Fixed-fee leasehold conveyancing in Mortimer:

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Common questions relating to Mortimer leasehold conveyancing

I have just appointed agents to market my basement apartment in Mortimer.Conveyancing solicitors are to be appointed soon but I have just had a yearly service charge invoice – should I leave it to the buyer to sort out?

The sensible thing to do is clear 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 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.

I am attracted to a couple of maisonettes in Mortimer which have about fifty years left on the lease term. Should I regard a short lease as a deal breaker?

A lease is a right to use the property for a prescribed time frame. As a lease shortens the saleability of the lease reduces and it becomes more costly to acquire a lease extension. This is why it is advisable to extend the lease term. It is often difficulties arise selling premises with a short lease as mortgage lenders less inclined to grant a loan on such properties. Lease enfranchisement can be a difficult process. We recommend you get professional assistance from a solicitor and surveyor with experience in this field

I am employed by a reputable estate agency in Mortimer where we see a number of flat sales put at risk due to short leases. I have been given conflicting advice from local Mortimer conveyancing firms. Please can you clarify whether the vendor of a flat can initiate the lease extension process for the purchaser on completion of the sale?

As long as the seller has been the owner 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. The benefit of this is that the proposed purchaser 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 simultaneously with completion of the sale.

Alternatively, it may be possible 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 purchaser.

Can you provide any advice for leasehold conveyancing in Mortimer from the point of view of expediting the sale process?

  • Much of the delay in leasehold conveyancing in Mortimer can be reduced where you get in touch lawyers as soon as you market your property and ask them to put together the leasehold documentation needed by the buyers conveyancers.
  • In the event that you altered the property did you need the Landlord’s consent? Have you, for example installed wooden flooring? Most leases in Mortimer state that internal structural changes or addition of wooden flooring necessitate a licence from the Landlord consenting to such changes. If you dont have the approvals to hand you should not communicate with the landlord without checking with your lawyer before hand.
  • Some Mortimer leases require Licence to Assign from the landlord. If this is the case, it would be prudent to notify your estate agents to make sure that the purchasers obtain 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 service charge figures so that they can pass this information on to the purchasers or their solicitors.
  • If you hold a share in a the Management Company, you should make sure that you are holding the original share document. Arranging a replacement share certificate can be a time consuming process and frustrates many a Mortimer home move. Where a duplicate share is needed, do contact the company director and secretary or managing agents (if applicable) for this at the earliest opportunity.
  • You believe that you know the number of years remaining on your lease but you should verify this by asking your solicitors. A buyer’s lawyer will not be happy to advise their client to where the lease term is under 80 years. It is therefore essential at an as soon as possible that you identify whether the lease term for your property needs extending. If it does, contact your solicitors before you put your premises on the market for sale.

  • What makes a Mortimer lease unmortgageable?

    Leasehold conveyancing in Mortimer is not unique. All leases is drafted differently and drafting errors can result in certain clauses are wrong. For example, if your lease is missing any of the following, it could be defective:

    • Repairing obligations to or maintain elements of the premises
    • A duty to insure the building
    • 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

    A defective lease can cause issues when trying to sell a property primarily because it impacts on the ability to obtain a mortgage on the property. Accord Mortgages Ltd, Skipton Building Society, and Britannia all have very detailed conveyancing instructions when it comes to what is expected in a lease. If a mortgage lender believes that the lease is problematic they may refuse to provide security, obliging the purchaser to pull out.

    Mortimer Conveyancing for Leasehold Flats - Examples of Queries Prior to Purchasing

      How long is the Lease? It is important to be aware whether fixing the lift or some other major work is pending that will be shared by the leaseholders and may well dramatically increase the the maintenance fees or require a one off invoice. Many Mortimer leasehold apartments will incur a service charge for maintenance of the block set on behalf of the landlord. Where you acquire the flat you will have to meet this contribution, normally in instalments throughout the year. This may differ from several hundred pounds to thousands of pounds for bigger purpose-built buildings. There will also be a rentcharge to be met yearly, this is usually not a large figure, say around £25-£75 but you should to enquire it because occasionally it can be many hundreds of pounds.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Mortimer