Fixed-fee leasehold conveyancing in St Johns:

Leasehold conveyancing in St Johns is more complex than freehold. Your home move will be smoother where you choose a lawyer with a wealth of experience of leasehold conveyancing in St Johns and across next step up in loc. The lawyers we recommend have been approved by your lender so use our search tool to check.

St Johns leasehold conveyancing: Q and A’s

I am hoping to complete next month on a basement flat in St Johns. Conveyancing solicitors inform me that they will have a report out to me within the next couple of days. Are there areas in the report that I should be focusing on?

The report on title for your leasehold conveyancing in St Johns should include some of the following:

  • The length of the lease term You should be advised as what happens when the lease expires, and informed of the importance of not letting the lease term falling below eighty years
  • You need to be told what constitutes a Nuisance in the lease
  • Ground rent - how much and when you need to pay, and also know whether this will change in the future
  • You should have a good understanding of the insurance provisions
  • I don't know whether the lease allows me to alter or improve anything in the flat - you should know whether it applies to all alterations or just structural alteration, and whether consent is required
  • Whether the landlord has obligations to ensure rights of quiet enjoyment over your property and do you know what it means in practice?
  • The landlord’s obligations to repair and maintain the building. It is important that you know who is responsible for the repair and maintenance of every part of the building For a comprehensive list of information to be contained in your report on your leasehold property in St Johns please ask your conveyancer in ahead of your conveyancing in St Johns

  • I am looking at a couple of apartments in St Johns both have in the region of forty five years unexpired on the leases. should I be concerned?

    A lease is a legal document that entitles you to use the property for a prescribed time frame. As the lease shortens the value of the lease deteriorate and results in it becoming more expensive to acquire a lease extension. This is why it is often a good idea to increase the term of the lease. Sometimes it is difficulties arise selling premises with a short lease because mortgage companies less inclined to grant a loan on properties of this type. Lease extension can be a difficult process. We advise that you seek professional assistance from a conveyancer and surveyor with experience in this area

    I've recently bought a leasehold flat in St Johns. Do I have any liability for service charges relating to a period prior to my ownership?

    In a situation 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. Strange as it may seem, your landlord may still be able to take action to forfeit the lease. It is an essential part 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).

    Can you provide any advice for leasehold conveyancing in St Johns with the intention of speeding up the sale process?

    • A significant proportion of the frustration in leasehold conveyancing in St Johns can be avoided where you instruct lawyers as soon as your agents start marketing the property and request that they start to collate the leasehold information needed by the buyers lawyers.
    • The majority freeholders or managing agents in St Johns levy fees for supplying management packs for a leasehold property. You or your lawyers should find out the actual amount of the charges. The management information can be applied for 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 St Johns.
  • If you have had conflict with your landlord or managing agents it is essential that these are resolved prior to the flat being put on the market. The purchasers and their solicitors will be reluctant to purchase a flat where there is a current dispute. 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 are still duty bound to disclose details of the dispute to the purchasers, but it is clearly preferable to reveal the dispute as historic rather than ongoing.
  • If you are supposed to have a share in the freehold, you should make sure that you have the original share document. Obtaining a duplicate share certificate is often a time consuming process and frustrates many a St Johns conveyancing deal. Where a duplicate share certificate is needed, you should approach the company officers or managing agents (where relevant) for this as soon as possible.
  • You believe that you know the number of years left on your lease but you should verify this via your solicitors. A purchaser's lawyer will not be happy to advise their client to proceed with the purchase of a leasehold property the remaining number of years is under 75 years. It is therefore essential at an early stage that you consider whether the lease requires a lease extension. If it does, contact your solicitors before you put your property on the market for sale.

  • Notwithstanding our best efforts, we have been unsuccessful in negotiating a lease extension in St Johns. Can the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal adjudicate on premiums?

    Absolutely. We can put you in touch with a St Johns conveyancing firm who can help.

    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 lease term was 72 years.

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

    Leasehold conveyancing in St Johns is not unique. Most leases are unique and drafting errors can sometimes mean that certain sections are erroneous. For example, if your lease is missing any of the following, it could be defective:

    • Repairing obligations to or maintain elements 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 issues when trying to sell a property primarily because it impacts on the ability to obtain a mortgage on the property. HSBC Bank, Leeds Building Society, and Platform Home Loans Ltd all have express requirements when it comes to what is expected in a lease. Where a lender has been advised by their lawyers that the lease does not cover certain provisions they may refuse to provide security, forcing the buyer to withdraw.