Fixed-fee leasehold conveyancing in Southend:

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

Frequently asked questions relating to Southend leasehold conveyancing

I am on look out for some leasehold conveyancing in Southend. Before diving in I want to be sure as to the remaining lease term.

If the lease is recorded at the land registry - and almost all are in Southend - 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 only have Fifty years unexpired on my lease in Southend. I need to get lease extension but my freeholder is absent. What are my options?

If you meet the appropriate requirements, under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 you can submit an application to the County Court for for permission to dispense with the service of the initial notice. This will mean that your lease can be lengthened by the magistrate. You will be obliged to prove that you have made all reasonable attempts to locate the freeholder. On the whole an enquiry agent may be helpful to carry out a search and to produce a report to be used as proof that the landlord can not be located. It is advisable to get professional help from a conveyancer both on investigating the landlord’s disappearance and the vesting order request to the County Court covering Southend.

Last month I purchased a leasehold flat in Southend. Am I liable to pay service charges for periods before 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. A critical element of leasehold conveyancing for your conveyancer to ensure 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 am employed by a long established estate agent office in Southend where we see a number of leasehold sales put at risk as a result of short leases. I have received contradictory information from local Southend conveyancing firms. Please can you clarify whether the owner of a flat can start 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 proposed purchaser need not have to sit tight for 2 years for a lease extension. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment has to be done prior to, or at the same time as completion of the sale.

An alternative approach is to extend the lease informally by agreement with the landlord 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.

We expect to complete the disposal of our £150000 apartment in Southend on Thursday in a week. The management company has quoted £348 for Certificate of Compliance, building insurance schedule and previous years service charge statements. Is the landlord entitled to charge an administration fee for a leasehold conveyance in Southend?

Southend conveyancing on leasehold apartments nine out of ten times involves administration charges invoiced by freeholders :

  • Answering conveyancing due diligence enquiries
  • Where consent is required before sale in Southend
  • Copies of the building insurance and schedule
  • Deeds of covenant upon sale
  • Registering of the assignment of the change of lessee after a sale
Your solicitor will have no control over the level of the charges for this information but the average costs for the information for Southend leasehold premises is £350. For Southend 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 provide the information.

I have attempted and failed to negotiate with my landlord to extend my lease without any joy. Can I make an application to the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal? Can you recommend a Southend conveyancing firm to act on my behalf?

You certainly can. We are happy to put you in touch with a Southend conveyancing firm who can help.

An example of a Freehold Enfranchisement decision for a Southend property is 75 Woolstone Road in February 2012. the decision of the Tribunal was that the appropriate amount to be paid to purchase the freehold was the sum of £17,711 . This case related to 2 flats. The unexpired term was 68.28 and 158.