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Winchcombe leasehold conveyancing Example Support Desk Enquiries

I have just appointed agents to market my basement apartment in Winchcombe.Conveyancing has not commenced but I have just received a half-yearly maintenance charge invoice – what should I do?

It best that you clear 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 am tempted by the attractive purchase price for a two apartments in Winchcombe both have approximately forty five years unexpired on the leases. should I be concerned?

There is no doubt about it. A leasehold apartment in Winchcombe is a deteriorating asset as a result of the reducing lease term. The nearer the lease gets to zero years unexpired, the more it reduces the value of the premises. The majority of buyers and banks, leases with under eighty years become less and less marketable. On a more positive note, leaseholders can extend their leases by serving a Section 42 Notice. One stipulation is that they must have owned the premises for two years (unlike a Section 13 notice for purchasing the freehold, when leaseholders can participate from day one of ownership). When successful, they will have the right to an extension of 90 years to the current term and ground rent is effectively reduced to zero. Before moving forward with a purchase of property with a short lease term remaining you should talk to a solicitor specialising in lease extensions and leasehold enfranchisement. We are are happy to put you in touch with Winchcombe conveyancing experts who will explain the options available to you during an initial telephone conversation free of charge. More often than not it is possible to negotiate informally with the freeholder to extend the lease You may find he or she is happy to negotiate informally and willing to consider your offer straight off, without having to involve anyone else. This will save you time and money and it could help you reach a lower price on the lease. You need to ensure that any new terms represent good long-term value compared with the standard benefits of the Section 42 Notice and that onerous clauses are not inserted into any redrafting of the lease.

I've recently bought a leasehold flat in Winchcombe. Am I liable to pay service charges relating to a period prior to my ownership?

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. 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 work for a long established estate agency in Winchcombe where we see a few leasehold sales put at risk due to short leases. I have been given contradictory information from local Winchcombe conveyancing solicitors. Please can you shed some light as to whether the seller of a flat can instigate the lease extension formalities for the purchaser on completion of the sale?

As long as the seller has owned the lease for at least 2 years it is possible, to serve a Section 42 notice to kick-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 to extend their lease. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment has to be done before, or simultaneously with 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 provide any advice for leasehold conveyancing in Winchcombe from the point of view of saving time on the sale process?

  • Much of the delay in leasehold conveyancing in Winchcombe can be reduced if you get in touch lawyers the minute your agents start marketing the property and ask them to collate the leasehold information which will be required by the purchasers’ conveyancers.
  • In the event that you altered the property did you need the Landlord’s permission? Have you, for example laid down wooden flooring? Most leases in Winchcombe state that internal structural changes or installing wooden flooring require a licence from the Landlord approving such alterations. Should you dont have the approvals in place you should not contact the landlord without checking with your conveyancer in the first instance.
  • If you have had conflict with your landlord or managing agents it is very important that these are resolved before the property is marketed. The purchasers and their solicitors will be concerned about purchasing a property where there is a current dispute. You may need to swallow your pride and discharge any arrears of service charge or settle the dispute prior to completion of the sale. It is therefore preferable to have any dispute settled ahead of the contract papers being issued to the buyers’ solicitors. You will still have to reveal particulars of the dispute to the purchasers, but it is clearly preferable to reveal the dispute as historic rather than unresolved.
  • If you hold a share in a the Management Company, you should ensure that you have the original share document. Arranging a duplicate share certificate is often a lengthy formality and delays many a Winchcombe home move. Where a new share certificate is required, you should approach the company officers or managing agents (if applicable) for this as soon as possible.
  • You believe that you know the number of years left on your lease but it would be advisable double-check by asking your lawyers. A purchaser's lawyer will not be happy to advise their client to to exchange contracts if the remaining number of years is less than 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 premises on the market for sale.

  • I am the registered owner of a ground floor flat in Winchcombe, conveyancing having been completed in 1997. Can you shed any light on how much the price could be for a 90 year extension to my lease? Similar flats in Winchcombe with a long lease are worth £235,000. The average or mid-range amount of ground rent is £65 levied per year. The lease expires on 21st October 2090

    With 69 years remaining on your lease the likely cost is going to be between £13,300 and £15,400 as well as professional fees.

    The suggested premium range above a general guide to costs for extending a lease, but we are not able to provide a more accurate figure in the absence of detailed investigations. You should not use this information in a Notice of Claim or as an informal offer. There are no doubt additional issues that need to be taken into account and clearly you should be as accurate as possible in your negotiations. Neither should you take any other action placing reliance on this information without first seeking the advice of a professional.

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    Lease Extensions in Winchcombe