Fixed-fee leasehold conveyancing in Shinfield:

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Common questions relating to Shinfield leasehold conveyancing

I have just appointed agents to market my garden flat in Shinfield.Conveyancing solicitors are to be appointed soon but I have just had a half-yearly maintenance charge invoice – Do I pay up?

It best that you pay 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 unless 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've found a house that appears to be perfect, at a reasonable price which is making it all the more appealing. I have subsequently found out that it's a leasehold rather than freehold. I am assuming that there are issues purchasing a leasehold house in Shinfield. Conveyancing lawyers have not yet been appointed. Will they explain the issues?

The majority of houses in Shinfield are freehold rather than leasehold. In this scenario it’s worth having a local conveyancer used to dealing with such properties who can assist with the conveyancing process. It is clear that you are buying in Shinfield in which case you should be shopping around for a Shinfield conveyancing practitioner 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 at liberty to do whatever you want to the property. The lease will likely included provisions for example requiring the landlord’spermission to carry out changes to the property. It may be necessary to pay a service charge towards the maintenance of the estate where the house is located on an estate. Your conveyancer will appraise you on the various issues.

I own a leasehold house in Shinfield. Conveyancing and Godiva Mortgages Ltd mortgage went though with no issue. A letter has just been received from someone saying they have taken over the reversionary interest in the property. Attached was a demand for arrears of ground rent dating back to 1991. The conveyancing solicitor in Shinfield who acted for me is not around.Any advice?

The first thing you should do is make enquiries of HMLR to be sure that this person is in fact the registered owner of the freehold reversion. There is no need to instruct a Shinfield conveyancing firm to do this as it can be done on-line for £3. Rest assured that regardless, even if this is the legitimate landlord, under the Limitation Act 1980 the limitation period for recovery of ground rent is six years.

I've recently bought a leasehold flat in Shinfield. Am I liable to pay service charges relating to a period prior to 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. 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).

I am a negotiator for a reputable estate agent office in Shinfield where we have witnessed a few leasehold sales jeopardised due to leases having less than 80 years remaining. I have received inconsistent advice from local Shinfield conveyancing solicitors. Could you clarify whether the vendor of a flat can commence the lease extension process for the purchaser on completion of the sale?

Provided that the seller has owned the lease for at least 2 years it is possible, to serve a Section 42 notice to start the lease extension process and assign the benefit of the notice to the purchaser. The benefit of this is that the buyer can avoid having to sit tight for 2 years for a lease extension. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment needs to be completed prior to, or simultaneously with completion of the disposal of the property.

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 purchaser.

I am the registered owner of a studio flat in Shinfield, conveyancing having been completed 10 years ago. Can you shed any light on how much the price could be for a 90 year extension to my lease? Comparable flats in Shinfield with an extended lease are worth £215,000. The ground rent is £60 yearly. The lease comes to an end on 21st October 2079

With just 55 years unexpired we estimate the premium for your lease extension to be between £27,600 and £31,800 as well as legals.

The figure that we have given is a general guide to costs for extending a lease, but we are not able to supply a more accurate figure without more comprehensive due diligence. You should not use the figures in a Notice of Claim or as an informal offer. There may be other issues that need to be taken into account and you obviously should be as accurate as possible in your negotiations. You should not take any other action based on this information before getting professional advice.

Other Topics

Lease Extensions in Shinfield