Fixed-fee leasehold conveyancing in Belmont:

While any conveyancing practice can theoretically handle your leasehold conveyancing in Belmont, your mortgage provider may not be willing to work with them if the firm are not on their list of approved solicitors for conveyancing

Frequently asked questions relating to Belmont leasehold conveyancing

I've recently bought a leasehold house in Belmont. Am I liable to pay service charges for periods before my ownership?

In a situation 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. However, your landlord may still be able to take action to forfeit the lease. A critical element of leasehold conveyancing for your conveyancer to ensure 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 long established estate agent office in Belmont where we have witnessed a few leasehold sales jeopardised due to short leases. I have received conflicting advice from local Belmont conveyancing firms. Could you shed some light as to whether the owner of a flat can commence the lease extension formalities for the purchaser on completion of the sale?

Provided that the seller has been the owner 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. The benefit of this is that the buyer need not have 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 sale.

An alternative approach is 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.

What are your top tips when it comes to appointing a Belmont conveyancing practice to carry out our lease extension conveyancing?

If you are instructing a conveyancer for your lease extension (regardless if they are a Belmont conveyancing firm) it is imperative 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 Belmont conveyancing practices prior to instructing a firm. If the firm is ALEP accredited then so much the better. Some following of questions might be of use:

  • How experienced is the practice with lease extension legislation?
  • Can they put you in touch with client in Belmont who can give a testimonial?

  • Can you provide any top tips for leasehold conveyancing in Belmont with the intention of speeding up the sale process?

    • Much of the delay in leasehold conveyancing in Belmont can be bypassed where you get in touch lawyers the minute you market your property and request that they start to put together the leasehold information needed by the purchasers’ solicitors.
    • The majority freeholders or managing agents in Belmont charge for providing management packs for a leasehold property. You or your lawyers should enquire as to the actual amount of the charges. The management information can be applied for 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 Belmont.
  • Some Belmont leases require Licence to Assign from the landlord. If this applies to your lease, you should notify your estate agents to make sure that the purchasers obtain financial (bank) and professional references. Any bank reference should make it clear that the buyer is able to meet 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 buyers or their lawyers.
  • If you have had conflict with your freeholder or managing agents it is essential that these are settled prior to the flat being put on the market. The purchasers and their solicitors will be nervous about purchasing a flat where there is a current dispute. You will have to accept that you will have to discharge any arrears of service charge or resolve the dispute prior to the buyers completing the purchase. It is therefore preferable to have any dispute settled ahead of the contract papers being issued to the buyers’ solicitors. You are still duty bound to disclose details of the dispute to the purchasers, but it is clearly preferable to present the dispute as over rather than ongoing.
  • If you hold a share in a the Management Company, you should make sure that you hold the original share certificate. Obtaining a re-issued share certificate is often a time consuming formality and slows down many a Belmont home move. Where a new share is necessary, you should approach the company officers or managing agents (if applicable) for this sooner rather than later.

  • Following years of dialogue we are unable to agree with our landlord on how much the lease extension should cost for our flat in Belmont. Does the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal have jurisdiction to calculate the appropriate figures?

    in cases where there is a missing freeholder or if there is dispute about the premium for a lease extension, under the relevant legislation you can apply to the First-tier Tribunal (Property Chamber) to decide the premium.

    An example of a Lease Extension decision for a Belmont premises is 33 The Maisonettes Alberta Avenue in June 2014. the Tribunal decided that the premium payable for the grant of a new lease be the sum of £20,680 (Twenty Thousand six hundred and eighty pounds). This case related to 1 flat. The the unexpired term as at the valuation date was 60.43 years.

    What makes a Belmont lease unacceptable for security purposes?

    There is nothing unique about leasehold conveyancing in Belmont. Most leases are unique and legal mistakes in the legal wording can result in certain clauses are missing. For example, if your lease is missing any of the following, it could be defective:

    • Repairing obligations to or maintain parts of the building
    • Insurance obligations
    • A provision for the recovery of money spent for the benefit of another party.
    • Maintenance charge proportions which don’t add up to the correct percentage

    A defective lease will likely cause problems when trying to sell a property primarily because it impacts on the ability to obtain a mortgage on the property. Yorkshire Building Society, Bank of Scotland, and Bank of Ireland all have very detailed conveyancing instructions when it comes to what is expected in a lease. If a mortgage lender believes that the lease is defective they may refuse to grant the mortgage, obliging the purchaser to withdraw.