Fixed-fee leasehold conveyancing in Wickford:

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Wickford leasehold conveyancing Example Support Desk Enquiries

Frank (my husband) and I may need to rent out our Wickford garden flat temporarily due to a new job. We used a Wickford conveyancing firm in 2001 but they have since shut and we did not have the foresight to seek any advice as to whether the lease allows us to sublet. How do we find out?

Even though your last Wickford conveyancing lawyer is not around you can check your lease to check if it allows you to sublet the property. The rule is that if the lease is silent, subletting is allowed. There may be a precondition that you must obtain consent via your landlord or other appropriate person prior to subletting. The net result is that you cannot sublet without first obtaining permission. The consent should not be unreasonably withheld. If your lease prohibits you from letting out the property you should ask your landlord if they are willing to waive this restriction.

Last month I purchased a leasehold flat in Wickford. Do I have any liability for service charges for periods before my ownership?

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. However, 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).

I am employed by a reputable estate agency in Wickford where we have experienced a few flat sales put at risk due to short leases. I have been given contradictory information from local Wickford conveyancing firms. Could you clarify whether the seller of a flat can instigate the lease extension formalities for the buyer?

Provided that 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 need not have to sit tight for 2 years to extend their lease. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment has to be done prior to, or simultaneously with completion of the sale.

Alternatively, it may be possible to agree the lease extension with the freeholder 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 purchaser.

Can you provide any advice for leasehold conveyancing in Wickford from the perspective of saving time on the sale process?

  • Much of the delay in leasehold conveyancing in Wickford can be reduced if you instruct lawyers the minute you market your property and ask them to collate the leasehold documentation which will be required by the buyers solicitors.
  • The majority landlords or Management Companies in Wickford charge for supplying management packs for a leasehold premises. You or your lawyers should find out the actual amount of the charges. The management pack can be applied for as soon as you have a buyer, thus reducing delays. The average time it takes to obtain the necessary information is three weeks. It is the most common cause of frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Wickford.
  • A minority of Wickford leases require Licence to Assign from the landlord. If this is the case, it would be prudent to notify your estate agents 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 lawyers.
  • If you have the benefit of shareholding in the Management Company, you should ensure that you have the original share document. Obtaining a replacement share certificate can be a time consuming process and frustrates many a Wickford home move. Where a duplicate share is necessary, you should approach the company officers or managing agents (where applicable) for this as soon as possible.
  • You believe that you know the number of years remaining on your lease but it would be wise to verify this by asking your conveyancers. A purchaser's conveyancer will not be happy to advise their client to to exchange contracts if the lease term is under 80 years. In the circumstances it is important at an as soon as possible that you identify whether the lease term for your property needs extending. If it does, contact your solicitors before you put your property on the market for sale.

  • If all goes to plan we aim to complete our sale of a £300000 maisonette in Wickford on Tuesday in a week. The managing agents has quoted £384 for Landlord’s certificate, building insurance schedule and previous years service charge statements. Is the landlord entitled to charge such fees for a leasehold conveyance in Wickford?

    For most leasehold sales in Wickford conveyancing will involve, queries regarding the management of a building inevitably needing to be answered directly by the freeholder or its agent, this includes :

    • Addressing conveyancing due diligence enquiries
    • Where consent is required before sale in Wickford
    • 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 Wickford leasehold premises is £350. For Wickford 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.

    I invested in buying a 1 bedroom flat in Wickford, conveyancing having been completed 7 years ago. Can you give me give me an indication of the likely cost of a lease extension? Comparable properties in Wickford with a long lease are worth £206,000. The ground rent is £60 invoiced annually. The lease comes to an end on 21st October 2088

    You have 67 years unexpired we estimate the price of your lease extension to span between £11,400 and £13,200 as well as legals.

    The suggested premium range above a general guide to costs for renewing a lease, but we cannot give you the actual costs in the absence of detailed investigations. You should not use the figures in tribunal or court proceedings. There are no doubt other concerns that need to be taken into account and clearly you should be as accurate as possible in your negotiations. Please do not move forward based on this information before seeking the advice of a professional.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Wickford