Fixed-fee leasehold conveyancing in Middleton:

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Middleton leasehold conveyancing Example Support Desk Enquiries

I have just appointed agents to market my garden apartment in Middleton.Conveyancing is yet to be initiated but I have just had a quarterly service charge demand – 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 managing agents 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. Having a clear account will assist your cause and will leave you no worse off financially.

I own a leasehold flat in Middleton. Conveyancing and HSBC Bank mortgage organised. 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 1998. The conveyancing practitioner in Middleton who previously acted has now retired.Any advice?

First contact the Land Registry to make sure that this person is in fact the new freeholder. It is not necessary to incur the fees of a Middleton conveyancing practitioner to do this as it can be done on-line for a few pound. You should note that regardless, even if this is the rightful landlord, under the Limitation Act 1980 the limitation period for recovery of ground rent is six years.

I work for a reputable estate agency in Middleton where we see a number of leasehold sales put at risk due to leases having less than 80 years remaining. I have been given contradictory information from local Middleton conveyancing firms. Can you clarify whether the owner of a flat can commence the lease extension formalities for the buyer?

As long as the seller has been the owner 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 proposed purchaser need not have to wait 2 years for a lease extension. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment needs to be completed before, or at the same time as completion of the sale.

An alternative approach is to extend the lease informally by agreement with the landlord 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 Middleton with the intention of saving time on the sale process?

  • Much of the frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Middleton can be reduced if you instruct lawyers as soon as you market your property and request that they start to put together the leasehold documentation needed by the purchasers’ solicitors.
  • A minority of Middleton leases require Licence to Assign from the landlord. If this applies to your lease, you should place the estate agents on notice to make sure that the purchasers put in hand financial (bank) and professional references. Any bank reference will need to confirm that the buyers are 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 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 freeholder or managing agents it is essential that these are resolved before the property is marketed. The purchasers and their solicitors will be reluctant to purchase a property where there is a current dispute. You may have to bite the bullet and pay 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 will still have to reveal particulars of the dispute to the purchasers, but it is clearly preferable to present the dispute as over as opposed to unsettled.
  • If you have the benefit of shareholding in the Management Company, you should ensure that you hold the original share certificate. Obtaining a duplicate share certificate can be a lengthy process and frustrates many a Middleton conveyancing transaction. Where a reissued share certificate is required, do contact the company officers or managing agents (where relevant) for this sooner rather than later.
  • You may think that you are aware of the number of years left on your lease but you should verify this by asking your lawyers. A purchaser's lawyer will not be happy to advise their client to proceed with the purchase of a leasehold property the remaining number of years is below 80 years. In the circumstances it is important at an as soon as possible 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.

  • Are there frequently found problems that you witness in leases for Middleton properties?

    Leasehold conveyancing in Middleton is not unique. Most leases is drafted differently and drafting errors can result in certain sections 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 building
    • Insurance obligations
    • Clauses dealing with recovering service charges for expenditure on the building or common parts.
    • Service charge per centages that don't add up correctly leaving a shortfall

    You will have a problem when selling your property if you have a defective lease as they can affect a potential buyer’s ability to obtain a mortgage. Barclays , Barnsley Building Society, and Nottingham Building Society all have express 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 grant the mortgage, obliging the purchaser to withdraw.

    I inherited a basement flat in Middleton, conveyancing formalities finalised half a dozen years ago. Can you let me have an estimate of the premium that my landlord can legally expect in return for granting a renewal of my lease? Similar properties in Middleton with over 90 years remaining are worth £265,000. The average or mid-range amount of ground rent is £65 levied per year. The lease runs out on 21st October 2074

    You have 52 years remaining on your lease the likely cost is going to be between £35,200 and £40,600 as well as legals.

    The figure above a general guide to costs for extending a lease, but we are not able to supply the actual costs without more detailed due diligence. You should not use this information in tribunal or court proceedings. There may be additional concerns that need to be considered and you obviously want to be as accurate as possible in your negotiations. You should not move forward placing reliance on this information without first seeking the advice of a professional.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Middleton