Fixed-fee leasehold conveyancing in Mayfield:

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Examples of recent questions relating to leasehold conveyancing in Mayfield

I’m about to sell my basement apartment in Mayfield.Conveyancing has not commenced but I have just had a yearly service charge invoice – should I leave it to the buyer to sort out?

Your conveyancing lawyer is likely to suggest that you should discharge 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 management companies will not acknowledge the buyer unless 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've recently bought a leasehold flat in Mayfield. Am I liable to pay service charges relating to a period prior to completion of my purchase?

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 a negotiator for a long established estate agency in Mayfield where we have witnessed a number of flat sales derailed as a result of short leases. I have received inconsistent advice from local Mayfield conveyancing firms. Could you clarify whether the seller of a flat can instigate the lease extension process 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 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 to extend their lease. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment has to be done prior to, or at the same time as 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.

Do you have any advice for leasehold conveyancing in Mayfield from the perspective of speeding up the sale process?

  • A significant proportion of the frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Mayfield can be avoided if you instruct lawyers as soon as your agents start marketing the property and request that they start to collate the leasehold information needed by the buyers representatives.
  • Many landlords or Management Companies in Mayfield levy fees for providing management packs for a leasehold homes. You or your lawyers should discover the actual amount of the charges. The management pack sought on or before finding a buyer, thus accelerating the process. The average time it takes to receive management information is three weeks. It is the most frequent cause of delay in leasehold conveyancing in Mayfield.
  • Some Mayfield leases require Landlord’s consent to the sale and approval of the buyers. If this applies to your lease, it would be prudent to place the estate agents on notice to make sure that the purchasers obtain financial (bank) and professional references. The bank reference should make it clear that the buyer is able to meet 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 actual amount of the service charge so that they can pass this information on to the purchasers or their lawyers.
  • If there is a history of conflict with your landlord or managing agents it is very important that these are resolved before the property is put on the market. The buyers and their solicitors will be reluctant to purchase a flat where a dispute is unresolved. You will have to accept that you will have to discharge any arrears of service charge or settle 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 purchasers, but it is clearly preferable to reveal the dispute as historic as opposed to ongoing.
  • If you hold a share in a the freehold, you should make sure that you hold the original share document. Arranging a replacement share certificate can be a time consuming formality and delays many a Mayfield home move. If a reissued share certificate is required, you should approach the company officers or managing agents (if applicable) for this sooner rather than later.

  • Completion in due on the disposal of our £250000 maisonette in Mayfield in six days. The freeholder has quoted £372 for Certificate of Compliance, insurance certificate and 3 years statements of service charge. Is the landlord entitled to charge exorbitant fees for a leasehold conveyance in Mayfield?

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

    • Addressing pre-exchange enquiries
    • Where consent is required before sale in Mayfield
    • Supplying insurance information
    • Deeds of covenant upon sale
    • Registering of the assignment of the change of lessee after a sale
    Your conveyancer will have no control over the level of the charges for this information but the average costs for the information for Mayfield leasehold property is £350. For Mayfield 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 own a leasehold flat in Mayfield, conveyancing formalities finalised 1999. How much will my lease extension cost? Corresponding properties in Mayfield with an extended lease are worth £242,000. The average or mid-range amount of ground rent is £45 levied per year. The lease comes to an end on 21st October 2098

    With 74 years remaining on your lease the likely cost is going to be between £10,500 and £12,000 plus costs.

    The figure above a general guide to costs for renewing a lease, but we cannot give you a more accurate figure in the absence of comprehensive due diligence. You should not use the figures in a Notice of Claim or as an informal offer. There may be additional concerns that need to be taken into account and you obviously want to be as accurate as possible in your negotiations. Neither should you move forward placing reliance on this information before seeking the advice of a professional.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Mayfield