Fixed-fee leasehold conveyancing in Thornhill:

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Frequently asked questions relating to Thornhill leasehold conveyancing

I am on look out for some leasehold conveyancing in Thornhill. Before I set the wheels in motion I would like to find out the remaining lease term.

Assuming the lease is registered - and most are in Thornhill - 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.

My wife and I purchased a leasehold flat in Thornhill. Conveyancing and Coventry Building Society mortgage are in place. A letter has just been received from someone saying they have taken over the reversionary interest in the property. Attached was a ground rent demand for rent dating back to 1995. The conveyancing solicitor in Thornhill who previously acted has long since retired.Any advice?

The first thing you should do is make enquiries of HMLR to make sure that this person is indeed the new freeholder. You do not need to instruct a Thornhill conveyancing firm to do this as you can do this on the Land Registry website for a few pound. You should note that in any event, even if this is the legitimate landlord, under the Limitation Act 1980 no more than 6 years of rent can be collected.

Last month I purchased a leasehold property in Thornhill. Am I liable to pay service charges relating to a period prior to my ownership?

In a situation 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. It is an essential part 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 long established estate agency in Thornhill where we have witnessed a few leasehold sales jeopardised due to leases having less than 80 years remaining. I have been given inconsistent advice from local Thornhill conveyancing solicitors. Could you clarify whether the owner of a flat can initiate 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 proposed purchaser need not have to wait 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 simultaneously with completion of the disposal of the property.

An alternative approach is 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 purchaser.

Do you have any top tips for leasehold conveyancing in Thornhill from the perspective of expediting the sale process?

  • A significant proportion of the frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Thornhill can be reduced if you instruct lawyers the minute your agents start advertising the property and ask them to collate the leasehold information needed by the buyers conveyancers.
  • The majority freeholders or Management Companies in Thornhill levy fees for supplying management packs for a leasehold property. You or your lawyers should find out the fee that they propose to charge. The management pack can be applied for on or before finding a buyer, thus reducing delays. The average time it takes to receive management information is three weeks. It is the most common reason for frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Thornhill.
  • If you have carried out any alterations to the property would they have required Landlord’s consent? In particular have you installed wooden flooring? Most leases in Thornhill state that internal structural changes or installing wooden flooring necessitate a licence issued by the Landlord approving such works. Where you fail to have the consents to hand you should not communicate with the landlord without contacting your conveyancer in the first instance.
  • If there is a history of any disputes with your freeholder or managing agents it is very important that these are resolved prior to the flat being put on the market. The buyers and their solicitors will be nervous about purchasing a property where there is a current dispute. You may need to swallow your pride and pay any arrears of service charge or resolve 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 are still duty bound to disclose details of the dispute to the purchasers, but it is clearly preferable to present the dispute as historic rather than unresolved.
  • You believe that you know the number of years left on your lease but it would be advisable verify this via your conveyancers. A buyer’s lawyer will be unlikely to recommend their client to to exchange contracts if the lease term is less than 80 years. It is therefore 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 property on the market for sale.

  • Thornhill Leasehold Conveyancing - Sample of Questions you should consider before buying

      It would be wise to investigate if the the lease includes any adverse restrictions in the lease. For example plenty of leases prohibit pets being permitted in certain buildings in Thornhill. If you love the apartmentin Thornhill however your cat is not allowed to live with you then you will be faced difficult determination. The answer will be important as a) areas can cause problems in the block as the communal areas may start to deteriorate where maintenance remain unpaid b) if the leasehold owners have a dispute with the managing agents you will wish to have all the details What is the service charge and ground rent on the property?

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Thornhill