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Questions and Answers: Sunningdale leasehold conveyancing

I am in need of some leasehold conveyancing in Sunningdale. Before diving in I want to be sure as to the remaining lease term.

Assuming the lease is registered - and 99.9% are in Sunningdale - then the leasehold title will always include the basic details of the lease, namely the date; the term; and the original parties. From a conveyancing perspective such details then enable any prospective buyer and lender to confirm that any lease they are looking at is the one relevant to that title.For any other purpose, such as confirming how long the term was granted for and calculating what is left, then the register should be sufficient on it's own.

I’m about to sell my basement apartment in Sunningdale.Conveyancing has not commenced but I have just received a half-yearly maintenance charge invoice – should I leave it to the buyer to sort out?

The sensible thing to do is 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 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. This will smooth the conveyancing process.

I am looking at a couple of flats in Sunningdale which have approximately fifty years remaining on the leases. Do I need to be concerned?

There is no doubt about it. A leasehold apartment in Sunningdale is a deteriorating asset as a result of the shortening lease. The nearer the lease gets to its expiry date, the more it adversely affects the salability of the premises. The majority of buyers and lenders, leases with less than 75 years become less and less marketable. 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 property 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 Sunningdale conveyancing experts who will explain the options available to you during an initial telephone conversation free of charge. A more straightforward and quicker method of extending would be to contact your landlord directly and sound him out on the prospect of extending the lease You may find he or she is happy to negotiate informally and willing to consider your offer straight off, without having to involve anyone else. This will save you time and money and it could help you reach a lower price on the lease. You need to ensure that the agreed 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.

Can you provide any top tips for leasehold conveyancing in Sunningdale from the perspective of saving time on the sale process?

  • Much of the frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Sunningdale can be avoided if you appoint lawyers the minute you market your property and request that they start to put together the leasehold information which will be required by the purchasers’ solicitors.
  • Many landlords or managing agents in Sunningdale charge for supplying management packs for a leasehold homes. You or your lawyers should discover the actual amount of the charges. The management pack sought on or before finding a buyer, thus reducing delays. The typical amount of time it takes to receive management information is three weeks. It is the most frequent reason for delay in leasehold conveyancing in Sunningdale.
  • If you have carried out any alterations to the property would they have required Landlord’s permission? In particular have you laid down wooden flooring? Sunningdale leases often stipulate that internal structural alterations or installing wooden flooring calls for a licence from the Landlord consenting to such alterations. If you dont have the approvals to hand do not communicate with the landlord without checking with your lawyer first.
  • If you have the benefit of shareholding in the freehold, you should ensure that you hold the original share document. Arranging a duplicate share certificate is often a time consuming process and delays many a Sunningdale conveyancing transaction. If a reissued share is necessary, you should approach the company director and secretary or managing agents (if applicable) for this as soon as possible.
  • You may think that you are aware of the number of years remaining on your lease but you should double-check via your solicitors. A purchaser's lawyer will be unlikely to recommend their client to to exchange contracts if the lease term is below 75 years. In the circumstances it is important at an as soon as possible that you consider whether the lease for your property needs extending. If it does, contact your solicitors before you put your property on the market for sale.

  • What makes a Sunningdale lease defective?

    There is nothing unique about leasehold conveyancing in Sunningdale. Most leases are individual and legal mistakes in the legal wording can sometimes mean that certain sections are erroneous. The following missing provisions could result in a defective lease:

    • A provision to repair to or maintain elements of the building
    • 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

    You may have difficulties when selling your property if you have a defective lease primarily because it impacts on the ability to obtain a mortgage on the property. Halifax, Norwich and Peterborough Building Society, and Clydesdale all have very detailed conveyancing instructions when it comes to what is expected in a lease. If a mortgage lender believes that the lease is problematic they may refuse to grant the mortgage, obliging the buyer to pull out.

    Sunningdale Leasehold Conveyancing - Examples of Questions you should consider Prior to buying

      In the main the outlay for major works tend not to be included within maintenance charges, although some managing agents in Sunningdale ask tenants to contribute towards a reserve fund created for the specific intention of establishing a fund for larger works. The majority of Sunningdale leasehold flats will be liable to pay a service charge for the upkeep of the block set by the management company. Should you purchase the apartment you will have to pay this amount, usually in instalments accross the year. This could vary from two or three hundred pounds to thousands of pounds for large purpose-built buildings. There will also be a rentcharge for you to pay yearly, this is usually not a large sum, say approximately £25-£75 but you should to enquire as occasionally it can be surprisingly expensive. It is important to be aware if redecorating or some other significant cost is anticipated to be shared between the leaseholders and will materially increase the the maintenance charges or result in a one off payment.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Sunningdale