Fixed-fee leasehold conveyancing in South Brent:

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Questions and Answers: South Brent leasehold conveyancing

Estate agents have just been given the go-ahead to market my garden flat in South Brent.Conveyancing has not commenced but I have just had a yearly maintenance charge demand – should I leave it to the buyer to sort out?

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

Back In 2005, I bought a leasehold flat in South Brent. Conveyancing and HSBC Bank mortgage are in place. I have received a letter from someone claiming to own the reversionary interest in the property. It included a ground rent demand for rent dating back to 1992. The conveyancing solicitor in South Brent who acted for me is not around.What should I do?

First contact HMLR to be sure that the individual purporting to own the freehold is in fact the new freeholder. It is not necessary to incur the fees of a South Brent conveyancing firm to do this as it can be done on-line for less than a fiver. Rest assured that in any event, even if this is the rightful landlord, under the Limitation Act 1980 no more than 6 years of rent can be collected.

I work for a long established estate agency in South Brent where we have witnessed a number of flat sales jeopardised as a result of short leases. I have received contradictory information from local South Brent conveyancing firms. Could you clarify whether the owner of a flat can commence the lease extension formalities 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 commence the lease extension process and assign the benefit of the notice to the purchaser. This means that the proposed purchaser 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 has to be done 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.

Our conveyancer has advised that he intends to complete and exchange simultaneously on our sale of a £375000 garden flat in South Brent on Monday in a week. The freeholder has quoted £312 for Landlord’s certificate, building insurance schedule and previous years service charge statements. Is the landlord entitled to charge such fees for a flat conveyance in South Brent?

For most leasehold sales in South Brent conveyancing will involve, queries regarding the management of a building inevitably needing to be answered directly by the freeholder or its agent, this includes :

  • Completing pre-exchange enquiries
  • Where consent is required before sale in South Brent
  • Copies of the building insurance and schedule
  • Deeds of covenant upon sale
  • Registering of the assignment of the change of lessee after a sale
Your conveyancer will have no control over the level of the charges for this information but the average costs for the information for South Brent leasehold property is £350. For South Brent conveyancing transactions it is customary for the seller to pay for these costs. The landlord or their agents are under no legal obligation to answer such questions most will be willing to do so - albeit often at exorbitant prices where the fees bear little relation to the work involved. Unfortunately there is no law that requires fixed charges for administrative tasks. Neither is there any legal time frame by which they are required to provide the information.

In relation to leasehold conveyancing in South Brent what are the most common lease problems?

Leasehold conveyancing in South Brent is not unique. All leases is drafted differently and drafting errors can result in certain clauses are wrong. The following missing provisions could result in a defective lease:

  • Repairing obligations to or maintain elements of the property
  • Insurance obligations
  • 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

A defective lease will likely cause problems when trying to sell a property as they can affect a potential buyer’s ability to obtain a mortgage. National Westminster Bank, Barnsley Building Society, and Aldermore all have express conveyancing instructions 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 provide security, obliging the buyer to withdraw.

I purchased a garden flat in South Brent, conveyancing formalities finalised 2001. Can you work out an approximate cost of a lease extension? Corresponding flats in South Brent with an extended lease are worth £199,000. The average or mid-range amount of ground rent is £45 yearly. The lease terminates on 21st October 2085

With 65 years unexpired the likely cost is going to range between £14,300 and £16,400 plus plus your own and the landlord's "reasonable" professional fees.

The suggested premium range that we have given is a general guide to costs for renewing a lease, but we cannot give you the actual costs in the absence of comprehensive investigations. Do not use this information in tribunal or court proceedings. There may be other concerns that need to be taken into account and you obviously want to be as accurate as possible in your negotiations. Please do not take any other action placing reliance on this information without first seeking the advice of a professional.

Other Topics

Lease Extensions in South Brent