Guaranteed fixed fees for Leasehold Conveyancing in Somersham

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Recently asked questions relating to Somersham leasehold conveyancing

I have just started marketing my ground floor apartment in Somersham.Conveyancing solicitors are to be appointed soon but I have just had a quarterly service charge invoice – should I leave it to the buyer to sort out?

Your conveyancing lawyer is likely to suggest that you should discharge 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. This will smooth the conveyancing process.

I am hoping to put an offer on a small detached house that appears to tick a lot of boxes, at a reasonable figure which is making it more attractive. I have just discovered that the title is leasehold as opposed to freehold. I would have thought that there are issues purchasing a house with a leasehold title in Somersham. Conveyancing solicitors have are soon to be appointed. Will my lawyers set out the implications of buying a leasehold house in Somersham ?

Most houses in Somersham are freehold rather than leasehold. This is one of the situations where having a local conveyancer who is familiar with the area can help the conveyancing process. We note that you are purchasing in Somersham in which case you should be looking for a Somersham conveyancing solicitor and be sure that they have experience in transacting on leasehold houses. First you will need to check the unexpired lease term. As a lessee you will not be at liberty to do whatever you want with the house. The lease will likely included provisions for example obtaining the freeholder’spermission to carry out changes to the property. You may also be required to pay a contribution towards the upkeep of the estate where the property is located on an estate. Your solicitor will report to you on the legal implications.

I work for a reputable estate agency in Somersham where we have experienced a few flat sales jeopardised as a result of short leases. I have been given contradictory information from local Somersham conveyancing firms. Can you shed some light as to whether the vendor of a flat can start the lease extension process for the buyer?

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 proposed purchaser can avoid having to wait 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 simultaneously with completion of the sale.

Alternatively, it may be possible 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.

Do you have any top tips for leasehold conveyancing in Somersham from the point of view of speeding up the sale process?

  • Much of the frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Somersham can be bypassed if you get in touch lawyers the minute your agents start advertising the property and ask them to put together the leasehold documentation needed by the buyers lawyers.
  • Many landlords or Management Companies in Somersham levy fees for providing management packs for a leasehold homes. You or your lawyers should discover the actual amount of the charges. The management information can be applied for on or before finding a buyer, thus reducing delays. The average time it takes to receive management information is three weeks. It is the most usual reason for frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Somersham.
  • A minority of Somersham 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. Any bank reference will need to confirm that the buyers are able to meet 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 landlord 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 concerned about purchasing a property where a dispute is unsettled. You will have to accept that you will have to discharge any arrears of service charge or resolve 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 will still have to reveal details of the dispute to the buyers, but it is better to reveal the dispute as over as opposed to ongoing.
  • If you have the benefit of shareholding in the freehold, you should make sure that you are holding the original share certificate. Obtaining a replacement share certificate is often a time consuming process and slows down many a Somersham home move. Where a new share is needed, do contact the company director and secretary or managing agents (if relevant) for this as soon as possible.

  • When it comes to leasehold conveyancing in Somersham what are the most common lease problems?

    There is nothing unique about leasehold conveyancing in Somersham. All leases are unique and drafting errors can sometimes mean that certain clauses are erroneous. The following missing provisions could result in a defective lease:

    • Repairing obligations to or maintain parts of the premises
    • A duty to insure the building
    • Clauses dealing with recovering service charges for expenditure on the building or common parts.
    • Service charge per centages that don't add up correctly leaving a shortfall

    You may encounter difficulties when selling your property if you have a defective lease as they can affect a potential buyer’s ability to obtain a mortgage. Nationwide Building Society, The Royal Bank of Scotland, and Clydesdale 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, forcing the buyer to withdraw.

    I am the registered owner of a 1st floor flat in Somersham, conveyancing was carried out 2006. How much will my lease extension cost? Equivalent properties in Somersham with over 90 years remaining are worth £235,000. The ground rent is £65 invoiced annually. The lease ceases on 21st October 2083

    You have 63 years left to run we estimate the premium for your lease extension to be between £20,000 and £23,000 as well as legals.

    The figure that we have given is a general guide to costs for extending a lease, but we cannot give you a more accurate figure without more detailed due diligence. Do not use the figures in a Notice of Claim or as an informal offer. There are no doubt other issues that need to be considered and you obviously should be as accurate as possible in your negotiations. You should not take any other action based on this information before seeking the advice of a professional.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Somersham