Fixed-fee leasehold conveyancing in Woburn Sands:

Whether you are buying or selling leasehold flat in Woburn Sands, our panel of leasehold conveyancing experts will help you move with as little stress as possible. Find a Woburn Sands conveyancing lawyer with our search tool

Questions and Answers: Woburn Sands leasehold conveyancing

I am in need of some leasehold conveyancing in Woburn Sands. Before I get started I want to be sure as to the remaining lease term.

If the lease is registered - and 99.9% are in Woburn Sands - 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.

Back In 2006, I bought a leasehold house in Woburn Sands. Conveyancing and National Westminster Bank mortgage organised. I have received a letter from someone claiming to own the freehold. Attached was a demand for arrears of ground rent dating back to 1992. The conveyancing solicitor in Woburn Sands who previously acted has long since retired.Any advice?

First contact the Land Registry to make sure that this person is indeed the new freeholder. It is not necessary to incur the fees of a Woburn Sands conveyancing practitioner to do this as it can be done on-line for a few pound. Rest assured that regardless, even if this is the rightful freeholder, under the Limitation Act 1980 no more than 6 years of rent can be collected.

Last month I purchased a leasehold property in Woburn Sands. Do I have any liability for service charges relating to a period prior to my ownership?

In a situation 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 be sure 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 reputable estate agent office in Woburn Sands where we see a number of flat sales jeopardised due to short leases. I have received conflicting advice from local Woburn Sands conveyancing firms. Please can you clarify whether the seller of a flat can initiate the lease extension formalities for the buyer?

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. The benefit of this is that the buyer 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 disposal of the property.

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 top tips for leasehold conveyancing in Woburn Sands from the perspective of expediting the sale process?

  • Much of the frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Woburn Sands can be bypassed where you appoint lawyers as soon as you market your property and ask them to collate the leasehold information needed by the purchasers’ conveyancers.
  • If you have carried out any alterations to the property would they have required Landlord’s consent? Have you, for example laid down wooden flooring? Most leases in Woburn Sands state that internal structural changes or addition of wooden flooring require a licence from the Landlord consenting to such works. Where you fail to have the consents in place you should not communicate with the landlord without checking with your lawyer first.
  • If you have had any disputes with your landlord or managing agents it is essential that these are settled before the property is put on the market. The buyers and their solicitors will be reluctant to purchase a flat where there is a current dispute. You may have to bite the bullet and pay any arrears of service charge or resolve 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 will still have to reveal details of the dispute to the buyers, but it is clearly preferable to present the dispute as over as opposed to unresolved.
  • If you have the benefit of shareholding in the freehold, you should make sure that you have the original share document. Arranging a duplicate share certificate is often a time consuming formality and slows down many a Woburn Sands home move. Where a reissued share certificate is required, you should approach the company director and secretary or managing agents (if relevant) for this sooner rather than later.
  • You believe that you know the number of years left on your lease but it would be advisable double-check via your solicitors. A buyer’s conveyancer will be unlikely to recommend their client to proceed with the purchase of a leasehold property the lease term is less than 80 years. In the circumstances it is important at an as soon as possible that you identify whether the lease for your property needs extending. If it does, contact your solicitors before you put your home on the market for sale.

  • I bought a 1 bedroom flat in Woburn Sands, conveyancing formalities finalised 2000. How much will my lease extension cost? Corresponding properties in Woburn Sands with a long lease are worth £169,000. The average or mid-range amount of ground rent is £55 levied per year. The lease finishes on 21st October 2075

    With only 51 years unexpired we estimate the price of your lease extension to span between £32,300 and £37,400 plus costs.

    The suggested premium range that we have given is a general guide to costs for extending a lease, but we cannot give you the actual costs without more comprehensive investigations. Do not use the figures in a Notice of Claim or as an informal offer. There may be other issues that need to be considered and you obviously want to be as accurate as possible in your negotiations. Please do not move forward based on this information without first getting professional advice.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Woburn Sands