Fixed-fee leasehold conveyancing in St Margarets:

Leasehold conveyancing in St Margarets 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 Margarets and across next step up in loc. The lawyers we recommend have been approved by your lender so use our search tool to check.

Frequently asked questions relating to St Margarets leasehold conveyancing

Expecting to sign contracts shortly on a basement flat in St Margarets. Conveyancing solicitors have said that they report fully tomorrow. Are there areas in the report that I should be focusing on?

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

  • Details of the parties to the lease, for example these could be the leaseholder (you), head lessor, landlord
  • The total extent of the premises. This will be the apartment itself but could also include a roof space or basement if appropriate.
  • Ground rent - how much and when you need to pay, and also know whether this is subject to change
  • Repair and maintenance of the flat
  • 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 premises and do you know what it means in practice?
  • What the implications are if you breach a clause of your lease? For details of the information to be contained in your report on your leasehold property in St Margarets please ask your lawyer in ahead of your conveyancing in St Margarets

  • Last month I purchased a leasehold property in St Margarets. Do I have any liability for service charges for periods before my ownership?

    In a situation 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. It is an essential part of leasehold conveyancing for your conveyancer to be sure 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 busy estate agent office in St Margarets where we see a number of leasehold sales jeopardised due to short leases. I have received contradictory information from local St Margarets conveyancing solicitors. Could you confirm whether the seller of a flat can initiate the lease extension process for the buyer?

    Provided that the seller has been the owner for at least 2 years it is possible, to serve a Section 42 notice to kick-start the lease extension process and assign the benefit of the notice to the purchaser. This means that the buyer can avoid having 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 before, or at the same time as completion of the disposal of the property.

    Alternatively, it may be possible to agree the lease extension with the freeholder 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 buyer.

    Our conveyancer has advised that he intends to complete and exchange simultaneously on the disposal of our £325000 garden flat in St Margarets next Monday . The landlords agents has quoted £408 for Certificate of Compliance, insurance certificate and previous years service charge statements. Is it legal for a freeholder to charge an administration fee for a flat conveyance in St Margarets?

    For most leasehold sales in St Margarets conveyancing will involve, queries regarding the management of a building inevitably needing to be answered directly by the freeholder or its agent, this includes :

    • Completing conveyancing due diligence enquiries
    • Where consent is required before sale in St Margarets
    • 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 St Margarets leasehold property is £350. For St Margarets 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 answers.

    I have tried to negotiate informally with with my landlord for a lease extension without any joy. Can I apply to the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal? Can you recommend a St Margarets conveyancing firm to assist?

    in cases where there is a absentee landlord or where there is disagreement about the premium for a lease extension, under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 you can apply to the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal to arrive at the premium.

    An example of a Lease Extension matter before the tribunal for a St Margarets premises is Ground Floor Flat 91 Bath Road in May 2009. in a case where the freeholder could not be traced, the Brentford County Court ordered that the Lease be surrendered in return for the grant of a new lease of the Premises at a premium determined by the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal. The tribunal concluded that the price payable by the Applicant for the new lease of the premises be £15,900 This case related to 1 flat. The the unexpired residue of the current lease was 60.45 years.

    What makes a St Margarets lease problematic?

    Leasehold conveyancing in St Margarets is not unique. All leases are unique and drafting errors can result in certain provisions are wrong. For example, if your lease is missing any of the following, it could be defective:

    • Repairing obligations to or maintain parts of the building
    • Insurance obligations
    • 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. National Westminster Bank, The Mortgage Works, and Britannia all have very detailed requirements 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 provide security, obliging the purchaser to pull out.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in St Margarets