Experts for Leasehold Conveyancing in St Johns

Whether you are buying or selling leasehold flat in St Johns, our panel of leasehold conveyancing experts will help you move with as little stress as possible. Find a St Johns conveyancing lawyer with our search tool

Frequently asked questions relating to St Johns leasehold conveyancing

I am hoping to put an offer on a small detached house that seems to meet my requirements, at a great price which is making it all the more appealing. I have since discovered that it's a leasehold rather than freehold. I am assuming that there are particular concerns buying a house with a leasehold title in St Johns. Conveyancing advisers have not yet been instructed. Will they explain the issues?

The majority of houses in St Johns are freehold and not leasehold. This is one of the situations where having a local solicitor used to dealing with such properties who can help the conveyancing process. it is apparent that you are buying in St Johns in which case you should be shopping around for a St Johns conveyancing solicitor and check that they have experience in dealing with leasehold houses. First you will need to check the unexpired lease term. Being a leaseholder you will not be entirely free to do whatever you want to the property. The lease comes with conditions for example obtaining the landlord’spermission to carry out changes to the property. It may be necessary to pay a service charge towards the maintenance of the estate where the house is located on an estate. Your lawyer should appraise you on the various issues.

I am looking at a couple of apartments in St Johns which have approximately forty five years unexpired on the lease term. should I be concerned?

There is no doubt about it. A leasehold flat in St Johns is a wasting asset as a result of the shortening lease. The nearer the lease gets to its expiry date, the more it reduces the value of the property. For most purchasers and mortgage companies, leases with less than 75 years become less and less attractive. On a more positive note, leaseholders can extend their leases by serving a Section 42 Notice. One stipulation is that they must have owned the premises 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 property 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. More often than not it is possible to negotiate informally with the freeholder to extend the lease They may agree to a smaller lump sum and an increase in the ground rent, but to shorter extension terms in return. 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.

Can you offer any advice when it comes to choosing a St Johns conveyancing firm to carry out our lease extension conveyancing?

If you are instructing a property lawyer for lease extension works (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 suggested 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 of use:

  • If the firm is not ALEP accredited then why not?
  • What volume of lease extensions have they conducted in St Johns in the last twenty four months?

  • Can you provide any top tips for leasehold conveyancing in St Johns from the perspective of expediting the sale process?

    • Much of the frustration in leasehold conveyancing in St Johns can be bypassed where you get in touch lawyers as soon as your agents start advertising the property and request that they start to put together the leasehold information needed by the buyers conveyancers.
    • The majority landlords or managing agents in St Johns charge 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 can be applied for as soon as you have a buyer, thus reducing delays. The typical amount of time it takes to obtain the necessary information is three weeks. It is the most usual reason for frustration in leasehold conveyancing in St Johns.
  • If you have had any disputes with your landlord or managing agents it is very important that these are resolved before the property is put on the market. The purchasers and their solicitors will be reluctant to purchase a property where a dispute is unresolved. You may need to swallow your pride and pay any arrears of service charge or resolve the dispute prior to completion of the sale. It is therefore preferable to have any dispute settled ahead of the contract papers being issued to the buyers’ solicitors. You will still have to reveal particulars of the dispute to the purchasers, but it is better to reveal the dispute as historic as opposed to unsettled.
  • If you have the benefit of shareholding in the Management Company, you should ensure that you have the original share certificate. Obtaining a replacement share certificate can be a lengthy process and frustrates many a St Johns conveyancing transaction. If a reissued share is necessary, you should approach the company officers or managing agents (where relevant) for this sooner rather than later.
  • You may think that you are aware of the number of years remaining on your lease but you should verify this via your solicitors. A buyer’s lawyer will be unlikely to recommend their client to proceed with the purchase of a leasehold property the remaining number of years is less than 80 years. In the circumstances it is important at an early stage that you identify whether the lease term requires a lease extension. If it does, contact your solicitors before you put your premises on the market for sale.

  • I have attempted and failed to negotiate with my landlord for a lease extension without success. Can I apply to the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal? Can you recommend a St Johns conveyancing firm to help?

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

    An example of a Lease Extension decision 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 was in relation to 2 flats. The remaining number of years on the lease was 72 years.

    Are there frequently found problems that you see in leases for St Johns properties?

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

    • Repairing obligations to or maintain elements of the property
    • Insurance obligations
    • A provision for the recovery of money spent for the benefit of another party.
    • Service charge per centages that don't add up correctly leaving a shortfall

    A defective lease can cause problems when trying to sell a property primarily because it impacts on the ability to obtain a mortgage on the property. Birmingham Midshires, Virgin Money, and Platform Home Loans Ltd all have express conveyancing instructions when it comes to what is expected in a lease. If a mortgage lender believes that the lease does not cover certain provisions they may refuse to grant the mortgage, forcing the purchaser to pull out.