Fixed-fee leasehold conveyancing in Poundbury:

While any conveyancing solicitor can theoretically handle your leasehold conveyancing in Poundbury, your mortgage provider may unwilling to work with them if the firm are not on their list of approved solicitors for conveyancing

Questions and Answers: Poundbury leasehold conveyancing

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

Assuming the lease is registered - and most are in Poundbury - 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.

I've recently bought a leasehold property in Poundbury. Am I liable to pay service charges for periods before completion of my purchase?

In a situation where the service charge has already been demanded from the previous lessee 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 busy estate agency in Poundbury where we see a few leasehold sales derailed as a result of leases having less than 80 years remaining. I have been given inconsistent advice from local Poundbury conveyancing solicitors. Could you clarify whether the owner of a flat can instigate the lease extension formalities for the buyer?

Provided that the seller has been the owner 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 proposed purchaser need not have to wait 2 years to extend their lease. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment needs to be completed prior to, or at the same time as 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 buyer.

Do you have any top tips for leasehold conveyancing in Poundbury from the point of view of speeding up the sale process?

  • A significant proportion of the frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Poundbury can be bypassed if you get in touch lawyers as soon as you market your property and request that they start to put together the leasehold documentation which will be required by the purchasers’ solicitors.
  • In the event that you altered the property did you need the Landlord’s consent? Have you, for example laid down wooden flooring? Most leases in Poundbury state that internal structural changes or addition of wooden flooring calls for a licence issued by the Landlord acquiescing to such changes. Should you dont have the consents in place you should not communicate with the landlord without contacting your conveyancer first.
  • Some Poundbury leases require Licence to Assign from the landlord. If this applies to your lease, it would be prudent to notify your estate agents to make sure that the purchasers put in hand 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 purchasers or their lawyers.
  • If you are supposed to have a share in the freehold, you should ensure that you are holding the original share certificate. Obtaining a new share certificate is often a lengthy formality and delays many a Poundbury home move. Where a duplicate share is necessary, do contact the company director and secretary or managing agents (where applicable) for this at the earliest opportunity.
  • You believe that you know the number of years remaining on your lease but it would be wise to double-check by asking your conveyancers. A buyer’s lawyer will be unlikely to recommend their client to proceed with the purchase of a leasehold property the remaining number of years is under 80 years. It is therefore important at an as soon as possible that you identify whether the lease for your property needs extending. If it does, contact your solicitors before you put your home on the market for sale.

  • Completion in due on the disposal of our £175000 apartment in Poundbury next Wednesday . The management company has quoted £372 for Certificate of Compliance, insurance certificate and 3 years service charge statements. Is it legal for a freeholder to charge an administration fee for a leasehold conveyance in Poundbury?

    Poundbury conveyancing on leasehold apartments usually involves the buyer’s lawyer submitting questions for the landlord to answer. Although the landlord is not legally bound to address such questions most will be content to assist. They may charge a reasonable administration fee for answering questions or supplying documentation. There is no upper cap for such fees. The average costs for the paperwork that you are referring to is £350, in some cases it exceeds £800. The administration charge demanded by the landlord must be sent together with a synopsis of entitlements and obligations in respect of administration fees, otherwise the invoice is not strictly payable. Reality however dictates that you have no option but to pay whatever is demanded if you want to sell the property.

    Poundbury Conveyancing for Leasehold Flats - Examples of Queries before buying

      Please note if it is fewer than 80 years it will have adverse implications on the salability of the flat. Check with your mortgage company that they are willing to to proceed given the lease term. A short lease means that you will almost definitely need a lease extension at some point and it is worth finding out what this will be. For most Poundburylease extensions you would be required to have owned the residence for two years in order to be entitled to exercise a lease extension. Does the lease include onerous restrictions? In the main the outlay for major works are not included within maintenance charges, albeit that some managing agents in Poundbury require leaseholders to contribute towards a reserve fund created for the specific intention of building a fund for larger repairs or maintenance.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Poundbury