Leasehold Conveyancing in Sandbanks - Get a Quote from the leasehold experts approved by your lender

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Top Five Questions relating to Sandbanks leasehold conveyancing

I’m about to sell my 2 bed flat in Sandbanks.Conveyancing lawyers have not yet been instructed but I have just received a quarterly service charge invoice – should I leave it to the buyer to sort out?

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 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. This will smooth the conveyancing process.

I am hoping to put an offer on a small detached house that appears to tick a lot of boxes, at a reasonable price which is making it more attractive. I have since been informed that the title is leasehold as opposed to freehold. I would have thought that there are particular concerns buying a leasehold house in Sandbanks. Conveyancing solicitors have are soon to be appointed. Will they explain the issues?

Most houses in Sandbanks are freehold rather than leasehold. This is one of the situations where having a local solicitor who is familiar with the area can assist with the conveyancing process. We note that you are purchasing in Sandbanks so you should seriously consider looking for a Sandbanks conveyancing solicitor and be sure that they are used to transacting on leasehold houses. As a matter of priority you will need to check the unexpired lease term. Being a lessee you will not be at liberty to do whatever you want with the house. The lease will likely included provisions for example obtaining the landlord’spermission to carry out alterations. You may also be required to pay a maintenance charge towards the maintenance of the estate where the property is located on an estate. Your solicitor will report to you on the legal implications.

I am looking at a couple of apartments in Sandbanks which have about 50 years unexpired on the leases. should I be concerned?

There are plenty of short leases in Sandbanks. The lease is a right to use the property for a period of time. As the lease gets shorter the saleability of the lease decreases and it becomes more expensive to extend the lease. For this reason it is advisable to increase the term of the lease. Sometimes it is difficulties arise selling premises with a short lease because mortgage lenders may be reluctant to lend money on such properties. Lease enfranchisement can be a protracted process. We advise that you seek professional help from a conveyancer and surveyor with experience in this arena

I am employed by a long established estate agent office in Sandbanks where we see a number of leasehold sales jeopardised as a result of short leases. I have received conflicting advice from local Sandbanks conveyancing firms. Could you clarify whether the owner of a flat can commence the lease extension process 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 kick-start the lease extension process and assign the benefit of the notice to the purchaser. This means that the proposed purchaser need not have to wait 2 years to extend their lease. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment needs to be completed before, or simultaneously with completion of the sale.

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 buyer.

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

  • Much of the frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Sandbanks can be avoided if you appoint lawyers the minute your agents start advertising the property and ask them to put together the leasehold information which will be required by the buyers lawyers.
  • In the event that you altered the property did you need the Landlord’s permission? In particular have you laid down wooden flooring? Most leases in Sandbanks state that internal structural changes or addition of wooden flooring require a licence issued by the Landlord acquiescing to such alterations. Should you fail to have the paperwork to hand you should not communicate with the landlord without contacting your lawyer first.
  • A minority of Sandbanks 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 put in hand bank and professional references. Any bank reference should make it clear that the buyer is financially capable of paying 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 lawyers.
  • If you have the benefit of shareholding in the Management Company, you should make sure that you hold the original share certificate. Organising a re-issued share certificate can be a lengthy process and slows down many a Sandbanks conveyancing transaction. If a reissued share certificate is needed, you should approach the company director and secretary or managing agents (if relevant) for this at the earliest opportunity.
  • You believe that you know the number of years left on your lease but it would be wise to verify this by asking your conveyancers. A buyer’s conveyancer will be unlikely to recommend their client to proceed with the purchase of a leasehold property the lease term is below 80 years. It is therefore essential at an early stage that you consider whether the lease term for your property needs extending. If it does, contact your solicitors before you put your property on the market for sale.

  • Leasehold Conveyancing in Sandbanks - Sample of Queries Prior to Purchasing

      It is important to be aware if changing the roof or some other significant cost is anticipated that will be shared by the leaseholders and will dramatically impact the level of the maintenance fees or necessitate a specific payment. Many Sandbanks leasehold apartments will be liable to pay a service charge for maintenance of the building invoiced on behalf of the management company. Where you acquire the property you will have to meet this liability, normally periodically throughout the year. This may be anything from several hundred pounds to thousands of pounds for large purpose-built buildings. In all probability there will be a rentcharge to be met annual, this is usually not a exorbitant amount, say about £50-£100 but you need to enquire it because on occasion it could be surprisingly expensive. For many Sandbanks leaseholds the outlay for major works are not wrapped into the maintenance charges, albeit that a few managing agents in Sandbanks ask tenants to pay into a reserve fund created for the specific purpose of building a fund for major repairs or maintenance.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Sandbanks