Fixed-fee leasehold conveyancing in Moor Row:

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I have just started marketing my basement flat in Moor Row.Conveyancing lawyers have not yet been instructed but I have just had a quarterly service charge invoice – Do I pay up?

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 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. This will smooth the conveyancing process.

Last month I purchased a leasehold house in Moor Row. Do I have any liability for service charges for periods before my ownership?

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. It is an essential part 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).

What advice can you give us when it comes to finding a Moor Row conveyancing firm to deal with our lease extension?

If you are instructing a conveyancer for your lease extension (regardless if they are a Moor Row conveyancing firm) it is imperative that he or she should be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of conveyancing. We suggested that you speak with several firms including non Moor Row conveyancing practices before you instructing a firm. If the firm is ALEP accredited then that’s a bonus. Some following of questions might be of use:

  • If they are not ALEP accredited then why not?
  • What are the costs for lease extension work?

  • Can you provide any advice for leasehold conveyancing in Moor Row with the purpose of expediting the sale process?

    • A significant proportion of the delay in leasehold conveyancing in Moor Row can be bypassed if you instruct lawyers as soon as your agents start advertising the property and request that they start to put together the leasehold documentation needed by the buyers lawyers.
    • The majority freeholders or managing agents in Moor Row levy fees for providing management packs for a leasehold homes. You or your lawyers should find out the fee that they propose to charge. The management pack sought on or before finding a buyer, thus accelerating the process. 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 Moor Row.
  • If you have carried out any alterations to the property would they have required Landlord’s consent? Have you, for example installed wooden flooring? Moor Row leases often stipulate that internal structural changes or installing wooden flooring calls for a licence from the Landlord approving such alterations. Where you fail to have the consents to hand you should not communicate with the landlord without contacting your lawyer first.
  • A minority of Moor Row leases require Landlord’s consent to the sale and approval of the buyers. If this is the case, you should notify your estate agents to make sure that the purchasers obtain 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 actual amount of the service charge so that they can pass this information on to the buyers or their solicitors.
  • You may think that you are aware of the number of years left on your lease but it would be advisable verify this via your lawyers. A purchaser's lawyer will be unlikely to recommend their client to proceed with the purchase of a leasehold property the remaining number of years is less than 75 years. In the circumstances it is essential at an early stage that you consider whether the lease term for your property needs extending. If it does, contact your solicitors before you put your property on the market for sale.

  • When it comes to leasehold conveyancing in Moor Row what are the most common lease problems?

    Leasehold conveyancing in Moor Row is not unique. Most leases are individual and legal mistakes in the legal wording can sometimes mean that certain sections are not included. For example, if your lease is missing any of the following, it could be defective:

    • A provision to repair to or maintain elements of the property
    • Insurance obligations
    • Clauses dealing with recovering service charges for expenditure on the building or common parts.
    • Maintenance charge proportions which don’t add up to the correct percentage

    A defective lease can cause problems when trying to sell a property primarily because it impacts on the ability to obtain a mortgage on the property. Santander, The Royal Bank of Scotland, and TSB all have very detailed 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, obliging the buyer to pull out.

    I bought a ground floor flat in Moor Row, conveyancing having been completed in 2011. Can you let me have an estimated range of the fair premium for a lease extension? Similar properties in Moor Row with over 90 years remaining are worth £180,000. The average or mid-range amount of ground rent is £65 charged once a year. The lease ceases on 21st October 2098

    With just 76 years left to run we estimate the premium for your lease extension to range between £8,600 and £9,800 plus professional fees.

    The figure that we have given is a general guide to costs for extending a lease, but we are not able to supply a more accurate figure in the absence of detailed investigations. Do not use the figures in tribunal or court proceedings. There may be other concerns that need to be considered and clearly you should be as accurate as possible in your negotiations. Neither should you take any other action based on this information without first getting professional advice.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Moor Row