Fixed-fee leasehold conveyancing in Cambridge Heath:

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

Top Five Questions relating to Cambridge Heath leasehold conveyancing

I am on look out for some leasehold conveyancing in Cambridge Heath. Before I set the wheels in motion I would like to find out the remaining lease term.

Assuming the lease is registered - and 99.9% are in Cambridge Heath - then the leasehold title will always include the basic details 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 looking at a two apartments in Cambridge Heath both have approximately 50 years unexpired on the leases. Will this present a problem?

There are no two ways about it. A leasehold apartment in Cambridge Heath is a deteriorating asset as a result of the shortening lease. The closer the lease gets to its expiry date, the more it reduces the marketability of the premises. For most buyers and lenders, leases with under eighty years become less and less attractive. 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 property 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 Cambridge Heath conveyancing experts who will explain the options available to you during an initial telephone conversation free of charge. A more straightforward and quicker method of extending would be to contact your landlord directly and sound him out on the prospect of extending the lease You may find he or she is happy to negotiate informally and willing to consider your offer straight off, without having to involve anyone else. This will save you time and money and it could help you reach a lower price on the lease. 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 house in Cambridge Heath. Do I have any liability for service charges relating to a period prior to my ownership?

In a situation 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).

I work for a reputable estate agent office in Cambridge Heath where we have experienced a number of flat sales jeopardised due to short leases. I have been given conflicting advice from local Cambridge Heath conveyancing solicitors. Can you confirm whether the seller of a flat can commence the lease extension process for the buyer?

Provided that the seller has owned the lease 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. 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 has to be done before, or simultaneously with completion of the disposal of the property.

Alternatively, it may be possible 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 purchaser.

Can you provide any top tips for leasehold conveyancing in Cambridge Heath with the aim of expediting the sale process?

  • Much of the frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Cambridge Heath can be reduced where you get in touch lawyers as soon as you market your property and ask them to put together the leasehold information which will be required by the purchasers’ representatives.
  • The majority landlords or Management Companies in Cambridge Heath charge for providing management packs for a leasehold property. You or your lawyers should find out the fee that they propose to charge. The management information sought on or before finding a buyer, thus accelerating the process. The typical amount of time it takes to receive management information is three weeks. It is the most usual reason for delay in leasehold conveyancing in Cambridge Heath.
  • A minority of Cambridge Heath leases require Landlord’s consent to the sale and approval of the buyers. If this applies to your lease, you should place the estate agents on notice to make sure that the purchasers put in hand financial (bank) and professional references. The 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 purchasers or their lawyers.
  • If there is a history of conflict with your freeholder or managing agents it is essential that these are settled before the property is put on the market. The purchasers and their solicitors will be concerned about purchasing a property where a dispute is unresolved. You may have to bite the bullet and pay any arrears of service charge or settle 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 will still have to reveal particulars of the dispute to the buyers, but it is clearly preferable to present the dispute as historic rather than unresolved.
  • You believe that you know the number of years left on your lease but it would be advisable double-check via your solicitors. A buyer’s lawyer will be unlikely to recommend their client to to exchange contracts if the remaining number of years is less than 80 years. In the circumstances it is important at an early stage that you consider whether the lease term requires a lease extension. If it does, contact your solicitors before you put your premises on the market for sale.

  • I am the leaseholder of a two-bedroom flat in Cambridge Heath. Given that I can not reach agreement with the landlord, can the Leasehold valuation Tribunal make a decision on the amount due for a lease extension?

    in cases where there is a missing freeholder or if there is dispute about the premium for a lease extension, under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 you can apply to the First-tier Tribunal (Property Chamber) to judgment on the price.

    An example of a Freehold Enfranchisement matter before the tribunal for a Cambridge Heath residence is 26 Rhondda Grove in June 2009. The net price payable by the leaseholders as determined by the Tribunal was £3,015.13. This comprised £11,300 premium for the reversion less £8,284.87 costs as ordered by the County Court.