is making it all the more appealing. I have subsequently discovered that the title is leasehold as opposed to freehold. I am assuming that there are particular concerns purchasing a house with a leasehold title in Littleport. Conveyancing advisers have not yet been instructed. Will my lawyers set out the implications of buying a leasehold house in Littleport ?

Most houses in Littleport are freehold rather than leasehold. In this scenario it’s worth having a local solicitor used to dealing with such properties who can help the conveyancing process. It is clear that you are purchasing in Littleport so you should seriously consider looking for a Littleport conveyancing solicitor and check that they have experience in transacting on leasehold houses. As a matter of priority you will need to check the unexpired lease term. Being a tenant you will not be at liberty to do whatever you want with the house. The lease will likely included provisions such as requiring the landlord’sconsent to conduct changes to the property. You may also be required to pay a service charge towards the upkeep of the estate where the house is part of an estate. Your lawyer should report to you on the legal implications.

I am employed by a long established estate agent office in Littleport where we have experienced a number of flat sales jeopardised as a result of short leases. I have been given inconsistent advice from local Littleport conveyancing firms. Could you confirm whether the seller of a flat can start the lease extension process for the purchaser on completion of the sale?

As long as 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. This means that the buyer can avoid having to wait 2 years to extend their lease. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment needs to be completed before, or at the same time as completion of the disposal of the property.

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 purchaser.

We expect to complete our sale of a £175000 garden flat in Littleport in just under a week. The managing agents has quoted £348 for Landlord’s certificate, insurance certificate and 3 years statements of service charge. Is the landlord entitled to charge such fees for a leasehold conveyance in Littleport?

For most leasehold sales in Littleport conveyancing will involve, queries regarding the management of a building inevitably needing to be answered directly by the freeholder or its agent, this includes :

  • Completing pre-exchange questions
  • Where consent is required before sale in Littleport
  • Copies of the building insurance and schedule
  • 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 Littleport leasehold premises is £350. For Littleport 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 provide answers.

In relation to leasehold conveyancing in Littleport what are the most frequent lease defects?

There is nothing unique about leasehold conveyancing in Littleport. Most leases is drafted differently and legal mistakes in the legal wording can sometimes mean that certain provisions are missing. The following missing provisions could result in a defective lease:

  • A provision to repair to or maintain parts of the building
  • A duty to insure the building
  • Clauses dealing with recovering service charges for expenditure on the building or common parts.
  • Service charge per centages that don't add up correctly leaving a shortfall

You will 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. Santander, Skipton Building Society, and Barclays Direct all have express conveyancing instructions when it comes to what is expected in a lease. Where a lender has been advised by their lawyers that the lease does not cover certain provisions they may refuse to grant the mortgage, forcing the buyer to withdraw.

I invested in buying a 1 bedroom flat in Littleport, conveyancing was carried out 10 years ago. Can you work out an approximate cost of a lease extension? Corresponding flats in Littleport with over 90 years remaining are worth £208,000. The average or mid-range amount of ground rent is £45 invoiced annually. The lease expires on 21st October 2077

With 57 years remaining on your lease the likely cost is going to range between £25,700 and £29,600 plus legals.

The suggested premium range that we have given is a general guide to costs for extending a lease, but we cannot give you the actual costs without more detailed due diligence. You should not use the figures in tribunal or court proceedings. There may be other concerns that need to be taken into account and you obviously want to be as accurate as possible in your negotiations. Neither should you move forward based on this information without first getting professional advice.

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Lease Extensions in Littleport