Fixed-fee leasehold conveyancing in Radcliffe:

Any conveyancing practice can theoretically handle your leasehold conveyancing in Radcliffe, your mortgage provider may not be willing to work with them if the firm are not on their list of approved solicitors for conveyancing

Top Five Questions relating to Radcliffe leasehold conveyancing

I’m about to sell my garden apartment in Radcliffe.Conveyancing lawyers have not yet been instructed but I have just received a half-yearly service charge invoice – what should I do?

It best that you clear the service charge 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 work for a long established estate agent office in Radcliffe where we have witnessed a number of leasehold sales jeopardised due to leases having less than 80 years remaining. I have been given inconsistent advice from local Radcliffe conveyancing solicitors. Could you shed some light as to whether the vendor of a flat can start the lease extension formalities for the buyer?

Provided that the seller has owned the lease for at least 2 years it is possible, to serve a Section 42 notice to commence 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 has to be done prior to, or at the same time as 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 purchaser.

Can you offer any advice when it comes to appointing a Radcliffe conveyancing practice to deal with our lease extension?

When appointing a property lawyer for your lease extension (regardless if they are a Radcliffe conveyancing practice) it is most important that they be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of conveyancing. We advise that you speak with several firms including non Radcliffe conveyancing practices before you instructing a firm. If the firm is ALEP accredited then that’s a bonus. Some following of questions could be of use:

  • How familiar is the practice with lease extension legislation?
  • If they are not ALEP accredited then what is the reason?

  • Can you provide any advice for leasehold conveyancing in Radcliffe from the perspective of expediting the sale process?

    • A significant proportion of the frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Radcliffe can be avoided if you appoint lawyers the minute you market your property and request that they start to put together the leasehold documentation needed by the buyers lawyers.
    • In the event that you altered the property did you need the Landlord’s permission? Have you, for example laid down wooden flooring? Radcliffe leases often stipulate that internal structural changes or laying down wooden flooring calls for a licence from the Landlord acquiescing to such works. Where you fail to have the paperwork in place you should not contact the landlord without contacting your solicitor first.
  • A minority of Radcliffe 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 obtain financial (bank) and professional references. Any bank reference will need to confirm that the buyers are 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 prior to the flat being put on the market. The purchasers and their solicitors will be reluctant to purchase a property where there is an ongoing dispute. You may have to bite the bullet and pay 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 ahead of the contract papers being issued to the buyers’ solicitors. You will still have to reveal particulars of the dispute to the buyers, but it is better to present the dispute as historic rather than unresolved.
  • If you are supposed to have a share in the Management Company, you should make sure that you have the original share certificate. Organising a re-issued share certificate can be a time consuming process and slows down many a Radcliffe conveyancing transaction. If a duplicate share certificate is required, you should approach the company director and secretary or managing agents (where relevant) for this at the earliest opportunity.

  • What are the common problems that you encounter in leases for Radcliffe properties?

    There is nothing unique about leasehold conveyancing in Radcliffe. All leases are individual and drafting errors can sometimes mean that certain clauses are erroneous. The following missing provisions could result in a defective lease:

    • Repairing obligations to or maintain elements of the premises
    • A duty to insure the building
    • 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

    A defective lease can cause problems when trying to sell a property primarily because it impacts on the ability to obtain a mortgage on the property. National Westminster Bank, The Royal Bank of Scotland, and Godiva Mortgages Ltd all have very detailed requirements when it comes to what is expected in a lease. If a mortgage lender believes that the lease does not cover certain provisions they may refuse to grant the mortgage, obliging the purchaser to pull out.

    I acquired a ground floor flat in Radcliffe, conveyancing having been completed half a dozen years ago. Can you let me have an estimated range of the fair premium for a lease extension? Corresponding properties in Radcliffe with over 90 years remaining are worth £245,000. The average or mid-range amount of ground rent is £45 invoiced every year. The lease finishes on 21st October 2090

    With only 69 years unexpired we estimate the premium for your lease extension to span between £10,500 and £12,000 plus legals.

    The suggested premium range that we have given is a general guide to costs for extending a lease, but we are not able to provide the actual costs without more detailed due diligence. Do not use the figures in tribunal or court proceedings. There may be other concerns that need to be taken into account and you obviously should be as accurate as possible in your negotiations. Please do not take any other action based on this information without first getting professional advice.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Radcliffe