Quality lawyers for Leasehold Conveyancing in Maldon

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

Maldon leasehold conveyancing: Q and A’s

I have just started marketing my basement apartment in Maldon.Conveyancing solicitors are to be appointed soon but I have just received a yearly maintenance charge invoice – what should I do?

The sensible thing to do is pay the service charge 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 management companies 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.

Last month I purchased a leasehold house in Maldon. Do I have any liability for service charges relating to a period prior to completion of my purchase?

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 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).

Do you have any top tips for leasehold conveyancing in Maldon from the point of view of saving time on the sale process?

  • Much of the frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Maldon can be reduced where you instruct lawyers as soon as your agents start advertising the property and request that they start to collate the leasehold information needed by the buyers conveyancers.
  • A minority of Maldon leases require Licence to Assign from the landlord. If this is the case, you should place the estate agents on notice to make sure that the purchasers put in hand bank and professional references. Any bank reference should make it clear that the buyer is 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 purchasers or their lawyers.
  • If you have had any disputes with your freeholder or managing agents it is essential that these are resolved before the property is marketed. The purchasers and their solicitors will be concerned about purchasing a flat where there is an ongoing dispute. You may need to swallow your pride and pay any arrears of service charge or resolve the dispute prior to the buyers completing the purchase. It is therefore preferable to have any dispute settled prior to the contract papers being issued to the buyers’ solicitors. You are still duty bound to disclose particulars of the dispute to the purchasers, but it is better to present the dispute as over rather than ongoing.
  • If you are supposed to have a share in the freehold, you should ensure that you hold the original share certificate. Organising a re-issued share certificate can be a time consuming formality and frustrates many a Maldon home move. If a new share certificate is necessary, you should approach the company officers 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 purchaser's conveyancer will not be happy to advise their client to to exchange contracts if the remaining number of years is below 80 years. In the circumstances it is 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 premises on the market for sale.

  • We expect to complete the sale of our £500000 garden flat in Maldon in just under a week. The management company has quoted £396 for Landlord’s certificate, insurance certificate and 3 years statements of service charge. Is it legal for a freeholder to charge an administration fee for a leasehold conveyance in Maldon?

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

    • Addressing conveyancing due diligence questions
    • Where consent is required before sale in Maldon
    • Supplying insurance information
    • Deeds of covenant upon sale
    • Registering of the assignment of the change of lessee after a sale
    Your lawyer will have no control over the level of the charges for this information but the average costs for the information for Maldon leasehold property is £350. For Maldon 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 obliged to provide answers.

    What are the common problems that you witness in leases for Maldon properties?

    There is nothing unique about leasehold conveyancing in Maldon. Most leases is drafted differently and drafting errors can sometimes mean that certain provisions are wrong. The following missing provisions could result in a defective lease:

    • Repairing obligations to or maintain parts of the building
    • Insurance obligations
    • A provision for the recovery of money spent for the benefit of another party.
    • Maintenance charge proportions which don’t add up to the correct percentage

    You will encounter a problem when selling your property if you have a defective lease primarily because it impacts on the ability to obtain a mortgage on the property. Santander, The Mortgage Works, and Platform Home Loans Ltd all have express requirements when it comes to what is expected in a lease. If a mortgage lender believes that the lease does not cover certain provisions they may refuse to provide security, forcing the buyer to withdraw.

    Maldon Conveyancing for Leasehold Flats - Examples of Queries before Purchasing

      It would be sensible to find out as much as you can regarding the managing agents as they will either make living at the property much easier or problematic. Being a leasehold owner you are frequently at the mercy of the managing agents both financially and when it comes to daily issues like the tidiness of the communal areas. Enquire of other tenants what they think of them. On a final note, be sure you know the dates that you are obliged pay the maintenance charge to the appropriate party and specifically how they are spending that money. The prefered form of lease structure is a share of the freehold. In this scenario the leaseholders benefit from control and notwithstanding that a managing agent is often employed if the building is bigger than a house conversion, the managing agent is directed by the tenants. Who is in charge of the block?

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Maldon