Fixed-fee leasehold conveyancing in Sudbury:

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Questions and Answers: Sudbury leasehold conveyancing

I am on look out for some leasehold conveyancing in Sudbury. Before I get started I would like to find out the remaining lease term.

Assuming the lease is registered - and 99.9% are in Sudbury - then the leasehold title will always include the basic details of the lease, namely the date; the term; and the original parties. From a conveyancing perspective such details then enable any prospective buyer and lender to confirm that any lease they are looking at is the one relevant to that title.For any other purpose, such as confirming how long the term was granted for and calculating what is left, then the register should be sufficient on it's own.

My wife and I purchased a leasehold flat in Sudbury. Conveyancing and Barclays Direct mortgage are in place. I have received a letter from someone saying they have taken over the freehold. It included a demand for arrears of ground rent dating back to 1992. The conveyancing solicitor in Sudbury who acted for me is not around.Do I pay?

First make enquiries of HMLR to make sure that this person is in fact the new freeholder. There is no need to incur the fees of a Sudbury conveyancing solicitor to do this as you can do this on the Land Registry website for £3. Rest assured that regardless, even if this is the legitimate freeholder, under the Limitation Act 1980 the limitation period for recovery of ground rent is six years.

I am employed by a long established estate agent office in Sudbury where we see a few flat sales derailed due to short leases. I have been given contradictory information from local Sudbury conveyancing solicitors. Could you shed some light as to whether the owner of a flat can instigate the lease extension formalities for the purchaser on completion of the sale?

As long as the seller has owned the lease 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. The benefit of this is that the buyer need not have to sit tight for 2 years to extend their lease. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment needs to be completed before, or simultaneously with completion of the disposal of the property.

An alternative approach is 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.

Can you provide any top tips for leasehold conveyancing in Sudbury from the point of view of speeding up the sale process?

  • A significant proportion of the delay in leasehold conveyancing in Sudbury can be avoided if you get in touch lawyers as soon as your agents start marketing the property and request that they start to put together the leasehold information which will be required by the buyers conveyancers.
  • Many landlords or Management Companies in Sudbury charge for providing management packs for a leasehold premises. You or your lawyers should enquire as to 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 common reason for delay in leasehold conveyancing in Sudbury.
  • A minority of Sudbury leases require Licence to Assign from the landlord. If this is the case, it would be prudent to place the estate agents on notice to make sure that the purchasers put in hand bank and professional references. Any bank reference will need to confirm that the buyers are 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 buyers or their solicitors.
  • If you hold a share in a the freehold, you should make sure that you have the original share document. Obtaining a re-issued share certificate is often a lengthy formality and frustrates many a Sudbury home move. Where a reissued share certificate is necessary, you should approach the company director and secretary or managing agents (if relevant) for this sooner rather than later.
  • You may think that you are aware of the number of years remaining on your lease but it would be wise to double-check via your solicitors. A buyer’s lawyer will be unlikely to recommend their client to proceed with the purchase of a leasehold property the lease term is under 80 years. It is therefore essential at an early stage that you identify whether the lease for your property needs extending. If it does, contact your solicitors before you put your premises on the market for sale.

  • All being well we will complete the disposal of our £275000 garden flat in Sudbury next week. The managing agents has quoted £408 for Landlord’s certificate, insurance certificate and previous years service charge statements. Is it legal for a freeholder to charge exorbitant fees for a leasehold conveyance in Sudbury?

    Sudbury conveyancing on leasehold maisonettes often involves the purchaser’s lawyer submitting questions for the landlord to address. Although the landlord is not legally bound to address such questions the majority will be content to do so. They are at liberty invoice a reasonable charge for answering enquiries or supplying documentation. There is no upper cap for such fees. The average fee for the paperwork that you are referring to is £350, in some transactions it is above £800. The management information fee required by the landlord must be accompanied by a synopsis of rights and obligations in relation to administration charges, without which the invoice is not strictly payable. Reality however dictates that one has little choice but to pay whatever is demanded should you wish to complete the sale of your home.

    I own a ground floor flat in Sudbury. Given that I can not reach agreement with the landlord, can the Leasehold valuation Tribunal determine the amount payable for the purchase of the freehold?

    in cases where there is a missing freeholder or where there is dispute about the premium for a lease extension, under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 it is possible to make an application to the LVT to make a decision on the sum to be paid.

    An example of a Lease Extension decision for a Sudbury residence is Ground Floor Flat 79 London Road in September 2012. the Tribunal held that the premium payable for the lease extension should be £7,636 This case was in relation to 1 flat. The the number of years remaining on the existing lease(s) was 74 years.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Sudbury