Fixed-fee leasehold conveyancing in Totterdown:

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Common questions relating to Totterdown leasehold conveyancing

I’m about to sell my 2 bed apartment in Totterdown.Conveyancing lawyers have not yet been instructed but I have just received a quarterly service charge invoice – what should I do?

It best that you clear 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 managing agents 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 Totterdown which have approximately fifty years left on the lease term. Should I regard a short lease as a deal breaker?

There are no two ways about it. A leasehold apartment in Totterdown is a wasting asset as a result of the reducing lease term. The nearer the lease gets to its expiry date, the more it reduces the salability of the property. For most purchasers and banks, leases with under eighty years become less and less marketable. On a more upbeat note, leaseholders can extend their leases by serving a Section 42 Notice. One stipulation is that they must have owned the property 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 a residence 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 Totterdown 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.

I've recently bought a leasehold property in Totterdown. 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. 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).

Our conveyancer has advised that he intends to complete and exchange simultaneously on our sale of a £300000 maisonette in Totterdown next Thursday . The freeholder has quoted £420 for Landlord’s certificate, insurance certificate and 3 years statements of service charge. Is the landlord entitled to charge exorbitant fees for a leasehold conveyance in Totterdown?

For the majority of leasehold sales in Totterdown conveyancing will involve, questions about the management of a building inevitably needing to be answered directly by the freeholder or its agent, this includes :

  • Completing conveyancing due diligence questions
  • Where consent is required before sale in Totterdown
  • Copies of the building insurance and schedule
  • 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 Totterdown leasehold property is £350. For Totterdown 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 supply the information.

In relation to leasehold conveyancing in Totterdown what are the most frequent lease problems?

Leasehold conveyancing in Totterdown is not unique. All leases are individual and drafting errors can sometimes mean that certain sections are missing. For example, if your lease is missing any of the following, it could be defective:

  • Repairing obligations to or maintain elements of the property
  • Insurance obligations
  • A provision for the recovery of money spent for the benefit of another party.
  • Service charge per centages that don't add up correctly leaving a shortfall

A defective lease will likely cause problems when trying to sell a property primarily because it impacts on the ability to obtain a mortgage on the property. Nationwide Building Society, Skipton Building Society, and Bank of Ireland all have very detailed requirements 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 withdraw.

I am the registered owner of a 1st floor flat in Totterdown, conveyancing having been completed 1996. Can you please calculate a probable premium for a statutory lease extension? Comparable properties in Totterdown with an extended lease are worth £181,000. The ground rent is £50 per annum. The lease ceases on 21st October 2100

With just 78 years unexpired we estimate the premium for your lease extension to be between £10,500 and £12,000 plus professional fees.

The suggested premium range above a general guide to costs for extending a lease, but we cannot give you the actual costs in the absence of comprehensive due diligence. You should not use this information in a Notice of Claim or as an informal offer. There may be additional issues that need to be taken into account and clearly you want to be as accurate as possible in your negotiations. Neither should you move forward based on this information before seeking the advice of a professional.

Other Topics

Lease Extensions in Totterdown