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Questions and Answers: Whitefield leasehold conveyancing

Estate agents have just been given the go-ahead to market my garden flat in Whitefield.Conveyancing solicitors are to be appointed soon but I have just received a half-yearly service charge invoice – should I leave it to the buyer to sort out?

The sensible thing to do is 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 management companies will not acknowledge the buyer until 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 own a leasehold house in Whitefield. Conveyancing and The Mortgage Works mortgage organised. I have received a letter from someone saying they have taken over the freehold. It included a ground rent demand for rent dating back to 1993. The conveyancing solicitor in Whitefield who acted for me is not around.What should I do?

The first thing you should do is make enquiries of HMLR to make sure that the individual purporting to own the freehold is indeed the registered owner of the freehold reversion. There is no need to instruct a Whitefield conveyancing lawyer to do this as you can do this on the Land Registry website for less than a fiver. You should note that in any event, even if this is the legitimate freeholder, under the Limitation Act 1980 the limitation period for recovery of ground rent is six years.

What are your top tips when it comes to choosing a Whitefield conveyancing firm to deal with our lease extension?

When appointing a property lawyer for lease extension works (regardless if they are a Whitefield conveyancing firm) it is essential that they be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of work. We suggested that you make enquires with several firms including non Whitefield conveyancing practices before you instructing a firm. Where the conveyancing practice is ALEP accredited then that’s a bonus. Some following of questions could be of use:

  • How experienced is the practice with lease extension legislation?
  • Can they put you in touch with client in Whitefield who can give a testimonial?

  • If all goes to plan we aim to complete the sale of our £425000 garden flat in Whitefield in 5 days. The freeholder has quoted £420 for Certificate of Compliance, building insurance schedule and 3 years service charge statements. Is it legal for a freeholder to charge an administration fee for a flat conveyance in Whitefield?

    Whitefield conveyancing on leasehold flats usually involves administration charges levied by landlords agents :

    • Addressing pre-exchange enquiries
    • Where consent is required before sale in Whitefield
    • Supplying insurance information
    • Deeds of covenant upon sale
    • Registering of the assignment of the change of lessee after a sale
    Your solicitor will have no control over the level of the charges for this information but the average costs for the information for Whitefield leasehold premises is £350. For Whitefield 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 supply the information.

    In relation to leasehold conveyancing in Whitefield what are the most frequent lease defects?

    Leasehold conveyancing in Whitefield is not unique. Most leases is drafted differently and legal mistakes in the legal wording can sometimes mean that certain provisions are not included. For example, if your lease is missing any of the following, it could be defective:

    • A provision to repair to or maintain elements of the building
    • A duty to insure the building
    • Clauses dealing with recovering service charges for expenditure on the building or common parts.
    • 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. Lloyds TSB Bank, Skipton Building Society, and Clydesdale all have express conveyancing instructions when it comes to what is expected in a lease. Where a lender has been advised by their lawyers that the lease is problematic they may refuse to provide security, forcing the buyer to withdraw.

    I am the registered owner of a 1st floor flat in Whitefield, conveyancing formalities finalised 8 years ago. Can you work out an approximate cost of a lease extension? Corresponding properties in Whitefield with an extended lease are worth £233,000. The average or mid-range amount of ground rent is £45 invoiced annually. The lease finishes on 21st October 2102

    With 80 years remaining on your lease the likely cost is going to range between £11,400 and £13,200 as well as professional fees.

    The suggested premium range that we have given is a general guide to costs for extending a lease, but we are not able to provide the actual costs without more detailed investigations. Do not use this information in tribunal or court proceedings. There are no doubt additional concerns that need to be taken into account and clearly you want to be as accurate as possible in your negotiations. Please do not take any other action placing reliance on this information without first getting professional advice.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Whitefield