Guaranteed fixed fees for Leasehold Conveyancing in Cowley

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

Cowley leasehold conveyancing: Q and A’s

I've recently bought a leasehold property in Cowley. 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 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. It is an essential part 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).

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

If you are instructing a property lawyer for your lease extension (regardless if they are a Cowley conveyancing firm) it is essential that they be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of conveyancing. We recommend that you speak with two or three firms including non Cowley conveyancing practices prior to instructing a firm. Where the conveyancing practice is ALEP accredited then so much the better. Some following of questions could be of use:

  • How familiar is the firm with lease extension legislation?
  • What are the legal fees for lease extension work?

  • Do you have any advice for leasehold conveyancing in Cowley with the aim of speeding up the sale process?

    • Much of the delay in leasehold conveyancing in Cowley can be avoided if you appoint lawyers the minute your agents start marketing the property and ask them to collate the leasehold information which will be required by the purchasers’ solicitors.
    • A minority of Cowley leases require Landlord’s consent to the sale and approval of the buyers. If this applies to your lease, it would be prudent to place the estate agents on notice to make sure that the purchasers obtain bank and professional references. Any bank reference will need to confirm that the buyers are 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 any disputes with your landlord or managing agents it is essential that these are resolved prior to the flat being put on the market. The purchasers and their solicitors will be reluctant to purchase a flat where there is a current dispute. You will have to accept that you will have to 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 ahead of the contract papers being issued to the buyers’ solicitors. You will still have to reveal particulars of the dispute to the purchasers, but it is clearly preferable to reveal the dispute as over rather than unsettled.
  • If you are supposed to have a share in the Management Company, you should make sure that you are holding the original share certificate. Arranging a duplicate share certificate is often a lengthy formality and frustrates many a Cowley home move. If a new share certificate is required, you should approach the company officers or managing agents (where applicable) for this sooner rather than later.
  • You may think that you are aware of the number of years remaining on your lease but you should verify this via your conveyancers. A buyer’s conveyancer will not be happy to advise their client to to exchange contracts if the remaining number of years is under 75 years. In the circumstances it is essential at an as soon as possible that you consider whether the lease term for your property needs extending. If it does, contact your solicitors before you put your property on the market for sale.

  • If all goes to plan we aim to complete our sale of a £150000 garden flat in Cowley in just under a week. The landlords agents has quoted £324 for Certificate of Compliance, insurance certificate and 3 years statements of service charge. Is the landlord entitled to charge such fees for a leasehold conveyance in Cowley?

    Cowley conveyancing on leasehold apartments more often than not involves the purchaser’s solicitor sending enquiries for the landlord to address. Although the landlord is not legally bound to answer these enquiries the majority will be willing to do so. They are entitled levy a reasonable charge for responding to questions or supplying documentation. There is no set fee. The average fee for the information that you are referring to is £350, in some situations it is above £800. The administration charge required by the landlord must be sent together with a synopsis of rights and obligations in relation to administration charges, otherwise the invoice is technically not due. Reality however dictates that one has little choice but to pay whatever is demanded if you want to complete the sale of your home.

    I have had difficulty in trying to purchase the freehold in Cowley. Can the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal adjudicate on premiums?

    Absolutely. We are happy to put you in touch with a Cowley conveyancing firm who can help.

    An example of a Freehold Enfranchisement decision for a Cowley premises is 164 Nestles Avenue in October 2013. The tribunal agreed with the proposed price of £20,158 for the freehold and determined that that sum is the amount to be paid into court This case related to 2 flats. The unexpired term was 69 years.

    Are there common deficiencies that you come across in leases for Cowley properties?

    Leasehold conveyancing in Cowley is not unique. All leases are individual and drafting errors can sometimes mean that certain clauses are wrong. For example, if your lease is missing any of the following, it could be defective:

    • Repairing obligations to or maintain parts of the property
    • A duty to insure the building
    • 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 can cause problems when trying to sell a property primarily because it impacts on the ability to obtain a mortgage on the property. National Westminster Bank, Norwich and Peterborough Building Society, and Britannia 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 provide security, forcing the buyer to pull out.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Cowley