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Top Five Questions relating to St Margarets leasehold conveyancing

Planning to exchange soon on a studio apartment in St Margarets. Conveyancing lawyers inform me that they are sending me a report tomorrow. Are there areas in the report that I should be focusing on?

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

  • Defining your legal entitlements in relation to the communal areas in the building.For example, does the lease contain a right of way over an accessway or hallways?
  • Do you need to have carpet in the flat or are you allowed wood flooring?
  • Whether your lease has a provision for a sinking fund?
  • Changes to the flat (alterations and additions)
  • 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?
  • What you can do if a neighbour is in violation of a provision in their lease? For a comprehensive list of information to be contained in your report on your leasehold property in St Margarets please ask your solicitor in advance of your conveyancing in St Margarets

  • Estate agents have just been given the go-ahead to market my ground floor apartment in St Margarets.Conveyancing is yet to be initiated but I have just received a yearly service charge invoice – Do I pay up?

    It best that you pay 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 managing agents 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 today plan to offer on a house that seems to tick a lot of boxes, at a great figure which is making it all the more appealing. I have subsequently found out that the title is leasehold as opposed to freehold. I would have thought that there are issues purchasing a house with a leasehold title in St Margarets. Conveyancing solicitors have not yet been instructed. Will my lawyers set out the implications of buying a leasehold house in St Margarets ?

    Most houses in St Margarets are freehold and not leasehold. This is one of the situations where having a local solicitor who is familiar with the area can assist with the conveyancing process. We note that you are purchasing in St Margarets so you should seriously consider looking for a St Margarets conveyancing solicitor and be sure that they have experience in transacting on leasehold houses. First you will need to check the unexpired lease term. As a tenant you will not be at liberty to do whatever you want with the house. The lease comes with conditions for example requiring the landlord’spermission to carry out alterations. It may be necessary to pay a maintenance charge towards the upkeep of the communal areas where the house is located on an estate. Your conveyancer will advise you fully on all the issues.

    What are your top tips when it comes to finding a St Margarets conveyancing firm to carry out our lease extension conveyancing?

    If you are instructing a property lawyer for your lease extension (regardless if they are a St Margarets conveyancing practice) it is essential that they be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of work. We advise that you make enquires with two or three firms including non St Margarets conveyancing practices prior to instructing a firm. If the firm is ALEP accredited then that’s a bonus. Some following of questions could be useful:

    • How familiar is the practice with lease extension legislation?
  • If the firm is not ALEP accredited then what is the reason?

  • Do you have any top tips for leasehold conveyancing in St Margarets from the perspective of saving time on the sale process?

    • Much of the frustration in leasehold conveyancing in St Margarets can be bypassed where you instruct lawyers as soon as you market your property and request that they start to collate the leasehold documentation which will be required by the purchasers’ solicitors.
    • Many landlords or Management Companies in St Margarets levy fees for providing management packs for a leasehold property. You or your lawyers should find out the fee that they propose to charge. The management information sought on or before finding a buyer, thus reducing delays. The typical amount of time it takes to receive management information is three weeks. It is the most usual reason for frustration in leasehold conveyancing in St Margarets.
  • If there is a history of conflict with your freeholder or managing agents it is essential that these are settled before the property is marketed. The buyers and their solicitors will be concerned about purchasing a property where a dispute is ongoing. You may need to swallow your pride and discharge 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 buyers, but it is clearly preferable to present the dispute as historic as opposed to ongoing.
  • If you hold a share in a the Management Company, you should ensure that you are holding the original share document. Organising a replacement share certificate can be a lengthy formality and slows down many a St Margarets conveyancing deal. Where a reissued share is necessary, do contact the company director and secretary or managing agents (where relevant) for this sooner rather than later.
  • You believe that you know the number of years remaining on your lease but you should double-check via your lawyers. A buyer’s lawyer will be unlikely to recommend their client to to exchange contracts if the lease term is under 80 years. In the circumstances it is essential 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 own a garden flat in St Margarets. In the absence of agreement between myself and the freeholder, can the Leasehold valuation Tribunal determine the amount payable for a lease extension?

    Most certainly. We can put you in touch with a St Margarets conveyancing firm who can help.

    An example of a Lease Extension matter before the tribunal for a St Margarets flat 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 affected 1 flat. The remaining number of years on the lease was 60.45 years.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in St Margarets