Fixed-fee leasehold conveyancing in Sale:

When it comes to leasehold conveyancing in Sale, you will need to instruct a conveyancing practitioner with leasehold experience. Whether your lender is to be Santander, Yorkshire Building Society or NatWest make sure you find a lawyer on their panel. Feel free to use our search tool

Sale leasehold conveyancing Example Support Desk Enquiries

My wife and I purchased a leasehold house in Sale. Conveyancing and Chelsea Building Society mortgage went though with no issue. A letter has just been received from someone claiming to own the freehold. Attached was a demand for arrears of ground rent dating back to 1998. The conveyancing solicitor in Sale who previously acted has long since retired.What should I do?

The first thing you should do is make enquiries of HMLR to be sure that this person is indeed the registered owner of the freehold reversion. There is no need to instruct a Sale conveyancing firm to do this as it can be done on-line for less than a fiver. Rest assured that in any event, even if this is the legitimate landlord, under the Limitation Act 1980 the limitation period for recovery of ground rent is six years.

I am looking at a couple of apartments in Sale both have about 50 years remaining on the leases. should I be concerned?

There are no two ways about it. A leasehold apartment in Sale is a wasting asset as a result of the reducing lease term. The nearer the lease gets to its expiry date, the more it reduces the marketability of the property. The majority of purchasers and mortgage companies, leases with less than eighty years become less and less marketable. On a more upbeat note, leaseholders can extend their leases by serving a Section 42 Notice. One stipulation is that they must have owned the premises for two years (unlike a Section 13 notice for purchasing the freehold, when leaseholders can participate from day one of ownership). When successful, they will have the right to an extension of 90 years to the current term and ground rent is effectively reduced to zero. Before moving forward with a purchase of premises with a short lease term remaining you should talk to a solicitor specialising in lease extensions and leasehold enfranchisement. We are are happy to put you in touch with Sale conveyancing experts who will explain the options available to you during an initial telephone conversation free of charge. A more straightforward and quicker method of extending would be to contact your landlord directly and sound him out on the prospect of extending the lease They may agree to a smaller lump sum and an increase in the ground rent, but to shorter extension terms in return. You need to ensure that the agreed terms represent good long-term value compared with the standard benefits of the Section 42 Notice and that onerous clauses are not inserted into any redrafting of the lease.

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

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. 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).

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

When appointing a conveyancer for your lease extension (regardless if they are a Sale conveyancing firm) it is imperative that they be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of work. We suggested that you talk with several firms including non Sale conveyancing practices prior to instructing a firm. If the firm is ALEP accredited then that’s a bonus. Some following of questions could be of use:

  • If they are not ALEP accredited then why not?
  • Can they put you in touch with client in Sale who can give a testimonial?

  • Do you have any top tips for leasehold conveyancing in Sale from the point of view of saving time on the sale process?

    • A significant proportion of the frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Sale can be reduced where you instruct lawyers as soon as your agents start marketing the property and ask them to put together the leasehold documentation needed by the buyers lawyers.
    • Many freeholders or managing agents in Sale charge for supplying management packs for a leasehold premises. You or your lawyers should enquire as to the fee that they propose to charge. The management information sought on or before finding a buyer, thus reducing delays. The average time it takes to obtain the necessary information is three weeks. It is the most usual cause of delay in leasehold conveyancing in Sale.
  • A minority of Sale leases require Licence to Assign from the landlord. If this applies to your lease, it would be prudent to place the estate agents on notice to make sure that the purchasers obtain financial (bank) and professional references. The 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 actual amount of the service charge so that they can pass this information on to the purchasers or their solicitors.
  • If you have had any disputes with your freeholder or managing agents it is essential that these are resolved prior to the flat being marketed. The purchasers and their solicitors will be reluctant to purchase a property where a dispute is ongoing. You will have to accept that you will have to discharge 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 prior to the contract papers being issued to the buyers’ solicitors. You are still duty bound to disclose particulars of the dispute to the purchasers, but it is better to present the dispute as historic rather than unsettled.
  • You may think that you are aware of the number of years left on your lease but it would be wise to double-check via your solicitors. A buyer’s lawyer will be unlikely to recommend their client to where the lease term is under 75 years. In the circumstances it is important at an early stage that you identify 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 acquired a garden flat in Sale, conveyancing formalities finalised half a dozen years ago. Can you let me have an estimate of the premium that my landlord can legally expect in return for granting a renewal of my lease? Equivalent flats in Sale with over 90 years remaining are worth £194,000. The average or mid-range amount of ground rent is £65 invoiced every year. The lease ceases on 21st October 2080

    You have 59 years left to run we estimate the premium for your lease extension to be between £21,900 and £25,200 plus plus your own and the landlord's "reasonable" professional fees.

    The figure that we have given is a general guide to costs for extending a lease, but we cannot give you the actual costs in the absence of detailed due diligence. You should not use the figures in tribunal or court proceedings. There may be additional issues that need to be taken into account and you obviously should 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 Sale