Leasehold Conveyancing in St Johns - Get a Quote from the leasehold experts approved by your lender

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

St Johns leasehold conveyancing Example Support Desk Enquiries

I’m about to sell my 2 bed apartment in St Johns.Conveyancing solicitors are to be appointed soon but I have just had a yearly maintenance charge invoice – should I leave it to the buyer to sort out?

The sensible thing to do is clear the invoice 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.

I am attracted to a two flats in St Johns both have in the region of 50 years left on the lease term. Should I regard a short lease as a deal breaker?

There are no two ways about it. A leasehold flat in St Johns is a deteriorating asset as a result of the reducing lease term. The nearer the lease gets to zero years unexpired, the more it reduces the salability of the premises. For most purchasers and mortgage companies, leases with less than 75 years become less and less marketable. On a more upbeat note, leaseholders can extend their leases by serving a Section 42 Notice. One stipulation is that they must have owned the property for two years (unlike a Section 13 notice for purchasing the freehold, when leaseholders can participate from day one of ownership). When successful, they will have the right to an extension of 90 years to the current term and ground rent is effectively reduced to zero. Before moving forward with a purchase of premises with a short lease term remaining you should talk to a solicitor specialising in lease extensions and leasehold enfranchisement. We are are happy to put you in touch with St Johns conveyancing experts who will explain the options available to you during an initial telephone conversation free of charge. A more straightforward and quicker method of extending would be to contact your landlord directly and sound him out on the prospect of extending the lease You may find he or she is happy to negotiate informally and willing to consider your offer straight off, without having to involve anyone else. This will save you time and money and it could help you reach a lower price on the lease. You need to ensure that any new terms represent good long-term value compared with the standard benefits of the Section 42 Notice and that onerous clauses are not inserted into any redrafting of the lease.

What advice can you give us when it comes to finding a St Johns conveyancing firm to deal with our lease extension?

When appointing a solicitor for your lease extension (regardless if they are a St Johns conveyancing practice) it is imperative that he or she should be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of work. We recommend that you talk with several firms including non St Johns conveyancing practices prior to instructing a firm. Where the conveyancing practice is ALEP accredited then so much the better. Some following of questions might be helpful:

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

  • Can you provide any top tips for leasehold conveyancing in St Johns with the aim of saving time on the sale process?

    • Much of the frustration in leasehold conveyancing in St Johns can be avoided where you appoint lawyers the minute your agents start advertising the property and ask them to put together the leasehold documentation needed by the purchasers’ lawyers.
    • The majority landlords or Management Companies in St Johns levy fees for providing management packs for a leasehold homes. You or your lawyers should find out the fee that they propose to charge. The management pack sought as soon as you have a buyer, thus accelerating the process. The average time it takes to receive management information is three weeks. It is the most usual reason for frustration in leasehold conveyancing in St Johns.
  • In the event that you altered the property did you need the Landlord’s permission? In particular have you laid down wooden flooring? Most leases in St Johns state that internal structural alterations or addition of wooden flooring require a licence from the Landlord consenting to such works. Should you dont have the consents in place you should not communicate with the landlord without contacting your solicitor in advance.
  • Some St Johns leases require Licence to Assign from the landlord. If this applies to your lease, you should place the estate agents on notice to make sure that the purchasers put in hand financial (bank) and professional references. The bank reference should make it clear that the buyer is 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 service charge figures so that they can pass this information on to the purchasers or their solicitors.
  • 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 purchaser's lawyer will not be happy to advise their client to where the remaining number of years is less than 75 years. In the circumstances it is important 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 property on the market for sale.

  • Notwithstanding our best endeavours, we have been unsuccessful in trying to purchase the freehold in St Johns. Can the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal adjudicate on premiums?

    in cases where there is a missing freeholder or where there is dispute about what the lease extension should cost, under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 it is possible to make an application to the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal to decide the amount due.

    An example of a Lease Extension matter before the tribunal for a St Johns residence is 73 Walerand Road in August 2012. the result of the findings of the Tribunal led to a premium to be paid for the extended lease in respect of Flat 73 in the sum of £10,040. The premium applicable in respect of Flat 85 was £5,710. This case related to 2 flats. The unexpired term was 72 years.

    What are the frequently found deficiencies that you come across in leases for St Johns properties?

    There is nothing unique about leasehold conveyancing in St Johns. Most leases are individual and drafting errors can sometimes mean that certain sections are wrong. For example, if your lease is missing any of the following, it could be defective:

    • Repairing obligations to or maintain elements of the property
    • A duty to insure the building
    • Clauses dealing with recovering service charges for expenditure on the building or common parts.
    • Maintenance charge proportions which don’t add up to the correct percentage

    You could have difficulties when selling your property if you have a defective lease as they can affect a potential buyer’s ability to obtain a mortgage. Santander, Bank of Scotland, and Clydesdale all have express requirements when it comes to what is expected in a lease. If a mortgage lender believes that the lease is problematic they may refuse to grant the mortgage, forcing the buyer to withdraw.