Experts for Leasehold Conveyancing in Penrith

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Sample questions relating to Penrith leasehold conveyancing

Estate agents have just been given the go-ahead to market my 2 bed apartment in Penrith.Conveyancing solicitors are to be appointed soon but I have just had a half-yearly maintenance charge invoice – Do I pay up?

It best that you pay 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 management companies 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've found a house that seems to meet my requirements, at a great price which is making it more attractive. I have subsequently found out that it's a leasehold as opposed to freehold. I would have thought that there are issues buying a house with a leasehold title in Penrith. Conveyancing advisers have are about to be appointed. Will they explain the issues?

Most houses in Penrith are freehold and not leasehold. This is one of the situations where having a local solicitor who is familiar with the area can help the conveyancing process. We note that you are purchasing in Penrith in which case you should be shopping around for a Penrith conveyancing practitioner and check that they have experience in transacting on leasehold houses. As a matter of priority you will need to check the number of years remaining. Being a leaseholder you will not be at liberty to do whatever you want with the house. The lease will likely included provisions such as obtaining the landlord’sconsent to carry out alterations. It may be necessary to pay a service charge towards the upkeep of the estate where the house is located on an estate. Your solicitor will advise you fully on all the issues.

I work for a busy estate agent office in Penrith where we have witnessed a few flat sales derailed due to short leases. I have received contradictory information from local Penrith conveyancing firms. Please can you clarify whether the owner of a flat can initiate the lease extension formalities 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 kick-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 wait 2 years for a lease extension. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment has to be done prior to, or simultaneously with completion of the disposal of the property.

An alternative approach is 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 Penrith from the point of view of saving time on the sale process?

  • Much of the frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Penrith can be avoided where you get in touch lawyers as soon as you market your property and request that they start to put together the leasehold information which will be required by the buyers solicitors.
  • In the event that you altered the property did you need the Landlord’s permission? Have you, for example installed wooden flooring? Most leases in Penrith state that internal structural changes or installing wooden flooring require a licence issued by the Landlord acquiescing to such alterations. Should you fail to have the approvals in place do not communicate with the landlord without contacting your lawyer before hand.
  • Some Penrith 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 should make it clear that the buyer is able to meet 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.
  • If there is a history of any disputes with your freeholder or managing agents it is very important that these are resolved before the property is put on the market. The buyers and their solicitors will be nervous about purchasing a flat 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 purchasers, but it is better to present the dispute as historic rather than unsettled.
  • If you are supposed to have a share in the Management Company, you should make sure that you hold the original share certificate. Organising a re-issued share certificate can be a lengthy process and frustrates many a Penrith home move. If a new share certificate is necessary, you should approach the company officers or managing agents (where relevant) for this at the earliest opportunity.

  • When it comes to leasehold conveyancing in Penrith what are the most common lease defects?

    There is nothing unique about leasehold conveyancing in Penrith. All leases is drafted differently and legal mistakes in the legal wording can result in certain clauses are wrong. The following missing provisions could result in a defective lease:

    • A provision to repair to or maintain elements of the building
    • Insurance obligations
    • 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

    You may encounter a problem when selling your property if you have a defective lease primarily because it impacts on the ability to obtain a mortgage on the property. National Westminster Bank, Barnsley Building Society, and Alliance & Leicester all have very detailed requirements when it comes to what is expected in a lease. Where a lender has been advised by their lawyers that the lease is defective they may refuse to provide security, forcing the purchaser to pull out.

    Penrith Conveyancing for Leasehold Flats - Sample of Questions you should consider Prior to buying

      Most Penrith leasehold apartments will incur a service bill for the upkeep of the building invoiced on behalf of the landlord. If you purchase the property you will have to pay this charge, normally quarterly accross the year. This can be anything from a couple of hundred pounds to thousands of pounds for blocks with lifts and large common areas. In all likelihood there will be a ground rent for you to pay annual, ordinarily this is not a significant amount, say approximately £25-£75 but you should to enquire it because occasionally it can be surprisingly expensive. Its a good idea to find out as much as you can regarding the company managing the building as they will impact your use and enjoyment of the property. Being a leasehold owner you will be at the mercy of the managing agents from a financial perspective and when it comes to practical issues such as the cleanliness of the common parts. Ask prospective neighbours if they are happy with them. In conclusion, investigate as to the dates that you are obliged pay the service charge to the appropriate party and specifically what you get for your money. It is important to be aware if window replacement or some other significant cost is coming up to be shared amongst the tenants and may well materially impact the level of the service fees or result in a one time payment.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Penrith