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Questions and Answers: Wilmslow leasehold conveyancing

Having had my offer accepted I require leasehold conveyancing in Wilmslow. Before I get started I want to be sure as to the number of years remaining on the lease.

Assuming the lease is recorded at the land registry - and 99.9% are in Wilmslow - then the leasehold title will always include the short particulars of the lease, namely the date; the term; and the original parties. From a conveyancing perspective such details then enable any prospective buyer and lender to confirm that any lease they are looking at is the one relevant to that title.For any other purpose, such as confirming how long the term was granted for and calculating what is left, then the register should be sufficient on it's own.

I am tempted by the attractive purchase price for a two maisonettes in Wilmslow which have approximately forty five years unexpired on the lease term. Will this present a problem?

A lease is a right to use the property for a prescribed time frame. As a lease gets shorter the saleability of the lease deteriorate and it becomes more costly to extend the lease. For this reason it is generally wise to extend the lease term. It is often difficulties arise selling premises with a short lease because mortgage companies less inclined to grant a loan on such properties. Lease extension can be a protracted process. We recommend you get professional help from a conveyancer and surveyor with experience in this arena

I am employed by a long established estate agency in Wilmslow where we see a few leasehold sales derailed as a result of short leases. I have been given conflicting advice from local Wilmslow conveyancing solicitors. Please can you confirm whether the owner of a flat can instigate the lease extension formalities for the buyer?

Provided that the seller has owned the lease 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 buyer need not have 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 at the same time as completion of the sale.

An alternative approach is 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.

Can you offer any advice when it comes to choosing a Wilmslow conveyancing firm to carry out our lease extension conveyancing?

When appointing a conveyancer for lease extension works (regardless if they are a Wilmslow conveyancing firm) it is most important that they be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of work. We suggested that you talk with several firms including non Wilmslow conveyancing practices before you instructing a firm. Where the conveyancing practice is ALEP accredited then so much the better. Some following of questions could be helpful:

  • If they are not ALEP accredited then why not?
  • What are the charges for lease extension work?

  • Can you provide any top tips for leasehold conveyancing in Wilmslow with the intention of expediting the sale process?

    • A significant proportion of the frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Wilmslow can be avoided if you instruct lawyers the minute your agents start marketing the property and ask them to collate the leasehold documentation needed by the purchasers’ lawyers.
    • The majority landlords or Management Companies in Wilmslow levy fees for providing management packs for a leasehold premises. You or your lawyers should find out the fee that they propose to charge. The management pack sought as soon as you have a buyer, thus accelerating the process. The average time it takes to obtain the necessary information is three weeks. It is the most usual cause of delay in leasehold conveyancing in Wilmslow.
  • Some Wilmslow 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 obtain bank and professional references. The bank reference will need to confirm that the buyers are financially capable of paying 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 service charge figures so that they can pass this information on to the purchasers or their solicitors.
  • If you have had any disputes with your freeholder or managing agents it is very important that these are settled before the property is marketed. The purchasers and their solicitors will be warry about purchasing a flat where there is an ongoing dispute. You may need to swallow your pride and pay any arrears of service charge or settle 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 buyers, but it is clearly preferable to reveal the dispute as over as opposed to unsettled.
  • If you hold a share in a the Management Company, you should make sure that you have the original share certificate. Organising a replacement share certificate can be a lengthy formality and delays many a Wilmslow conveyancing transaction. Where a new share is required, you should approach the company director and secretary or managing agents (if applicable) for this at the earliest opportunity.

  • Leasehold Conveyancing in Wilmslow - Sample of Questions you should consider Prior to buying

      You should want to find out as much as possible regarding the company managing the building as they will either make your life much easier or problematic. As the owner of a leasehold property you are frequently at the mercy of the managing agents from a financial perspective and when it comes to daily issues like the tidiness of the common parts. Don't be shy to ask other people if they are happy with them. On a final note, be sure you know the dates that the service fees are due to the appropriate party and specifically what it includes. What restrictions are contained in the Wilmslow Lease? Best to be warned if changing the roof or some other major work is anticipated that will be shared amongst the leaseholders and may well materially increase the the maintenance fees or result in a specific payment.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Wilmslow