Fixed-fee leasehold conveyancing in Salford:

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Frequently asked questions relating to Salford leasehold conveyancing

I have just started marketing my garden flat in Salford.Conveyancing lawyers have not yet been instructed but I have just received a half-yearly service charge invoice – Do I pay up?

Your conveyancing lawyer is likely to suggest that you should 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 managing agents 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.

I am hoping to put an offer on a small detached house that seems to tick a lot of boxes, at a great figure which is making it all the more appealing. I have subsequently found out that the title is leasehold rather than freehold. I would have thought that there are particular concerns purchasing a leasehold house in Salford. Conveyancing solicitors have not yet been instructed. Will they explain the issues?

Most houses in Salford are freehold rather than leasehold. This is one of the situations where having a local conveyancer who is familiar with the area can assist with the conveyancing process. It is clear that you are purchasing in Salford in which case you should be looking for a Salford conveyancing solicitor and check that they have experience in transacting on leasehold houses. First you will need to check the number of years remaining. As a tenant you will not be entirely free to do whatever you want with the house. The lease will likely included provisions such as requiring the freeholder’sconsent to conduct changes to the property. You may also be required to pay a maintenance charge towards the upkeep of the estate where the house is located on an estate. Your solicitor will advise you fully on all the issues.

I am tempted by the attractive purchase price for a two flats in Salford both have in the region of fifty years remaining on the leases. Will this present a problem?

There is no doubt about it. A leasehold apartment in Salford is a deteriorating asset as a result of the reducing lease term. The closer the lease gets to its expiry date, the more it reduces the value of the property. For most purchasers and banks, leases with under 75 years become less and less marketable. On a more positive note, leaseholders can extend their leases by serving a Section 42 Notice. One stipulation is that they must have owned the property 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 Salford 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.

Can you provide any advice for leasehold conveyancing in Salford with the purpose of saving time on the sale process?

  • Much of the frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Salford can be avoided if you get in touch lawyers the minute you market your property and request that they start to put together the leasehold documentation which will be required by the buyers lawyers.
  • Many freeholders or managing agents in Salford charge for providing management packs for a leasehold premises. You or your lawyers should discover the fee that they propose to charge. 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 frequent cause of delay in leasehold conveyancing in Salford.
  • If you have carried out any alterations to the property would they have required Landlord’s approval? In particular have you installed wooden flooring? Salford leases often stipulate that internal structural changes or addition of wooden flooring calls for a licence from the Landlord consenting to such alterations. Where you fail to have the paperwork to hand you should not communicate with the landlord without checking with your lawyer in the first instance.
  • If you are supposed to have a share in the Management Company, you should ensure that you have the original share certificate. Obtaining a new share certificate can be a time consuming process and frustrates many a Salford home move. If a new share is required, do contact the company officers or managing agents (where relevant) for this sooner rather than later.
  • You believe that you know the number of years left on your lease but it would be advisable double-check via your conveyancers. A buyer’s conveyancer will be unlikely to recommend their client to where the lease term is less than 80 years. It is therefore important at an early stage that you identify whether the lease term for your property needs extending. If it does, contact your solicitors before you put your home on the market for sale.

  • Completion in due on the sale of our £200000 maisonette in Salford in just under a week. The management company has quoted £408 for Certificate of Compliance, insurance certificate and previous years service charge statements. Is it legal for a freeholder to charge exorbitant fees for a leasehold conveyance in Salford?

    For most leasehold sales in Salford conveyancing will involve, questions about the management of a building inevitably needing to be answered directly by the freeholder or its agent, this includes :

    • Addressing pre-contract enquiries
    • Where consent is required before sale in Salford
    • Copies of the building insurance and schedule
    • Deeds of covenant upon sale
    • Registering of the assignment of the change of lessee after a sale
    Your lawyer will have no control over the level of the charges for this information but the average costs for the information for Salford leasehold premises is £350. For Salford 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 obliged to provide the information.

    I am the registered owner of a 1st floor flat in Salford, conveyancing was carried out 1998. Can you give me give me an indication of the likely cost of a lease extension? Similar properties in Salford with over 90 years remaining are worth £228,000. The ground rent is £45 charged once a year. The lease terminates on 21st October 2092

    With 72 years remaining on your lease we estimate the premium for your lease extension to be between £11,400 and £13,200 plus professional fees.

    The figure that we have given is a general guide to costs for extending a lease, but we are not able to advice on the actual costs in the absence of detailed due diligence. Do not use this information in a Notice of Claim or as an informal offer. There are no doubt other issues that need to be considered and you obviously want to be as accurate as possible in your negotiations. Neither should you move forward based on this information before getting professional advice.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Salford