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Recently asked questions relating to Seaford leasehold conveyancing

I am hoping to complete next month on a basement flat in Seaford. Conveyancing solicitors assured me that they are sending me a report within the next couple of days. Are there areas in the report that I should be focusing on?

Your report on title for your leasehold conveyancing in Seaford should include some of the following:

  • How long the lease is You should be advised as what happens when the lease ends, and aware of the importance of the 80 year mark
  • The physical extent of the premises. This will be the property itself but could also incorporate a roof space or basement if appropriate.
  • Defining your rights in relation to the communal areas in the block.For instance, does the lease permit a right of way over an accessway or hallways?
  • Does the lease prohibit wood flooring?
  • Changes to the flat (alterations and additions)
  • The landlord’s rights to access the flat you be made aware that your landlord has rights of access and I know how much notice s/he must provide.
  • Whether the landlord has obligations to ensure rights of quiet enjoyment over your premises and do you know what it means in practice? For a comprehensive list of information to be contained in your report on your leasehold property in Seaford please enquire of your lawyer in ahead of your conveyancing in Seaford

  • I today plan to offer on a house that appears to be perfect, at a great figure which is making it all the more appealing. I have just found out that the title is leasehold as opposed to freehold. I would have thought that there are particular concerns buying a leasehold house in Seaford. Conveyancing solicitors have not yet been appointed. Will my lawyers set out the implications of buying a leasehold house in Seaford ?

    Most houses in Seaford are freehold and not 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 buying in Seaford so you should seriously consider shopping around for a Seaford conveyancing practitioner and check that they are used to transacting on leasehold houses. As a matter of priority you will need to check the number of years remaining. Being a leaseholder you will not be entirely free to do whatever you want to the property. The lease will likely included provisions such as requiring the landlord’sconsent to carry out changes to the property. You may also be required to pay a service charge towards the maintenance of the communal areas where the property is located on an estate. Your solicitor should appraise you on the various issues.

    I am tempted by the attractive purchase price for a two maisonettes in Seaford which have about forty five years left on the lease term. should I be concerned?

    There are no two ways about it. A leasehold flat in Seaford 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 premises. For most purchasers and banks, leases with less than eighty 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 a residence 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 Seaford 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.

    Last month I purchased a leasehold flat in Seaford. Do I have any liability for service charges for periods before completion of my purchase?

    In a situation where the service charge has already been demanded from the previous owner 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 be sure 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 Seaford from the point of view of expediting the sale process?

    • Much of the delay in leasehold conveyancing in Seaford can be reduced if you appoint lawyers as soon as you market your property and ask them to put together the leasehold documentation needed by the purchasers’ solicitors.
    • The majority landlords or Management Companies in Seaford charge for providing management packs for a leasehold homes. You or your lawyers should find out the fee that they propose to charge. The management pack sought as soon as you have a buyer, thus accelerating the process. The average time it takes to receive management information is three weeks. It is the most common cause of delay in leasehold conveyancing in Seaford.
  • If you have carried out any alterations to the residence would they have required Landlord’s permission? Have you, for example installed wooden flooring? Most leases in Seaford state that internal structural alterations or addition of wooden flooring calls for a licence issued by the Landlord acquiescing to such works. Where you fail to have the paperwork to hand you should not communicate with the landlord without contacting your lawyer in the first instance.
  • Some Seaford leases require Landlord’s consent to the sale and approval of the buyers. If this is the case, 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 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 service charge figures so that they can pass this information on to the purchasers or their solicitors.
  • If there is a history of conflict with your freeholder or managing agents it is very important that these are resolved prior to the flat being marketed. The buyers 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 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 are still duty bound to disclose particulars of the dispute to the purchasers, but it is better to reveal the dispute as historic rather than unresolved.

  • I invested in buying a leasehold flat in Seaford, conveyancing was carried out in 2001. Can you shed any light on how much the price could be for a 90 year extension to my lease? Corresponding properties in Seaford with over 90 years remaining are worth £259,000. The average or mid-range amount of ground rent is £55 invoiced every year. The lease comes to an end on 21st October 2081

    With 61 years unexpired we estimate the premium for your lease extension to span between £21,900 and £25,200 plus plus your own and the landlord's "reasonable" 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 the actual costs without more comprehensive investigations. You should not use this information in tribunal or court proceedings. There may be other concerns that need to be considered and you obviously want to be as accurate as possible in your negotiations. You should not move forward based on this information before seeking the advice of a professional.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Seaford