Fixed-fee leasehold conveyancing in Gants Hill:

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Gants Hill leasehold conveyancing Example Support Desk Enquiries

I have just appointed agents to market my basement flat in Gants Hill.Conveyancing is yet to be initiated but I have just received a yearly maintenance charge invoice – Do I pay up?

Your conveyancing lawyer is likely to suggest that you should discharge 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 management companies 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.

Last month I purchased a leasehold property in Gants Hill. Am I liable to pay service charges relating to a period prior to my ownership?

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).

I work for a reputable estate agent office in Gants Hill where we see a number of leasehold sales derailed as a result of leases having less than 80 years remaining. I have received conflicting advice from local Gants Hill conveyancing solicitors. Can you confirm whether the owner of a flat can initiate 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 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 needs to be completed before, 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 purchaser.

Can you provide any advice for leasehold conveyancing in Gants Hill with the aim of saving time on the sale process?

  • Much of the delay in leasehold conveyancing in Gants Hill can be reduced where you appoint lawyers the minute your agents start marketing the property and request that they start to put together the leasehold documentation which will be required by the purchasers’ solicitors.
  • The majority landlords or managing agents in Gants Hill levy fees for providing management packs for a leasehold premises. You or your lawyers should enquire as to the fee that they propose to charge. The management pack sought as soon as you have a buyer, thus reducing delays. The average time it takes to obtain the necessary information is three weeks. It is the most common reason for delay in leasehold conveyancing in Gants Hill.
  • Some Gants Hill leases require Landlord’s consent to the sale and approval of the buyers. If this applies to your lease, it would be prudent to notify your estate agents to make sure that the purchasers obtain financial (bank) and professional references. Any bank reference will need to confirm that the buyers are financially capable of paying 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 actual amount of the service charge so that they can pass this information on to the buyers or their solicitors.
  • If you have had conflict with your freeholder or managing agents it is very important that these are resolved before the property is marketed. The buyers and their solicitors will be reluctant to purchase a flat where there is an ongoing dispute. 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 details of the dispute to the buyers, but it is clearly preferable to present the dispute as historic as opposed to ongoing.
  • You believe that you know the number of years remaining on your lease but it would be wise to double-check by asking your lawyers. A buyer’s lawyer will not be happy to advise their client to to exchange contracts if the lease term is under 75 years. In the circumstances it is essential at an early stage that you consider whether the lease for your property needs extending. If it does, contact your solicitors before you put your premises on the market for sale.

  • Our conveyancer has advised that he intends to complete and exchange simultaneously on the disposal of our £375000 apartment in Gants Hill on Friday in a week. The freeholder has quoted £420 for Certificate of Compliance, building insurance schedule and 3 years service charge statements. Is the landlord entitled to charge exorbitant fees for a flat conveyance in Gants Hill?

    For the majority of leasehold sales in Gants Hill 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 Gants Hill
    • Supplying insurance information
    • 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 Gants Hill leasehold premises is £350. For Gants Hill 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 required to supply answers.

    Having spent years of dialogue we simply can't agree with our landlord on how much the lease extension should cost for our flat in Gants Hill. Does the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal have jurisdiction to calculate the appropriate figures?

    Absolutely. We can put you in touch with a Gants Hill conveyancing firm who can help.

    An example of a Freehold Enfranchisement matter before the tribunal for a Gants Hill property is 59 & 59a Clarendon Gardens in February 2014. The Tribunals valuation for the freehold was £30,073.00 The unexpired lease term was 65 and 61.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Gants Hill