Quality lawyers for Leasehold Conveyancing in Stapleton

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Common questions relating to Stapleton leasehold conveyancing

I am hoping to exchange soon on a garden flat in Stapleton. Conveyancing solicitors inform me that they are sending me a report on Monday. What should I be looking out for?

The report on title for your leasehold conveyancing in Stapleton should include some of the following:

  • The length of the lease term You should be advised as what happens when the lease ends, and informed of the importance of the 80 year mark
  • Details of the parties to the lease, for example these could be the leaseholder (you), head lessor, freeholder
  • Do you need to have carpet in the flat or are you allowed wood flooring?
  • Are pets allowed in the flat?
  • Whether your lease has a provision for a sinking fund?
  • Repair and maintenance of the flat
  • The landlord’s obligations to repair and maintain the building. It is important that you know who is responsible for the repair and maintenance of every part of the building For a comprehensive list of information to be contained in your report on your leasehold property in Stapleton please enquire of your conveyancer in ahead of your conveyancing in Stapleton

  • I am hoping to put an offer on a small detached house that appears to meet my requirements, at a reasonable price which is making it all the more appealing. I have subsequently discovered that it's a leasehold as opposed to freehold. I am assuming that there are issues purchasing a leasehold house in Stapleton. Conveyancing solicitors have are about to be appointed. Will they explain the issues?

    Most houses in Stapleton are freehold rather than leasehold. This is one of the situations where having a local solicitor used to dealing with such properties who can assist with the conveyancing process. It is clear that you are purchasing in Stapleton in which case you should be shopping around for a Stapleton conveyancing practitioner and be sure that they are used to transacting on leasehold houses. First you will need to check the unexpired lease term. Being a leaseholder you will not be at liberty to do whatever you want with the house. The lease comes with conditions such as obtaining the landlord’spermission to conduct alterations. You may also be required to pay a service charge towards the maintenance of the communal areas where the house is located on an estate. Your conveyancer will appraise you on the various issues.

    Last month I purchased a leasehold flat in Stapleton. 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 owner 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 employed by a long established estate agency in Stapleton where we see a few leasehold sales jeopardised due to short leases. I have been given contradictory information from local Stapleton conveyancing firms. Could you confirm whether the vendor of a flat can initiate the lease extension process for the purchaser on completion of the sale?

    As long as the seller has been the owner for at least 2 years it is possible, to serve a Section 42 notice to kick-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 at the same time as completion of the disposal of the property.

    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 buyer.

    Do you have any top tips for leasehold conveyancing in Stapleton from the perspective of speeding up the sale process?

    • A significant proportion of the frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Stapleton can be reduced if you instruct lawyers the minute your agents start marketing the property and ask them to collate the leasehold documentation needed by the purchasers’ solicitors.
    • In the event that you altered the property did you need the Landlord’s permission? In particular have you installed wooden flooring? Most leases in Stapleton state that internal structural alterations or laying down wooden flooring require a licence issued by the Landlord acquiescing to such alterations. If you fail to have the approvals in place you should not contact the landlord without contacting your conveyancer in advance.
  • Some Stapleton leases require Licence to Assign from the landlord. If this is the case, it would be prudent to place the estate agents on notice to make sure that the purchasers obtain bank and professional references. The bank reference should make it clear that the buyer is financially capable of paying 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 purchasers or their lawyers.
  • If there is a history of any disputes with your landlord or managing agents it is essential that these are settled before the property is marketed. The purchasers and their solicitors will be warry about purchasing a flat where there is an ongoing dispute. You may have to bite the bullet and discharge 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 details of the dispute to the purchasers, but it is better to present the dispute as over as opposed to ongoing.
  • You may think that you are aware of the number of years left on your lease but it would be advisable double-check by asking your lawyers. A buyer’s conveyancer will not be happy to advise their client to to exchange contracts if the lease term is under 75 years. It is therefore essential at an as soon as possible that you consider whether the lease requires a lease extension. If it does, contact your solicitors before you put your property on the market for sale.

  • Leasehold Conveyancing in Stapleton - Examples of Queries Prior to Purchasing

      Are any of leasehold owners in arrears of their service charge liability? The best form of lease arrangement is where the freehold title is in the ownership of the leaseholders. In this scenario the leaseholders benefit from being in charge if their destiny and even though a managing agent is often retained where it is larger than a house conversion, the managing agent employed by the leaseholders. Plenty Stapleton leasehold apartments will be liable to pay a service bill for the upkeep of the building invoiced on behalf of the landlord. Where you buy the property you will have to meet this amount, usually periodically throughout the year. This can be anything from several hundred pounds to thousands of pounds for bigger purpose-built buildings. In all likelihood there will be a ground rent to be met yearly, this is usually not a large amount, say about £25-£75 but you should to check as on occasion it can be surprisingly expensive.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Stapleton