Fixed-fee leasehold conveyancing in Teignmouth:

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Teignmouth leasehold conveyancing Example Support Desk Enquiries

Frank (my husband) and I may need to rent out our Teignmouth ground floor flat for a while due to a new job. We used a Teignmouth conveyancing firm in 2002 but they have closed and we did not think at the time seek any advice as to whether the lease permits subletting. How do we find out?

The lease dictates the relationship between the freeholder and you the leaseholder; in particular, it will set out if subletting is not allowed, or permitted but only subject to certain caveats. The rule is that if the lease contains no specific ban or restriction, subletting is allowed. Most leases in Teignmouth do not prevent an absolute prevention of subletting – such a clause would adversely affect the market value the property. Instead, there is usually a basic requirement that the owner notifies the freeholder, possibly supplying a duplicate of the tenancy agreement.

I have just appointed agents to market my 2 bed apartment in Teignmouth.Conveyancing lawyers have not yet been instructed but I have just had a half-yearly maintenance charge invoice – should I leave it to the buyer to sort out?

Your conveyancing lawyer is likely to suggest that you should clear the invoice 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 until 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've found a house that appears to tick a lot of boxes, at a great price which is making it more attractive. I have just found out that it's a leasehold rather than freehold. I am assuming that there are issues buying a house with a leasehold title in Teignmouth. Conveyancing lawyers have are about to be instructed. Will they explain the issues?

The majority of houses in Teignmouth are freehold rather than leasehold. This is one of the situations where having a local solicitor who is familiar with the area can help the conveyancing process. We note that you are purchasing in Teignmouth so you should seriously consider shopping around for a Teignmouth conveyancing solicitor and check that they have experience in transacting on leasehold houses. As a matter of priority you will need to check the number of years remaining. As a lessee you will not be at liberty to do whatever you want with the house. The lease will likely included provisions for example requiring the landlord’spermission to carry out alterations. You may also be required to pay a service charge towards the upkeep of the communal areas where the property is located on an estate. Your lawyer should appraise you on the various issues.

I've recently bought a leasehold flat in Teignmouth. Do I have any liability for service charges relating to a period prior to 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. Strange as it may seem, your landlord may still be able to take action to forfeit the lease. It is an essential part of leasehold conveyancing for your conveyancer to ensure 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).

Do you have any top tips for leasehold conveyancing in Teignmouth from the point of view of speeding up the sale process?

  • A significant proportion of the delay in leasehold conveyancing in Teignmouth can be reduced if you get in touch lawyers the minute your agents start advertising the property and ask them to put together the leasehold documentation which will be required by the buyers representatives.
  • Many landlords or managing agents in Teignmouth charge for supplying management packs for a leasehold premises. You or your lawyers should discover the fee that they propose to charge. The management pack can be applied for on or before finding a buyer, thus accelerating the process. The typical amount of time it takes to receive management information is three weeks. It is the most frequent cause of frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Teignmouth.
  • If there is a history of any disputes with your freeholder or managing agents it is essential that these are settled prior to the flat being put on the market. The purchasers and their solicitors will be concerned about purchasing a property where there is an ongoing dispute. You may have to bite the bullet and discharge any arrears of service charge or resolve 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 are still duty bound to disclose particulars of the dispute to the purchasers, but it is better to present the dispute as over rather than unsettled.
  • If you are supposed to have a share in the freehold, you should make sure that you hold the original share certificate. Obtaining a replacement share certificate can be a time consuming formality and slows down many a Teignmouth conveyancing transaction. Where a duplicate share certificate is required, do contact the company officers or managing agents (if applicable) for this as soon as possible.
  • You believe that you know the number of years left on your lease but it would be wise to verify this via your lawyers. A buyer’s conveyancer will be unlikely to recommend their client to where the lease term is below 75 years. It is therefore essential at an as soon as possible that you identify whether the lease term for your property needs extending. If it does, contact your solicitors before you put your property on the market for sale.

  • I purchased a garden flat in Teignmouth, conveyancing formalities finalised 2002. Can you work out an approximate cost of a lease extension? Equivalent properties in Teignmouth with a long lease are worth £235,000. The average or mid-range amount of ground rent is £65 yearly. The lease comes to an end on 21st October 2081

    You have 59 years remaining on your lease we estimate the price of your lease extension to span between £22,800 and £26,400 plus plus your own and the landlord's "reasonable" professional fees.

    The suggested premium range that we have given is a general guide to costs for extending a lease, but we are not able to advice on a more accurate figure without more detailed investigations. You should not use the figures in a Notice of Claim or as an informal offer. There may be additional concerns that need to be considered and clearly you want to be as accurate as possible in your negotiations. You should not take any other action placing reliance on this information without first seeking the advice of a professional.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Teignmouth