Experts for Leasehold Conveyancing in Whitchurch

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Whitchurch leasehold conveyancing: Q and A’s

I’m about to sell my 2 bed apartment in Whitchurch.Conveyancing lawyers have not yet been instructed but I have just received a quarterly service charge demand – Do I pay up?

It best that you discharge 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 employed by a reputable estate agency in Whitchurch where we have experienced a few flat sales put at risk as a result of leases having less than 80 years remaining. I have been given contradictory information from local Whitchurch conveyancing solicitors. Can you shed some light as to whether the vendor of a flat can instigate the lease extension process 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 can avoid having to wait 2 years for a lease extension. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment needs to be completed before, or simultaneously with completion of the sale.

Alternatively, it may be possible 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 buyer.

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

When appointing a solicitor for your lease extension (regardless if they are a Whitchurch conveyancing firm) it is imperative that they be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of conveyancing. We recommend that you make enquires with several firms including non Whitchurch conveyancing practices prior to instructing a firm. Where the conveyancing practice is ALEP accredited then so much the better. Some following of questions could be helpful:

  • If the firm is not ALEP accredited then why not?
  • What volume of lease extensions have they carried out in Whitchurch in the last 12 months?

  • We expect to complete the disposal of our £325000 maisonette in Whitchurch on Wednesday in a week. The freeholder has quoted £312 for Certificate of Compliance, insurance certificate and 3 years statements of service charge. Is it legal for a freeholder to charge exorbitant fees for a flat conveyance in Whitchurch?

    For the majority of leasehold sales in Whitchurch conveyancing will involve, queries regarding 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 Whitchurch
    • 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 lawyer will have no control over the level of the charges for this information but the average costs for the information for Whitchurch leasehold premises is £350. For Whitchurch 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 required to provide the information.

    What are the frequently found problems that you witness in leases for Whitchurch properties?

    Leasehold conveyancing in Whitchurch is not unique. All leases is drafted differently and drafting errors can result in certain clauses are missing. For example, if your lease is missing any of the following, it could be defective:

    • A provision to repair to or maintain parts of the building
    • A duty to insure the building
    • 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 can cause problems when trying to sell a property as they can affect a potential buyer’s ability to obtain a mortgage. Santander, Norwich and Peterborough Building Society, and Godiva Mortgages Ltd 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.

    Whitchurch Leasehold Conveyancing - A selection of Questions you should ask Prior to buying

      For most Whitchurch leaseholds the cost for major works are not included within service charges, albeit that there some managing agents in Whitchurch ask tenants to pay into a sinking fund and this is used to offset against major works. If a Whitchurch lease has fewer than eighty years it will affect the salability of the property. It is worth checking with your lender that they are happy with the length of the lease. A short lease means that you will most likely have to extend the lease at some point and you need to have some idea of what this would cost. For most Whitchurchlease extensions you would need to own the residence for 24 months before you are entitled to extend the lease. Its a good idea to find out as much as you can about the managing agents as they will affect your use and enjoyment of the property. As the owner of a leasehold property you will be at the mercy of the managing agents from a financial perspective and when it comes to every day issues such as the tidiness of the communal areas. Enquire of prospective neighbours whether they are happy with them. In conclusion, be sure you discover the dates that the service fees are due to the managing agents and specifically how they are spending the funds.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Whitchurch