Fixed-fee leasehold conveyancing in Shirley:

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Questions and Answers: Shirley leasehold conveyancing

Having had my offer accepted I require leasehold conveyancing in Shirley. Before I set the wheels in motion I require certainty as to the remaining lease term.

Assuming the lease is recorded at the land registry - and most are in Shirley - 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.

Having checked my lease I have discovered that there are only Seventy years left on my flat in Shirley. I am keen to get lease extension but my freeholder is can not be found. What are my options?

On the basis that you meet the appropriate requirements, under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 you can apply to the County Court for an order to dispense with the service of the initial notice. This will mean that your lease can be granted an extra 90 years by the Court. However, you will be required to demonstrate that you or your lawyers have done all that could be expected to locate the landlord. For most situations a specialist should be helpful to try and locate and to produce an expert document to be used as evidence that the freeholder is indeed missing. It is wise to seek advice from a property lawyer both on investigating the landlord’s absence and the application to the County Court covering Shirley.

I’m about to sell my 2 bed flat in Shirley.Conveyancing has not commenced but I have just had a yearly service charge invoice – should I leave it to the buyer to sort out?

It best that you 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 until 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.

Can you provide any advice for leasehold conveyancing in Shirley with the purpose of saving time on the sale process?

  • A significant proportion of the delay in leasehold conveyancing in Shirley can be reduced if you appoint lawyers as soon as you market your property and request that they start to collate the leasehold information needed by the purchasers’ lawyers.
  • Many freeholders or Management Companies in Shirley levy fees for supplying management packs for a leasehold premises. You or your lawyers should find out the actual amount of the charges. The management pack sought on or before finding a buyer, thus reducing delays. The average time it takes to receive management information is three weeks. It is the most common reason for frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Shirley.
  • Some Shirley leases require Landlord’s consent to the sale and approval of the buyers. If this is the case, you should notify your estate agents to make sure that the purchasers obtain bank and professional references. The bank reference will need to confirm that the buyers are financially capable of paying the annual 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 purchasers or their lawyers.
  • If you are supposed to have a share in the Management Company, you should ensure that you hold the original share certificate. Obtaining a replacement share certificate is often a time consuming formality and slows down many a Shirley conveyancing deal. If a duplicate share certificate is required, you should approach the company officers or managing agents (where applicable) for this at the earliest opportunity.
  • You may think that you are aware of the number of years left on your lease but it would be wise to verify this via your solicitors. A purchaser's lawyer will be unlikely to recommend their client to where the remaining number of years is less than 75 years. It is therefore essential at an early stage 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.

  • I am the registered owner of a second floor flat in Shirley. In the absence of agreement between myself and the landlord, can the Leasehold valuation Tribunal make a decision on the premium due for the purchase of the freehold?

    Where there is a absentee landlord or where there is dispute about what the lease extension should cost, under the relevant statutes it is possible to make an application to the First-tier Tribunal (Property Chamber) to make a decision on the amount due.

    An example of a Freehold Enfranchisement decision for a Shirley residence is 29 Woodstock Road in April 2014. the Tribunal determined that the premiums to be paid into court in respect of the purchase of the freehold registered at HMLR under Title N0.SY3997 should be £7,217. This case was in relation to 4 flats. The the unexpired residue of the current lease was 98 years.

    What makes a Shirley lease problematic?

    Leasehold conveyancing in Shirley is not unique. All leases is drafted differently and legal mistakes in the legal wording can result in certain sections 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
    • A duty to insure the building
    • Clauses dealing with recovering service charges for expenditure on the building or common parts.
    • Service charge per centages that don't add up correctly leaving a shortfall

    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. Halifax, Coventry Building Society, and Barclays Direct all have very detailed conveyancing instructions when it comes to what is expected in a lease. Where a lender has been advised by their lawyers that the lease is defective they may refuse to grant the mortgage, forcing the purchaser to withdraw.