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Common questions relating to Wadhurst leasehold conveyancing

I only have Sixty One years unexpired on my flat in Wadhurst. I need to get lease extension but my landlord is can not be found. What options are available to me?

On the basis that you meet the appropriate requirements, 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 enable the lease to be extended by the Court. However, you will be required to demonstrate that you have done all that could be expected to track down the landlord. For most situations an enquiry agent would be helpful to carry out a search and prepare an expert document to be used as evidence that the freeholder is indeed missing. It is advisable to get professional help from a solicitor in relation to proving the landlord’s disappearance and the application to the County Court covering Wadhurst.

I’m about to sell my basement flat in Wadhurst.Conveyancing lawyers have not yet been instructed but I have just received a yearly service charge demand – should I leave it to the buyer to sort out?

Your conveyancing lawyer is likely to suggest that you should pay 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 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. Having a clear account will assist your cause and will leave you no worse off financially.

I've recently bought a leasehold flat in Wadhurst. Do I have any liability for 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. 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).

Do you have any top tips for leasehold conveyancing in Wadhurst from the point of view of saving time on the sale process?

  • Much of the frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Wadhurst can be bypassed if you instruct lawyers as soon as your agents start advertising the property and request that they start to collate the leasehold information which will be required by the buyers conveyancers.
  • The majority landlords or Management Companies in Wadhurst levy fees for providing management packs for a leasehold premises. You or your lawyers should discover the actual amount of the charges. The management information sought on or before finding a buyer, thus reducing delays. The average time it takes to obtain the necessary information is three weeks. It is the most common reason for delay in leasehold conveyancing in Wadhurst.
  • If you have carried out any alterations to the premises would they have required Landlord’s permission? In particular have you installed wooden flooring? Most leases in Wadhurst state that internal structural alterations or installing wooden flooring calls for a licence from the Landlord consenting to such works. Where you dont have the paperwork in place you should not communicate with the landlord without contacting your lawyer in advance.
  • If there is a history of conflict with your landlord or managing agents it is essential that these are resolved prior to the flat being marketed. The purchasers and their solicitors will be reluctant to purchase a property where there is a current dispute. You will have to accept that you will have to pay 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 reveal the dispute as historic rather than unsettled.
  • If you have the benefit of shareholding in the freehold, you should ensure that you have the original share document. Arranging a duplicate share certificate is often a time consuming formality and slows down many a Wadhurst home move. If a new share certificate is needed, do contact the company officers or managing agents (if applicable) for this at the earliest opportunity.

  • Our conveyancer has advised that he intends to complete and exchange simultaneously on the disposal of our £250000 flat in Wadhurst in just under a week. The landlords agents has quoted £420 for Landlord’s certificate, insurance certificate and 3 years service charge statements. Is the landlord entitled to charge exorbitant fees for a leasehold conveyance in Wadhurst?

    Wadhurst conveyancing on leasehold maisonettes usually requires the buyer’s lawyer submitting enquiries for the landlord to address. Although the landlord is not legally bound to answer these enquiries the majority will be content to do so. They are entitled invoice a reasonable charge for responding to enquiries or supplying documentation. There is no set fee. The average costs for the paperwork that you are referring to is £350, in some transactions it is in excess of £800. The administration charge invoiced by the landlord must be sent together with a synopsis of entitlements and obligations in respect of administration fees, otherwise the charge is technically not due. In reality you have no choice but to pay whatever is requested of you should you wish to exchange contracts with the buyer.

    I purchased a ground floor flat in Wadhurst, conveyancing formalities finalised 2001. Can you give me give me an indication of the likely cost of a lease extension? Similar flats in Wadhurst with over 90 years remaining are worth £258,000. The ground rent is £50 per annum. The lease terminates on 21st October 2078

    With just 56 years unexpired we estimate the premium for your lease extension to be between £28,500 and £33,000 as well as costs.

    The figure 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 due diligence. You should not use the figures 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 should be as accurate as possible in your negotiations. You should not take any other action based on this information before seeking the advice of a professional.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Wadhurst