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Questions and Answers: Rochford leasehold conveyancing

I’m about to sell my basement flat in Rochford.Conveyancing solicitors are to be appointed soon but I have just had a yearly service charge invoice – should I leave it to the buyer to sort out?

Your conveyancing lawyer is likely to suggest that you should clear 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 until 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. Having a clear account will assist your cause and will leave you no worse off financially.

My wife and I purchased a leasehold flat in Rochford. Conveyancing and Chelsea Building Society mortgage went though with no issue. I have received a letter from someone saying they have taken over the reversionary interest in the property. It included a demand for arrears of ground rent dating back to 1994. The conveyancing practitioner in Rochford who acted for me is not around.What should I do?

The first thing you should do is make enquiries of HMLR to make sure that the individual purporting to own the freehold is in fact the registered owner of the freehold reversion. You do not need to instruct a Rochford conveyancing solicitor to do this as it can be done on-line for £3. You should note that regardless, even if this is the legitimate freeholder, under the Limitation Act 1980 no more than 6 years of rent can be collected.

I am looking at a two maisonettes in Rochford which have approximately fifty years left on the leases. Should I regard a short lease as a deal breaker?

A lease is a legal document that entitles you to use the premises for a period of time. As a lease shortens the value of the lease reduces and it becomes more expensive to acquire a lease extension. This is why it is often a good idea to extend the lease term. More often than not it is difficulties arise selling premises with a short lease as mortgage companies less inclined to grant a loan on such properties. Lease enfranchisement can be a difficult process. We advise that you get professional help from a conveyancer and surveyor with experience in this arena

What advice can you give us when it comes to finding a Rochford conveyancing firm to deal with our lease extension?

If you are instructing a property lawyer for lease extension works (regardless if they are a Rochford conveyancing practice) it is imperative that they be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of conveyancing. We recommend that you talk with two or three firms including non Rochford conveyancing practices before you instructing a firm. Where the conveyancing practice is ALEP accredited then so much the better. Some following of questions might be useful:

  • If the firm is not ALEP accredited then why not?
  • Can they put you in touch with client in Rochford who can give a testimonial?

  • All being well we will complete the disposal of our £500000 maisonette in Rochford in 8 days. The management company has quoted £312 for Landlord’s certificate, building insurance schedule and 3 years statements of service charge. Is the landlord entitled to charge exorbitant fees for a leasehold conveyance in Rochford?

    For the majority of leasehold sales in Rochford conveyancing will involve, queries regarding the management of a building inevitably needing to be answered directly by the freeholder or its agent, this includes :

    • Answering pre-contract enquiries
    • Where consent is required before sale in Rochford
    • Supplying insurance information
    • Deeds of covenant upon sale
    • Registering of the assignment of the change of lessee after a sale
    Your solicitor will have no control over the level of the charges for this information but the average costs for the information for Rochford leasehold property is £350. For Rochford conveyancing transactions it is customary for the seller to pay for these costs. The landlord or their agents are under no legal obligation to answer such questions most will be willing to do so - albeit often at exorbitant prices where the fees bear little relation to the work involved. Unfortunately there is no law that requires fixed charges for administrative tasks. Neither is there any legal time frame by which they are required to provide answers.

    I am the registered owner of a studio flat in Rochford, conveyancing having been completed 2007. Can you give me give me an indication of the likely cost of a lease extension? Corresponding flats in Rochford with an extended lease are worth £246,000. The ground rent is £55 per annum. The lease terminates on 21st October 2098

    With 76 years left to run we estimate the premium for your lease extension to span between £8,600 and £9,800 as well as professional fees.

    The suggested premium range that we have given is a general guide to costs for renewing a lease, but we cannot give you a more accurate figure without more comprehensive due diligence. Do 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. You should not move forward placing reliance on this information without first getting professional advice.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Rochford