Fixed-fee leasehold conveyancing in Preston Park:

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Preston Park leasehold conveyancing: Q and A’s

I am hoping to sign contracts shortly on a leasehold property in Preston Park. Conveyancing solicitors have said that they report fully tomorrow. Are there areas in the report that I should be focusing on?

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

  • Details of the parties to the lease, for example these could be the leaseholder (you), head lessor, freeholder
  • Repair and maintenance of the flat
  • 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 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?
  • Responsibility for repairing the window frames
  • What the implications are if you breach a clause of your lease? For details of the information to be included in your report on your leasehold property in Preston Park please enquire of your solicitor in advance of your conveyancing in Preston Park

  • I've recently bought a leasehold flat in Preston Park. Am I liable to pay service charges relating to a period prior to completion of my purchase?

    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. It is an essential part 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 am a negotiator for a long established estate agent office in Preston Park where we have witnessed a number of flat sales derailed due to short leases. I have received conflicting advice from local Preston Park conveyancing solicitors. Please can you shed some light as to whether the owner of a flat can instigate 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 kick-start the lease extension process and assign the benefit of the notice to the purchaser. This means that the buyer can avoid having 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 prior to, 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.

    What advice can you give us when it comes to appointing a Preston Park conveyancing practice to carry out our lease extension conveyancing?

    When appointing a solicitor for your lease extension (regardless if they are a Preston Park conveyancing firm) it is imperative that he or she should be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of conveyancing. We recommend that you make enquires with two or three firms including non Preston Park conveyancing practices prior to instructing a firm. If the firm is ALEP accredited then that’s a bonus. Some following of questions might be useful:

    • How familiar is the practice with lease extension legislation?
  • What volume of lease extensions has the firm conducted in Preston Park in the last 12 months?

  • Can you provide any top tips for leasehold conveyancing in Preston Park from the point of view of saving time on the sale process?

    • Much of the frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Preston Park can be avoided where you appoint lawyers as soon as you market your property and ask them to collate the leasehold documentation needed by the buyers lawyers.
    • Many freeholders or Management Companies in Preston Park charge for supplying management packs for a leasehold property. You or your lawyers should enquire as to the actual amount of the charges. The management pack sought as soon as you have a buyer, thus reducing delays. The typical amount of time it takes to receive management information is three weeks. It is the most common cause of frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Preston Park.
  • Some Preston Park leases require Landlord’s consent to the sale and approval of the buyers. If this applies to your lease, you should notify your estate agents to make sure that the purchasers put in hand bank and professional references. Any bank reference should make it clear that the buyer is 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 service charge figures so that they can pass this information on to the purchasers or their solicitors.
  • If you are supposed to have a share in the Management Company, you should ensure that you hold the original share certificate. Obtaining a replacement share certificate can be a lengthy formality and frustrates many a Preston Park conveyancing deal. If a duplicate share is necessary, do contact the company officers or managing agents (if applicable) for this at the earliest opportunity.
  • You may think that you are aware of the number of years remaining on your lease but you should double-check by asking your lawyers. A purchaser's conveyancer 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. In the circumstances it is essential at an as soon as possible that you consider whether the lease term requires a lease extension. If it does, contact your solicitors before you put your property on the market for sale.

  • I invested in buying a basement flat in Preston Park, conveyancing having been completed in 2003. Can you shed any light on how much the price could be for a 90 year extension to my lease? Similar properties in Preston Park with an extended lease are worth £178,000. The average or mid-range amount of ground rent is £45 levied per year. The lease comes to an end on 21st October 2098

    You have 75 years left to run we estimate the premium for your lease extension to be between £9,500 and £11,000 as well as 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 extending a lease, but we cannot give you a more accurate figure in the absence of detailed investigations. You should not use the figures in tribunal or court proceedings. There are no doubt other concerns that need to be taken into account and clearly you want to be as accurate as possible in your negotiations. Neither should you move forward placing reliance on this information before getting professional advice.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Preston Park