Experts for Leasehold Conveyancing in Newbury

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Top Five Questions relating to Newbury leasehold conveyancing

Looking forward to complete next month on a studio apartment in Newbury. Conveyancing lawyers have said that they are sending me a report within the next couple of days. Are there areas in the report that I should be focusing on?

Your report on title for your leasehold conveyancing in Newbury should include some of the following:

  • The unexpired lease term You should be advised as what happens when the lease ends, and aware of the importance of not letting the lease term falling below eighty years
  • Does the lease prohibit wood flooring?
  • An explanation as to the provision in the lease to pay service charges - with regard to both the building, and the more general rights a leaseholder has
  • Changes to the flat (alterations and additions)
  • I don't know whether the lease allows me to alter or improve anything in the flat - you should know whether it applies to all alterations or just structural alteration, and whether consent is required
  • The landlord’s obligations to repair and maintain the building. It is important that you know who is responsible for the repair and maintenance of every part of the building
  • Responsibility for repairing the window frames For a comprehensive list of information to be included in your report on your leasehold property in Newbury please enquire of your solicitor in advance of your conveyancing in Newbury

  • I have just started marketing my basement flat in Newbury.Conveyancing lawyers have not yet been instructed but I have just received a half-yearly service charge demand – what should I do?

    The sensible thing to do is clear 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. This will smooth the conveyancing process.

    I am attracted to a two maisonettes in Newbury which have in the region of fifty years unexpired on the leases. Will this present a problem?

    There are plenty of short leases in Newbury. The lease is a legal document that entitles you to use the property for a prescribed time frame. As the lease shortens the value of the lease deteriorate and it becomes more expensive to acquire a lease extension. This is why it is advisable to increase the term of the lease. Sometimes it is difficult to sell a property with a short lease because mortgage lenders may be reluctant to lend money on properties of this type. Lease extension can be a protracted process. We advise that you seek professional help from a solicitor and surveyor with experience in this arena

    I am employed by a long established estate agency in Newbury where we have witnessed a number of flat sales put at risk due to leases having less than 80 years remaining. I have been given conflicting advice from local Newbury conveyancing firms. Could you shed some light as to whether the vendor of a flat can commence the lease extension formalities for the buyer?

    As long as 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 proposed purchaser need not have 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 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 purchaser.

    Can you provide any top tips for leasehold conveyancing in Newbury with the intention of expediting the sale process?

    • Much of the frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Newbury can be reduced where you appoint lawyers as soon as your agents start advertising the property and ask them to collate the leasehold information needed by the buyers lawyers.
    • The majority landlords or Management Companies in Newbury levy fees for supplying management packs for a leasehold premises. You or your lawyers should enquire as to the actual amount of the charges. The management pack can be applied for on or before finding a buyer, thus reducing delays. The typical amount of time it takes to receive management information is three weeks. It is the most usual reason for delay in leasehold conveyancing in Newbury.
  • A minority of Newbury leases require Licence to Assign from the landlord. If this applies to your lease, it would be prudent to place the estate agents on notice to make sure that the purchasers put in hand financial (bank) and professional references. The bank reference will need to confirm that the buyers are able to meet 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 buyers or their lawyers.
  • If you have had any disputes with your freeholder or managing agents it is essential that these are settled before the property is put on the market. The purchasers and their solicitors will be reluctant to purchase a property where a dispute is ongoing. You may have to bite the bullet and 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 prior to the contract papers being issued to the buyers’ solicitors. You are still duty bound to disclose details of the dispute to the buyers, but it is better to present the dispute as over as opposed to unresolved.
  • If you have the benefit of shareholding in the freehold, you should ensure that you hold the original share document. Organising a new share certificate is often a lengthy formality and frustrates many a Newbury home move. Where a duplicate share is needed, you should approach the company officers or managing agents (if applicable) for this sooner rather than later.

  • Leasehold Conveyancing in Newbury - Examples of Questions you should consider Prior to buying

      How much is the annual service fee and ground rent? Is the freehold reversion owned jointly by the tenants? Who takes charge for maintaining and repairing the block?

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Newbury