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Recently asked questions relating to Shotton leasehold conveyancing

Estate agents have just been given the go-ahead to market my 2 bed flat in Shotton.Conveyancing is yet to be initiated but I have just received a half-yearly service charge demand – what should I do?

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. Having a clear account will assist your cause and will leave you no worse off financially.

I am attracted to a two maisonettes in Shotton which have in the region of 50 years unexpired on the leases. Do I need to be concerned?

There are no two ways about it. A leasehold apartment in Shotton is a wasting asset as a result of the reducing lease term. The nearer the lease gets to its expiry date, the more it adversely affects the value of the property. For most purchasers and mortgage companies, leases with under eighty years become less and less attractive. 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 premises 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 premises 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 Shotton conveyancing experts who will explain the options available to you during an initial telephone conversation free of charge. More often than not it is possible to negotiate informally with the freeholder to extend 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 any new 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 house in Shotton. Do I have any liability for service charges for periods before completion of my purchase?

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. It is an essential part 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 work for a busy estate agent office in Shotton where we see a number of leasehold sales jeopardised due to short leases. I have received inconsistent advice from local Shotton conveyancing firms. Can you clarify whether the vendor of a flat can commence the lease extension process for the buyer?

As long as the seller has been the owner 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. This means that the buyer can avoid having to wait 2 years for a lease extension. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment has to be done before, or at the same time as 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.

Our conveyancer has advised that he intends to complete and exchange simultaneously on our sale of a £250000 apartment in Shotton next week. The managing agents has quoted £420 for Landlord’s certificate, building insurance schedule and 3 years service charge statements. Is the landlord entitled to charge an administration fee for a flat conveyance in Shotton?

Shotton conveyancing on leasehold maisonettes often requires the buyer’s conveyancer submitting questions for the landlord to address. Although the landlord is not legally bound to answer such questions most will be content to do so. They may levy a reasonable administration fee for answering enquiries or supplying documentation. There is no set fee. The average fee for the information that you are referring to is over three hundred pounds, in some transactions it is above £800. The management information fee required by the landlord must be sent together with a summary of entitlements and obligations in respect of administration fees, otherwise the charge is technically not due. Reality however dictates that one has little option but to pay whatever is requested of you should you wish to sell the property.

I bought a split level flat in Shotton, conveyancing formalities finalised in 2002. Can you work out an approximate cost of a lease extension? Comparable flats in Shotton with a long lease are worth £170,000. The ground rent is £50 invoiced annually. The lease runs out on 21st October 2095

You have 72 years remaining on your lease we estimate the price of your lease extension to be between £11,400 and £13,200 plus plus your own and the landlord's "reasonable" professional fees.

The suggested premium range above a general guide to costs for extending a lease, but we are not able to advice on a more accurate figure without more detailed investigations. Do not use this information in tribunal or court proceedings. There are no doubt other issues that need to be considered and you obviously should be as accurate as possible in your negotiations. Neither should you move forward placing reliance on this information without first getting professional advice.

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Lease Extensions in Shotton