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Peacehaven leasehold conveyancing: Q and A’s

Having had my offer accepted I require leasehold conveyancing in Peacehaven. Before I get started I require certainty as to the unexpired term of the lease.

Assuming the lease is recorded at the land registry - and 99.9% are in Peacehaven - then the leasehold title will always include the basic details of the lease, namely the date; the term; and the original parties. From a conveyancing perspective such details then enable any prospective buyer and lender to confirm that any lease they are looking at is the one relevant to that title.For any other purpose, such as confirming how long the term was granted for and calculating what is left, then the register should be sufficient on it's own.

My wife and I purchased a leasehold house in Peacehaven. Conveyancing and The Mortgage Works mortgage are in place. I have received a letter from someone claiming to own the reversionary interest in the property. It included a demand for arrears of ground rent dating back to 1995. The conveyancing solicitor in Peacehaven who acted for me is not around.Any advice?

The first thing you should do is contact the Land Registry to be sure that the individual claiming to own the freehold is in fact the registered owner of the freehold reversion. It is not necessary to instruct a Peacehaven conveyancing solicitor to do this as it can be done on-line for £3. Rest assured that regardless, even if this is the legitimate landlord, under the Limitation Act 1980 the limitation period for recovery of ground rent is six years.

I work for a busy estate agent office in Peacehaven where we see a number of leasehold sales derailed due to short leases. I have been given contradictory information from local Peacehaven conveyancing solicitors. Can you clarify whether the owner of a flat can commence the lease extension process for the purchaser on completion of the sale?

Provided that 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. The benefit of this is that the buyer 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 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 buyer.

Can you provide any top tips for leasehold conveyancing in Peacehaven with the intention of saving time on the sale process?

  • A significant proportion of the frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Peacehaven can be avoided where you get in touch lawyers as soon as you market your property and request that they start to collate the leasehold information needed by the buyers conveyancers.
  • The majority landlords or managing agents in Peacehaven levy fees for supplying management packs for a leasehold property. You or your lawyers should enquire as to the actual amount of the charges. The management information sought as soon as you have a buyer, thus reducing delays. The average time it takes to obtain the necessary information is three weeks. It is the most frequent cause of delay in leasehold conveyancing in Peacehaven.
  • Some Peacehaven leases require Landlord’s consent to the sale and approval of the buyers. If this is the case, it would be prudent to notify your estate agents to make sure that the purchasers put in hand financial (bank) and professional references. The bank reference should make it clear that the buyer is 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 solicitors.
  • 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 purchasers and their solicitors will be nervous about purchasing a property where there is a current dispute. You may need to swallow your pride and discharge any arrears of service charge or settle the dispute prior to the buyers completing the purchase. 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 reveal the dispute as historic rather than unresolved.
  • If you are supposed to have a share in the Management Company, you should ensure that you have the original share document. Obtaining a replacement share certificate is often a lengthy process and frustrates many a Peacehaven conveyancing deal. If a reissued share certificate is required, do contact the company director and secretary or managing agents (if relevant) for this as soon as possible.

  • If all goes to plan we aim to complete our sale of a £500000 garden flat in Peacehaven on Thursday in a week. The management company has quoted £396 for Landlord’s certificate, insurance certificate and previous years statements of service charge. Is it legal for a freeholder to charge an administration fee for a leasehold conveyance in Peacehaven?

    Peacehaven conveyancing on leasehold flats typically necessitates fees being invoiced by managing agents :

    • Answering pre-contract questions
    • Where consent is required before sale in Peacehaven
    • 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 lawyer will have no control over the level of the charges for this information but the average costs for the information for Peacehaven leasehold property is £350. For Peacehaven 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 answers.

    I purchased a 1 bedroom flat in Peacehaven, conveyancing having been completed half a dozen years ago. Can you give me give me an indication of the likely cost of a lease extension? Comparable flats in Peacehaven with over 90 years remaining are worth £205,000. The ground rent is £55 invoiced every year. The lease ends on 21st October 2078

    You have 56 years remaining on your lease we estimate the premium for your lease extension to range between £25,700 and £29,600 plus plus your own and the landlord's "reasonable" professional fees.

    The suggested premium range that we have given is a general guide to costs for renewing a lease, but we are not able to supply a more accurate figure in the absence of detailed investigations. You should not use the figures in tribunal or court proceedings. There may be other issues that need to be taken into account and you obviously want to be as accurate as possible in your negotiations. You should not take any other action based on this information before seeking the advice of a professional.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Peacehaven