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Tarporley leasehold conveyancing: Q and A’s

There are only Sixty One years left on my lease in Tarporley. I need to extend my lease but my freeholder is can not be found. What are my options?

On the basis that you qualify, under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 you can apply to the County Court for for permission to dispense with the service of the initial notice. This will mean that your lease can be extended by the Court. You will be obliged to demonstrate that you have made all reasonable attempts to find the lessor. On the whole an enquiry agent should be helpful to conduct investigations and prepare an expert document to be accepted by the court as evidence that the freeholder is indeed missing. It is advisable to get professional help from a conveyancer both on proving the landlord’s absence and the application to the County Court covering Tarporley.

I've recently bought a leasehold property in Tarporley. Am I liable to pay service charges for periods before completion of my purchase?

In a situation where the service charge has already been demanded from the previous lessee 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 work for a busy estate agency in Tarporley where we see a few leasehold sales derailed as a result of leases having less than 80 years remaining. I have been given conflicting advice from local Tarporley conveyancing firms. Please can you confirm 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 start the lease extension process and assign the benefit of the notice to the purchaser. This means that the buyer need not have 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 before, or simultaneously with 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 buyer.

Can you provide any advice for leasehold conveyancing in Tarporley with the purpose of speeding up the sale process?

  • A significant proportion of the frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Tarporley can be bypassed where you instruct lawyers the minute you market your property and ask them to collate the leasehold information which will be required by the purchasers’ representatives.
  • Many freeholders or Management Companies in Tarporley levy fees for providing management packs for a leasehold property. You or your lawyers should discover the fee that they propose to charge. The management information can be applied for as soon as you have a buyer, thus reducing delays. The typical amount of time it takes to receive management information is three weeks. It is the most frequent cause of delay in leasehold conveyancing in Tarporley.
  • A minority of Tarporley leases require Landlord’s consent to the sale and approval of the buyers. If this applies to your lease, it would be prudent to place the estate agents on notice to make sure that the purchasers obtain bank and professional references. Any bank reference will need to confirm that the buyers are 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 buyers or their solicitors.
  • If there is a history of conflict with your landlord or managing agents it is very important that these are settled before the property is marketed. The buyers and their solicitors will be warry about purchasing a flat where there is a current dispute. You may have to bite the bullet and 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 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 clearly preferable to present the dispute as historic 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 double-check via your lawyers. A buyer’s lawyer will not be happy to advise their client to proceed with the purchase of a leasehold property the lease term is below 75 years. In the circumstances it is important at an early stage that you consider whether the lease requires a lease extension. If it does, contact your solicitors before you put your premises on the market for sale.

  • Our conveyancer has advised that he intends to complete and exchange simultaneously on the sale of our £350000 maisonette in Tarporley on Friday in a week. The management company has quoted £300 for Landlord’s certificate, building insurance schedule and 3 years statements of service charge. Is the landlord entitled to charge an administration fee for a leasehold conveyance in Tarporley?

    For the majority of leasehold sales in Tarporley 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 Tarporley
    • Supplying insurance information
    • 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 Tarporley leasehold property is £350. For Tarporley 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 obliged to provide the information.

    I bought a basement flat in Tarporley, conveyancing formalities finalised 8 years ago. How much will my lease extension cost? Similar flats in Tarporley with over 90 years remaining are worth £211,000. The average or mid-range amount of ground rent is £50 yearly. The lease expires on 21st October 2073

    With just 53 years unexpired we estimate the price of your lease extension to range between £28,500 and £33,000 plus costs.

    The suggested premium range that we have given is a general guide to costs for renewing a lease, but we cannot give you a more accurate figure in the absence of detailed investigations. Do not use the figures 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 move forward placing reliance on this information before getting professional advice.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Tarporley