Fixed-fee leasehold conveyancing in Shard End:

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Frequently asked questions relating to Shard End leasehold conveyancing

Expecting to complete next month on a basement flat in Shard End. Conveyancing solicitors assured me that they are sending me a report tomorrow. Are there areas in the report that I should be focusing on?

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

  • Are pets allowed in the flat?
  • Ground rent - how much and when you need to pay, and also know whether this will change in the future
  • You should have a good understanding of the insurance provisions
  • Repair and maintenance of the flat
  • Changes to the flat (alterations and additions)
  • Whether the landlord has obligations to ensure rights of quiet enjoyment over your property and do you know what it means in practice?
  • What the implications are if you breach a clause of your lease? For a comprehensive list of information to be included in your report on your leasehold property in Shard End please enquire of your lawyer in advance of your conveyancing in Shard End

  • I've recently bought a leasehold house in Shard End. 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 lessee and they have not paid you would not usually be personally liable for the arrears. However, 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).

    I am a negotiator for a busy estate agent office in Shard End where we have witnessed a few leasehold sales put at risk due to leases having less than 80 years remaining. I have received inconsistent advice from local Shard End conveyancing solicitors. Could you confirm whether the vendor of a flat can initiate the lease extension formalities for the purchaser on completion of the sale?

    As long as the seller has been the owner 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 buyer can avoid having to sit tight for 2 years to extend their lease. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment has to be done before, or simultaneously with 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 buyer.

    Can you provide any top tips for leasehold conveyancing in Shard End with the purpose of speeding up the sale process?

    • Much of the delay in leasehold conveyancing in Shard End can be reduced where you instruct lawyers the minute you market your property and ask them to put together the leasehold documentation needed by the buyers conveyancers.
    • Some Shard End 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 financial (bank) and professional references. The bank reference will need to confirm that the buyers are 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 there is a history of any disputes with your freeholder or managing agents it is very important that these are resolved prior to the flat being put on the market. The buyers and their solicitors will be reluctant to purchase a flat where there is a current dispute. You may have to bite the bullet and pay 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 buyers, but it is clearly preferable to reveal the dispute as over as opposed to ongoing.
  • If you are supposed to have a share in the freehold, you should make sure that you hold the original share certificate. Obtaining a re-issued share certificate can be a lengthy process and delays many a Shard End conveyancing transaction. If a duplicate share certificate is required, do contact the company director and secretary or managing agents (if relevant) for this at the earliest opportunity.
  • You may think that you are aware of the number of years left on your lease but you should double-check via your solicitors. A purchaser's conveyancer will not be happy to advise their client to proceed with the purchase of a leasehold property the remaining number of years 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.

  • When it comes to leasehold conveyancing in Shard End what are the most frequent lease problems?

    There is nothing unique about leasehold conveyancing in Shard End. Most leases are individual and legal mistakes in the legal wording can sometimes mean that certain provisions are wrong. For example, if your lease is missing any of the following, it could be defective:

    • A provision to repair to or maintain elements of the property
    • A duty to insure the building
    • A provision for the recovery of money spent for the benefit of another party.
    • Maintenance charge proportions which don’t add up to the correct percentage

    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. Yorkshire Building Society, Barnsley Building Society, and Barclays Direct all have very detailed requirements when it comes to what is expected in a lease. If a mortgage lender believes that the lease is defective they may refuse to provide security, obliging the purchaser to pull out.

    I purchased a split level flat in Shard End, conveyancing was carried out in 2008. Can you please calculate a probable premium for a statutory lease extension? Equivalent properties in Shard End with an extended lease are worth £235,000. The ground rent is £50 per annum. The lease finishes on 21st October 2078

    With 54 years unexpired the likely cost is going to range between £29,500 and £34,000 plus legals.

    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 this information in a Notice of Claim or as an informal offer. There may be other concerns that need to be considered and clearly you should 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 Shard End