Fixed-fee leasehold conveyancing in Ottery St Mary:

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Top Five Questions relating to Ottery St Mary leasehold conveyancing

Expecting to exchange soon on a leasehold property in Ottery St Mary. Conveyancing lawyers have said that they will have a report out to me within the next couple of days. What should I be looking out for?

The report on title for your leasehold conveyancing in Ottery St Mary should include some of the following:

  • The total extent of the demise. This will be the flat itself but might incorporate a roof space or cellar if appropriate.
  • 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
  • You should have a good understanding of the insurance provisions
  • The landlord’s rights to access the flat you be made aware that your landlord has rights of access and I know how much notice s/he must provide.
  • Whether the landlord has obligations to ensure rights of quiet enjoyment over your premises and do you know what it means in practice?
  • 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 contained in your report on your leasehold property in Ottery St Mary please ask your solicitor in ahead of your conveyancing in Ottery St Mary

  • I've recently bought a leasehold house in Ottery St Mary. 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. Strange as it may seem, your landlord may still be able to take action to forfeit the lease. A critical element 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).

    I work for a long established estate agent office in Ottery St Mary where we have experienced a few leasehold sales derailed as a result of leases having less than 80 years remaining. I have received conflicting advice from local Ottery St Mary conveyancing firms. Could you shed some light as to whether the owner of a flat can initiate the lease extension process for the purchaser on completion of the sale?

    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 needs to be completed before, or at the same time as 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 buyer.

    Do you have any top tips for leasehold conveyancing in Ottery St Mary from the perspective of speeding up the sale process?

    • A significant proportion of the frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Ottery St Mary can be reduced where you instruct lawyers as soon as you market your property and ask them to collate the leasehold information which will be required by the purchasers’ lawyers.
    • Many landlords or managing agents in Ottery St Mary charge for providing management packs for a leasehold homes. You or your lawyers should enquire as to the fee that they propose to charge. The management pack sought on or before finding a buyer, thus accelerating the process. The average time it takes to obtain the necessary information is three weeks. It is the most frequent reason for delay in leasehold conveyancing in Ottery St Mary.
  • A minority of Ottery St Mary leases require Licence to Assign from the landlord. If this is the case, you should notify your estate agents to make sure that the purchasers put in hand bank and professional references. Any bank reference will need to confirm that the buyers are financially capable of paying 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 actual amount of the service charge so that they can pass this information on to the buyers or their lawyers.
  • If there is a history of conflict with your landlord or managing agents it is essential that these are resolved prior to the flat being marketed. The buyers and their solicitors will be warry about purchasing a property where there is an ongoing dispute. You will have to accept that you will have to pay 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 clearly preferable to reveal the dispute as over rather than ongoing.
  • If you have the benefit of shareholding in the freehold, you should ensure that you hold the original share certificate. Arranging a replacement share certificate is often a time consuming process and frustrates many a Ottery St Mary home move. Where a reissued share certificate is necessary, do contact the company officers or managing agents (if applicable) for this as soon as possible.

  • Our conveyancer has advised that he intends to complete and exchange simultaneously on our sale of a £450000 maisonette in Ottery St Mary in six days. The freeholder has quoted £300 for Certificate of Compliance, insurance certificate and 3 years statements of service charge. Is it legal for a freeholder to charge an administration fee for a flat conveyance in Ottery St Mary?

    Ottery St Mary conveyancing on leasehold flats ordinarily necessitates administration charges invoiced by freeholders :

    • Completing conveyancing due diligence questions
    • Where consent is required before sale in Ottery St Mary
    • Copies of the building insurance and schedule
    • Deeds of covenant upon sale
    • Registering of the assignment of the change of lessee after a sale
    Your solicitor will have no control over the level of the charges for this information but the average costs for the information for Ottery St Mary leasehold premises is £350. For Ottery St Mary 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 supply the information.

    Ottery St Mary Leasehold Conveyancing - Examples of Questions you should consider Prior to Purchasing

      Its a good idea to find out as much as you can regarding the company managing the block as they can either make your living at the property much simpler or problematic. As the proprietor of a leasehold property you will be in the clutches of the managing agents from a financial perspective and when it comes to every day matters such as the cleanliness of the common parts. Enquire of other people what they think of them. On a final note, investigate as to the dates that you are obliged pay the service charge to the relevant party and specifically what it includes. Who manages the block? The answer will be important as a) areas could cause problems in the block as the common areas may begin to deteriorate if services remain unpaid b) if the leasehold owners have an issue with the running of the building you will wish to have full disclosure

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Ottery St Mary