Fixed-fee leasehold conveyancing in Shaftesbury:

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Top Five Questions relating to Shaftesbury leasehold conveyancing

I am intending to sublet my leasehold flat in Shaftesbury. Conveyancing solicitor who did the purchase is retired - so can't ask him. Do I need to ask my freeholder for permission?

Even though your last Shaftesbury conveyancing solicitor is no longer around you can review your lease to see if it allows you to sublet the property. The rule is that if the lease is non-specific, subletting is allowed. There may be a precondition that you need to obtain consent from your landlord or some other party before subletting. The net result is you not allowed to sublet without first obtaining permission. Such consent should not be unreasonably withheld. If the lease does not allow you to sublet you should ask your landlord if they are willing to waive this restriction.

I am a negotiator for a reputable estate agent office in Shaftesbury where we see a few flat sales jeopardised due to short leases. I have received conflicting advice from local Shaftesbury conveyancing solicitors. Can you confirm whether the vendor of a flat can commence the lease extension process for the buyer?

As long as the seller has owned the lease for at least 2 years it is possible, to serve a Section 42 notice to commence the lease extension process and assign the benefit of the notice to the purchaser. This means that the buyer need not have to sit tight for 2 years to extend their lease. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment needs to be completed prior to, or at the same time as completion of the disposal of the property.

An alternative approach is to agree the lease extension with the freeholder 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 purchaser.

What are your top tips when it comes to finding a Shaftesbury conveyancing practice to carry out our lease extension conveyancing?

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

  • How familiar is the firm with lease extension legislation?
  • If the firm is not ALEP accredited then what is the reason?

  • Completion in due on the sale of our £200000 maisonette in Shaftesbury in 10 days. The freeholder has quoted £372 for Certificate of Compliance, insurance certificate and 3 years statements of service charge. Is the landlord entitled to charge such fees for a flat conveyance in Shaftesbury?

    Shaftesbury conveyancing on leasehold apartments usually necessitates the purchaser’s lawyer sending enquiries for the landlord to answer. Although the landlord is under no legal obligation to address these enquiries the majority will be willing to do so. They may invoice a reasonable charge for responding to enquiries or supplying documentation. There is no set fee. The average fee for the paperwork that you are referring to is £350, in some situations it exceeds £800. The management information fee levied by the landlord must be sent together with a synopsis of entitlements and obligations in respect of administration charges, without which the charge is technically not due. Reality however dictates that one has little option but to pay whatever is requested of you if you want to sell the property.

    What are the frequently found defects that you encounter in leases for Shaftesbury properties?

    There is nothing unique about leasehold conveyancing in Shaftesbury. Most leases are unique and drafting errors can result in certain provisions are not included. The following missing provisions could result in a defective lease:

    • A provision to repair to or maintain parts of the property
    • A duty to insure the building
    • A provision for the recovery of money spent for the benefit of another party.
    • Service charge per centages that don't add up correctly leaving a shortfall

    A defective lease can cause issues when trying to sell a property primarily because it impacts on the ability to obtain a mortgage on the property. Halifax, Bank of Scotland, and Bank of Ireland all have very detailed requirements when it comes to what is expected in a lease. Where a lender has been advised by their lawyers that the lease is problematic they may refuse to grant the mortgage, obliging the buyer to withdraw.

    I invested in buying a leasehold flat in Shaftesbury, conveyancing was carried out 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? Comparable flats in Shaftesbury with an extended lease are worth £192,000. The average or mid-range amount of ground rent is £65 yearly. The lease finishes on 21st October 2094

    With 71 years unexpired we estimate the premium for your lease extension to range between £12,400 and £14,200 as well as professional fees.

    The suggested premium range above a general guide to costs for extending a lease, but we cannot give you a more accurate figure in the absence of comprehensive investigations. You should not use the figures in tribunal or court proceedings. There are no doubt additional issues that need to be taken into account and clearly you want to be as accurate as possible in your negotiations. Please do not move forward based on this information before seeking the advice of a professional.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Shaftesbury