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Top Five Questions relating to St Columb leasehold conveyancing

I own a leasehold flat in St Columb. Conveyancing and TSB mortgage went though with no issue. A letter has just been received from someone claiming to own the freehold. Attached was a demand for arrears of ground rent dating back to 1995. The conveyancing practitioner in St Columb who previously acted has now retired.Do I pay?

The first thing you should do is contact the Land Registry to make sure that this person is indeed the registered owner of the freehold reversion. You do not need to incur the fees of a St Columb conveyancing firm to do this as it can be done on-line for a few pound. Rest assured that in any event, even if this is the rightful freeholder, under the Limitation Act 1980 no more than 6 years of rent can be collected.

I work for a busy estate agency in St Columb where we have experienced a number of flat sales derailed due to leases having less than 80 years remaining. I have received contradictory information from local St Columb conveyancing solicitors. Please can you confirm whether the owner of a flat can start the lease extension process for the purchaser on completion of the sale?

As long as the seller has owned the lease 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. The benefit of this is 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 needs to be completed 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.

What are your top tips when it comes to finding a St Columb conveyancing practice to carry out our lease extension conveyancing?

If you are instructing a property lawyer for lease extension works (regardless if they are a St Columb conveyancing firm) it is most important that they be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of work. We suggested that you speak with several firms including non St Columb conveyancing practices before you instructing a firm. Where the conveyancing practice is ALEP accredited then so much the better. Some following of questions might be helpful:

  • How experienced is the firm with lease extension legislation?
  • Can they put you in touch with client in St Columb who can give a testimonial?

  • Do you have any top tips for leasehold conveyancing in St Columb from the point of view of saving time on the sale process?

    • A significant proportion of the frustration in leasehold conveyancing in St Columb can be reduced if you instruct lawyers the minute your agents start marketing the property and ask them to put together the leasehold documentation needed by the buyers solicitors.
    • The majority landlords or managing agents in St Columb charge for supplying management packs for a leasehold premises. You or your lawyers should find out the actual amount of the charges. The management pack can be applied for as soon as you have a buyer, thus accelerating the process. The typical amount of time it takes to obtain the necessary information is three weeks. It is the most usual reason for frustration in leasehold conveyancing in St Columb.
  • In the event that you altered the property did you need the Landlord’s approval? In particular have you installed wooden flooring? St Columb leases often stipulate that internal structural alterations or laying down wooden flooring require a licence from the Landlord acquiescing to such alterations. Should you dont have the approvals to hand you should not contact the landlord without contacting your lawyer before hand.
  • If you have had any disputes with your landlord or managing agents it is essential that these are resolved before the property is marketed. The buyers and their solicitors will be nervous about purchasing a property where a dispute is unresolved. You may have to bite the bullet and pay any arrears of service charge or settle the dispute prior to completion of the sale. 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 particulars of the dispute to the buyers, but it is clearly preferable to present the dispute as historic as opposed to unresolved.
  • If you are supposed to have a share in the Management Company, you should make sure that you are holding the original share document. Organising a duplicate share certificate can be a time consuming process and slows down many a St Columb conveyancing deal. Where a duplicate share certificate is needed, you should approach the company director and secretary or managing agents (if relevant) for this as soon as possible.

  • All being well we will complete our sale of a £450000 maisonette in St Columb in 10 days. The management company has quoted £312 for Landlord’s certificate, insurance certificate and previous years service charge statements. Is the landlord entitled to charge an administration fee for a leasehold conveyance in St Columb?

    St Columb conveyancing on leasehold apartments often involves the purchaser’s solicitor sending questions for the landlord to address. Although the landlord is under no legal obligation to address such questions most will be willing to do so. They may invoice a reasonable administration fee for answering questions or supplying documentation. There is no upper cap for such fees. The average fee for the information that you are referring to is over three hundred pounds, in some situations it is in excess of £800. The administration charge levied by the landlord must be accompanied by a synopsis of entitlements and obligations in relation to administration fees, otherwise the charge is not strictly payable. In reality you have little option but to pay whatever is requested of you should you wish to exchange contracts with the buyer.

    I invested in buying a 1st floor flat in St Columb, conveyancing was carried out in 2007. Can you give me give me an indication of the likely cost of a lease extension? Equivalent properties in St Columb with over 90 years remaining are worth £205,000. The ground rent is £55 per annum. The lease terminates on 21st October 2086

    With only 65 years remaining on your lease we estimate the premium for your lease extension to range between £14,300 and £16,400 plus professional fees.

    The figure above a general guide to costs for renewing a lease, but we are not able to advice on the actual costs without more detailed investigations. 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 considered and you obviously should be as accurate as possible in your negotiations. Please do not take any other action based on this information without first seeking the advice of a professional.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in St Columb