Guaranteed fixed fees for Leasehold Conveyancing in Swinton

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Recently asked questions relating to Swinton leasehold conveyancing

I've recently bought a leasehold property in Swinton. Do I have any liability for service charges for periods before my ownership?

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. However, 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 busy estate agency in Swinton where we have experienced a number of flat sales put at risk due to leases having less than 80 years remaining. I have been given inconsistent advice from local Swinton conveyancing solicitors. 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 start the lease extension process and assign the benefit of the notice to the purchaser. This means 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 prior to, or at the same time as completion of the disposal of the property.

Alternatively, it may be possible 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 purchaser.

What are your top tips when it comes to appointing a Swinton conveyancing practice to deal with our lease extension?

If you are instructing a solicitor for lease extension works (regardless if they are a Swinton conveyancing firm) it is imperative that he or she should be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of work. We recommend that you talk with several firms including non Swinton conveyancing practices before you instructing a firm. If the firm is ALEP accredited then that’s a bonus. Some following of questions could be helpful:

  • What volume of lease extensions has the firm conducted in Swinton in the last 12 months?
  • Can they put you in touch with client in Swinton who can give a testimonial?

  • Do you have any advice for leasehold conveyancing in Swinton with the aim of saving time on the sale process?

    • Much of the delay in leasehold conveyancing in Swinton can be reduced if you get in touch lawyers as soon as your agents start marketing the property and request that they start to put together the leasehold information which will be required by the purchasers’ conveyancers.
    • The majority landlords or Management Companies in Swinton charge for supplying management packs for a leasehold homes. You or your lawyers should enquire as to the actual amount of the charges. The management information can be applied for as soon as you have a buyer, thus accelerating the process. The average time it takes to obtain the necessary information is three weeks. It is the most common cause of frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Swinton.
  • If you have carried out any alterations to the residence would they have required Landlord’s approval? Have you, for example laid down wooden flooring? Swinton leases often stipulate that internal structural changes or laying down wooden flooring calls for a licence issued by the Landlord approving such alterations. Should you dont have the approvals to hand you should not contact the landlord without contacting your solicitor before hand.
  • If you have had any disputes with your landlord or managing agents it is essential that these are settled prior to the flat being marketed. The buyers and their solicitors will be reluctant to purchase a property where there is a current dispute. You will have to accept that you will have to discharge any arrears of service charge or settle the dispute prior to the buyers completing the purchase. It is therefore preferable to have any dispute settled ahead of 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 clearly preferable to present the dispute as over rather than unresolved.
  • You may think that you are aware of the number of years remaining on your lease but it would be wise to verify this by asking your lawyers. A purchaser's conveyancer will not be happy to advise their client to to exchange contracts if the lease term is less than 80 years. It is therefore essential at an as soon as possible that you identify whether the lease term requires a lease extension. If it does, contact your solicitors before you put your premises on the market for sale.

  • All being well we will complete the sale of our £150000 maisonette in Swinton next Tuesday . The freeholder has quoted £408 for Certificate of Compliance, insurance certificate and previous years statements of service charge. Is the landlord entitled to charge an administration fee for a flat conveyance in Swinton?

    Swinton conveyancing on leasehold flats more often than not involves the buyer’s lawyer sending questions for the landlord to address. Although the landlord is not legally bound to address these enquiries most will be willing to assist. They are at liberty charge a reasonable administration fee for responding to enquiries or supplying documentation. There is no upper cap for such fees. The average costs for the information that you are referring to is over three hundred pounds, in some transactions it is above £800. The management information fee invoiced by the landlord must be sent together with a summary of rights and obligations in respect of administration fees, otherwise the invoice is not strictly payable. In reality you have no option but to pay whatever is demanded should you wish to exchange contracts with the buyer.

    Swinton Leasehold Conveyancing - Examples of Queries Prior to Purchasing

      Are any of leasehold owners in arrears of their service charge payments? This information is useful as a) areas may cause problems in the block as the common areas may begin to deteriorate if maintenance remain unpaid b) if the tenants have an issue with the running of the building you will need to have all the details Is the freehold owned jointly by the tenants?

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Swinton