Fixed-fee leasehold conveyancing in Reading:

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Recently asked questions relating to Reading leasehold conveyancing

I am in need of some leasehold conveyancing in Reading. Before diving in I want to be sure as to the number of years remaining on the lease.

Assuming the lease is recorded at the land registry - and 99.9% are in Reading - then the leasehold title will always include the short particulars 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 want to rent out my leasehold apartment in Reading. Conveyancing solicitor who did the purchase is retired - so can't ask him. Is permission from the freeholder required?

Notwithstanding that your previous Reading conveyancing lawyer is no longer around you can review your lease to see if you are permitted to let out the premises. The rule is that if the deeds are non-specific, subletting is allowed. There may be a precondition that you must obtain consent via your landlord or other appropriate person prior to subletting. This means that you cannot sublet in the absence of prior permission. Such consent must not not be unreasonably turned down. If the lease does not allow you to sublet you should ask your landlord if they are willing to waive this restriction.

My wife and I purchased a leasehold flat in Reading. Conveyancing and Nottingham Building Society mortgage went though with no issue. I have received a letter from someone claiming to own the freehold. It included a ground rent demand for rent dating back to 1992. The conveyancing solicitor in Reading who acted for me is not around.Do I pay?

First make enquiries of HMLR to be sure that the individual purporting to own the freehold is indeed the registered owner of the freehold reversion. You do not need to incur the fees of a Reading conveyancing firm to do this as it can be done on-line for £3. You should note that regardless, even if this is the rightful freeholder, under the Limitation Act 1980 no more than 6 years of rent can be collected.

Last month I purchased a leasehold flat in Reading. 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).

Do you have any advice for leasehold conveyancing in Reading with the aim of saving time on the sale process?

  • A significant proportion of the delay in leasehold conveyancing in Reading can be avoided if you get in touch lawyers as soon as your agents start advertising the property and ask them to collate the leasehold documentation which will be required by the buyers representatives.
  • The majority landlords or managing agents in Reading levy fees for providing management packs for a leasehold premises. You or your lawyers should find out the actual amount of the charges. The management pack can be applied for on or before finding a buyer, thus reducing delays. The typical amount of time it takes to receive management information is three weeks. It is the most common reason for frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Reading.
  • Some Reading leases require Landlord’s consent to the sale and approval of the buyers. If this applies to your lease, it would be prudent to 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 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 actual amount of the service charge so that they can pass this information on to the purchasers or their lawyers.
  • If you have had any disputes with your landlord or managing agents it is very important that these are settled prior to the flat being marketed. The buyers and their solicitors will be nervous about purchasing a property where a dispute is unsettled. You may have to bite the bullet and 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 ahead of the contract papers being issued to the buyers’ solicitors. You will still have to reveal particulars of the dispute to the purchasers, but it is better to present the dispute as historic as opposed to unsettled.
  • You may think that you are aware of the number of years left on your lease but you should verify this by asking your lawyers. A buyer’s conveyancer will be unlikely to recommend their client to where the remaining number of years is less than 80 years. In the circumstances it is essential at an early stage that you consider whether the lease for your property needs extending. If it does, contact your solicitors before you put your premises on the market for sale.

  • Reading Leasehold Conveyancing - A selection of Questions you should consider before Purchasing

      It would be wise to find out as much as possible regarding the company managing the building as they can either make your life much simpler or much more difficult. As the proprietor of a leasehold property you will be in the clutches of the managing agents both financially and when it comes to daily issues like the tidiness of the communal areas. Enquire of other tenants whether they are happy with them. Finally, find out the dates that you are obliged pay the maintenance charge to the managing agents and precisely how they are spending that money. If a Reading lease has fewer than 80 years it will impact the salability of the property. It is worth checking with your bank that they are happy with remaining years on the lease. A short lease means that you will almost definitely require a lease extension at some point and you need to have some idea of how much this will be. Remember, in most cases you will be required to have been the owner of the property for two years in order to be eligible to exercise a lease extension. How much is the ground rent and service charge?

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Reading