Fixed-fee leasehold conveyancing in Welling:

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

Welling leasehold conveyancing: Q and A’s

I've recently bought a leasehold flat in Welling. Am I liable to pay service charges relating to a period prior to 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. However, your landlord may still be able to take action to forfeit the lease. A critical element 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 reputable estate agent office in Welling where we have experienced a few flat sales derailed due to leases having less than 80 years remaining. I have received conflicting advice from local Welling conveyancing solicitors. Can you shed some light as to whether the owner of a flat can commence the lease extension formalities for the purchaser on completion of the sale?

Provided that the seller has owned the lease for at least 2 years it is possible, to serve a Section 42 notice to commence the lease extension process and assign the benefit of the notice to the purchaser. This means that the buyer need not have to wait 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.

Do you have any top tips for leasehold conveyancing in Welling from the perspective of expediting the sale process?

  • A significant proportion of the delay in leasehold conveyancing in Welling can be bypassed if you get in touch lawyers the minute you market your property and request that they start to put together the leasehold documentation which will be required by the buyers lawyers.
  • The majority landlords or managing agents in Welling charge for supplying management packs for a leasehold property. You or your lawyers should discover the fee that they propose to charge. The management information can be applied for as soon as you have a buyer, thus reducing delays. The average time it takes to receive management information is three weeks. It is the most frequent cause of delay in leasehold conveyancing in Welling.
  • Some Welling leases require Landlord’s consent to the sale and approval of the buyers. If this is the case, it would be prudent to notify your estate agents to make sure that the purchasers put in hand financial (bank) and professional references. The bank reference should make it clear that the buyer is financially capable of paying the yearly 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 purchasers or their lawyers.
  • If you hold a share in a the Management Company, you should make sure that you are holding the original share document. Obtaining a re-issued share certificate is often a lengthy formality and delays many a Welling home move. Where a new share certificate is necessary, do contact the company director and secretary or managing agents (where applicable) for this at the earliest opportunity.
  • You believe that you know the number of years remaining on your lease but you should double-check by asking your lawyers. A buyer’s lawyer will not be happy to advise their client to where the lease term is under 80 years. It is therefore 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 property on the market for sale.

  • Our conveyancer has advised that he intends to complete and exchange simultaneously on the disposal of our £475000 maisonette in Welling in six days. The landlords agents has quoted £396 for Certificate of Compliance, building insurance schedule and previous years service charge statements. Is the landlord entitled to charge an administration fee for a leasehold conveyance in Welling?

    Welling conveyancing on leasehold maisonettes more often than not involves the purchaser’s lawyer submitting enquiries for the landlord to address. Although the landlord is not legally bound to respond to these enquiries the majority will be willing to assist. They are entitled invoice a reasonable charge for answering questions or supplying documentation. There is no upper cap for such fees. The average fee for the information that you are referring to is over three hundred pounds, in some transactions it is above £800. The administration charge demanded by the landlord must be accompanied by a summary of entitlements and obligations in relation to administration charges, otherwise the charge is not strictly payable. In reality one has no choice but to pay whatever is demanded should you wish to exchange contracts with the buyer.

    I have tried to negotiate informally with with my landlord for a lease extension without success. Can a leaseholder make an application to the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal? Can you recommend a Welling conveyancing firm to assist?

    Where there is a missing landlord or if there is disagreement about the premium for a lease extension, under the relevant statutes it is possible to make an application to the First-tier Tribunal (Property Chamber) to make a decision on the price payable.

    An example of a Lease Extension decision for a Welling residence is 103a Footscray Road in January 2014. The tribunal determines that the premium payable for the extended lease should be £34,500 according to the expert witness valuation calculation This case was in relation to 1 flat.

    In relation to leasehold conveyancing in Welling what are the most frequent lease problems?

    There is nothing unique about leasehold conveyancing in Welling. All leases are unique and legal mistakes in the legal wording can result in certain clauses are erroneous. For example, if your lease is missing any of the following, it could be defective:

    • Repairing obligations to or maintain parts of the premises
    • A duty to insure the building
    • 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 issues when trying to sell a property as they can affect a potential buyer’s ability to obtain a mortgage. Yorkshire Building Society, Coventry Building Society, and Alliance & Leicester 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 does not cover certain provisions they may refuse to provide security, forcing the buyer to pull out.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Welling