Fixed-fee leasehold conveyancing in Winsford:

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Examples of recent questions relating to leasehold conveyancing in Winsford

I wish to sublet my leasehold apartment in Winsford. Conveyancing solicitor who did the purchase is retired - so can't ask him. Is permission from the freeholder required?

A small minority of properties in Winsford do contain a provision to say that subletting is only allowed with permission. The landlord is not entitled to unreasonably refuse but, in such cases, they would need to see references. Experience suggests that problems are usually caused by unsatisfactory tenants rather than owner-occupiers and for that reason you can expect the freeholder to take up the references and consider them carefully before granting permission.

I've recently bought a leasehold house in Winsford. 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. A critical element 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 Winsford where we have experienced a few flat sales derailed due to short leases. I have received inconsistent advice from local Winsford conveyancing solicitors. Could you shed some light as to whether the owner of a flat can commence the lease extension formalities 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 buyer can avoid having to wait 2 years for a lease extension. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment has to be done prior to, or simultaneously with completion of the disposal of the property.

An alternative approach is 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 Winsford with the purpose of saving time on the sale process?

  • Much of the frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Winsford can be reduced if you instruct lawyers the minute you market your property and ask them to put together the leasehold documentation which will be required by the purchasers’ representatives.
  • If you have carried out any alterations to the residence would they have required Landlord’s permission? In particular have you laid down wooden flooring? Winsford leases often stipulate that internal structural alterations or laying down wooden flooring necessitate a licence from the Landlord approving such alterations. If you dont have the consents to hand you should not contact the landlord without checking with your conveyancer in the first instance.
  • Some Winsford leases require Landlord’s consent to the sale and approval of the buyers. If this applies to your lease, 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 should make it clear that the buyer is 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 buyers or their lawyers.
  • If there is a history of conflict with your freeholder or managing agents it is essential that these are settled prior to the flat being marketed. The buyers and their solicitors will be nervous about purchasing a flat where there is a current dispute. You may have to bite the bullet and discharge any arrears of service charge or settle the dispute prior to the buyers completing the purchase. It is therefore preferable to have any dispute settled prior to 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 present the dispute as historic rather than unsettled.
  • If you are supposed to have a share in the Management Company, you should make sure that you hold the original share document. Organising a re-issued share certificate can be a time consuming formality and frustrates many a Winsford conveyancing deal. If a new share is necessary, you should approach the company director and secretary or managing agents (if applicable) for this as soon as possible.

  • We expect to complete the sale of our £250000 apartment in Winsford in six days. The freeholder has quoted £372 for Landlord’s certificate, insurance certificate and 3 years statements of service charge. Is it legal for a freeholder to charge exorbitant fees for a leasehold conveyance in Winsford?

    Winsford conveyancing on leasehold flats more often than not involves the purchaser’s lawyer sending questions for the landlord to address. Although the landlord is under no legal obligation to respond to these enquiries most will be willing to do so. They are at liberty invoice a reasonable administration fee for responding to enquiries or supplying documentation. There is no set fee. The average fee for the paperwork that you are referring to is over three hundred pounds, in some transactions it is above £800. The management information fee required by the landlord must be accompanied by a synopsis of entitlements and obligations in relation to administration charges, otherwise the charge is not strictly payable. Reality however dictates that you have no choice but to pay whatever is requested of you should you wish to exchange contracts with the buyer.

    I acquired a garden flat in Winsford, conveyancing formalities finalised 4 years ago. Can you let me have an estimated range of the fair premium for a lease extension? Similar flats in Winsford with a long lease are worth £221,000. The average or mid-range amount of ground rent is £50 levied per year. The lease ends on 21st October 2089

    With just 68 years remaining on your lease we estimate the premium for your lease extension to span between £12,400 and £14,200 as well as legals.

    The suggested premium range above a general guide to costs for extending a lease, but we cannot give you a more accurate figure without more comprehensive investigations. You should not use this information in tribunal or court proceedings. There may be other concerns that need to be taken into account and clearly you should be as accurate as possible in your negotiations. Please do not take any other action based on this information without first getting professional advice.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Winsford