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Common questions relating to Uckfield leasehold conveyancing

I am attracted to a couple of maisonettes in Uckfield both have in the region of forty five years unexpired on the lease term. Should I regard a short lease as a deal breaker?

There are no two ways about it. A leasehold flat in Uckfield is a deteriorating asset as a result of the reducing lease term. The nearer the lease gets to its expiry date, the more it adversely affects the salability of the property. For most purchasers and banks, leases with less than 75 years become less and less attractive. On a more positive note, leaseholders can extend their leases by serving a Section 42 Notice. One stipulation is that they must have owned the premises 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 property 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 Uckfield conveyancing experts who will explain the options available to you during an initial telephone conversation free of charge. More often than not it is possible to negotiate informally with the freeholder to extend 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.

Last month I purchased a leasehold house in Uckfield. 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 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).

What advice can you give us when it comes to choosing a Uckfield conveyancing practice to carry out our lease extension conveyancing?

When appointing a conveyancer for your lease extension (regardless if they are a Uckfield conveyancing practice) it is imperative that they be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of work. We suggested that you speak with two or three firms including non Uckfield conveyancing practices prior to instructing a firm. Where the conveyancing practice is ALEP accredited then so much the better. Some following of questions might be helpful:

  • Can they put you in touch with client in Uckfield who can give a testimonial?
  • What are the costs for lease extension work?

  • Do you have any advice for leasehold conveyancing in Uckfield with the purpose of speeding up the sale process?

    • A significant proportion of the delay in leasehold conveyancing in Uckfield can be avoided where you appoint lawyers as soon as your agents start marketing the property and ask them to collate the leasehold documentation needed by the buyers lawyers.
    • If you have carried out any alterations to the residence would they have required Landlord’s approval? In particular have you laid down wooden flooring? Uckfield leases often stipulate that internal structural changes or installing wooden flooring require a licence from the Landlord consenting to such works. Should you fail to have the paperwork to hand do not communicate with the landlord without checking with your solicitor first.
  • A minority of Uckfield leases require Landlord’s consent to the sale and approval of the buyers. If this applies to your lease, you should place the estate agents on notice to make sure that the purchasers put in hand financial (bank) and professional references. Any bank reference will need to confirm that the buyers are able to meet 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 purchasers or their solicitors.
  • If you hold a share in a the Management Company, you should make sure that you hold the original share certificate. Arranging a replacement share certificate can be a time consuming formality and delays many a Uckfield conveyancing transaction. If a duplicate share is needed, do contact the company officers or managing agents (if relevant) for this at the earliest opportunity.
  • You believe that you know the number of years left on your lease but you should double-check by asking your solicitors. A buyer’s conveyancer will be unlikely to recommend their client to to exchange contracts if the remaining number of years is below 80 years. In the circumstances it is important at an early stage that you consider whether the lease for your property needs extending. If it does, contact your solicitors before you put your premises on the market for sale.

  • All being well we will complete the disposal of our £150000 flat in Uckfield on Thursday in a week. The management company has quoted £408 for Certificate of Compliance, building insurance schedule and previous years statements of service charge. Is the landlord entitled to charge such fees for a flat conveyance in Uckfield?

    Uckfield conveyancing on leasehold apartments normally results in fees being levied by management companies :

    • Answering pre-contract questions
    • Where consent is required before sale in Uckfield
    • Supplying insurance information
    • Deeds of covenant upon sale
    • Registering of the assignment of the change of lessee after a sale
    Your lawyer will have no control over the level of the charges for this information but the average costs for the information for Uckfield leasehold premises is £350. For Uckfield 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.

    I bought a basement flat in Uckfield, conveyancing was carried out 2002. Can you let me have an estimate of the premium that my landlord can legally expect in return for granting a renewal of my lease? Similar flats in Uckfield with a long lease are worth £245,000. The ground rent is £50 levied per year. The lease runs out on 21st October 2083

    You have 62 years remaining on your lease we estimate the price of your lease extension to range between £19,000 and £22,000 as well as costs.

    The suggested premium range above a general guide to costs for extending a lease, but we are not able to advice on the actual costs without more comprehensive due diligence. You should not use the figures in tribunal or court proceedings. There may be additional issues that need to be considered and clearly you want to be as accurate as possible in your negotiations. Neither should you move forward based on this information without first seeking the advice of a professional.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Uckfield