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Questions and Answers: Leaves Green leasehold conveyancing

I’m about to sell my 2 bed apartment in Leaves Green.Conveyancing lawyers have not yet been instructed but I have just received a quarterly service charge invoice – what should I do?

The sensible thing to do is 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. Having a clear account will assist your cause and will leave you no worse off financially.

My wife and I purchased a leasehold flat in Leaves Green. Conveyancing and HSBC Bank mortgage organised. A letter has just been received from someone saying they have taken over the freehold. It included a ground rent demand for rent dating back to 1994. The conveyancing practitioner in Leaves Green who previously acted has long since retired.Do I pay?

First contact HMLR to make sure that this person is indeed the new freeholder. You do not need to incur the fees of a Leaves Green conveyancing lawyer to do this as it can be done on-line for £3. Rest assured that in any event, even if this is the legitimate landlord, under the Limitation Act 1980 the limitation period for recovery of ground rent is six years.

Last month I purchased a leasehold house in Leaves Green. Do I have any liability for service charges relating to a period prior to my ownership?

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 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 finding a Leaves Green conveyancing practice to deal with our lease extension?

When appointing a solicitor for lease extension works (regardless if they are a Leaves Green conveyancing practice) it is essential that they be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of work. We suggested that you make enquires with two or three firms including non Leaves Green conveyancing practices prior to instructing a firm. Where the conveyancing practice is ALEP accredited then that’s a bonus. Some following of questions could be useful:

  • If the firm is not ALEP accredited then what is the reason?
  • What volume of lease extensions have they conducted in Leaves Green in the last 12 months?

  • If all goes to plan we aim to complete the disposal of our £150000 maisonette in Leaves Green in just under a week. The management company has quoted £372 for Certificate of Compliance, insurance certificate and 3 years statements of service charge. Is it legal for a freeholder to charge exorbitant fees for a flat conveyance in Leaves Green?

    Leaves Green conveyancing on leasehold maisonettes more often than not requires the purchaser’s solicitor sending questions 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 at liberty invoice a reasonable administration fee for answering questions or supplying documentation. There is no set fee. The average costs for the paperwork that you are referring to is £350, in some situations it is above £800. The management information fee invoiced by the landlord must be accompanied by a summary of entitlements and obligations in respect of administration charges, otherwise the invoice is technically not due. Reality however dictates that you have little option but to pay whatever is demanded if you want to exchange contracts with the buyer.

    I am the leaseholder of a basement flat in Leaves Green. In the absence of agreement between myself and the landlord, can the Leasehold valuation Tribunal make a decision on the premium payable for a lease extension?

    Most definitely. We are happy to put you in touch with a Leaves Green conveyancing firm who can help.

    An example of a Lease Extension matter before the tribunal for a Leaves Green premises is 1 Southlands Court Southlands Road in September 2013. The Leasehold Valuation Tribunal determined that the premium to be paid by the tenant on the grant of a new lease, in accordance with section 56 and Schedule 13 of the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 was £30,541 This case related to 1 flat. The unexpired lease term was 50.57 years.