Fixed-fee leasehold conveyancing in Wokingham:

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Recently asked questions relating to Wokingham leasehold conveyancing

I have just appointed agents to market my 2 bed apartment in Wokingham.Conveyancing is yet to be initiated but I have just received a quarterly service charge demand – what should I do?

The sensible thing to do is discharge the service charge 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 management companies 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 own a leasehold house in Wokingham. Conveyancing and Barnsley Building Society mortgage went though with no issue. I have received a letter from someone claiming to own the freehold. It included a demand for arrears of ground rent dating back to 1991. The conveyancing solicitor in Wokingham who acted for me is not around.What should I do?

First make enquiries of HMLR to be sure that this person is indeed the registered owner of the freehold reversion. There is no need to incur the fees of a Wokingham conveyancing firm to do this as it can be done on-line for a few pound. You should note that regardless, even if this is the rightful landlord, under the Limitation Act 1980 no more than 6 years of rent can be collected.

Last month I purchased a leasehold flat in Wokingham. Am I liable to pay service charges for periods before completion of my purchase?

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. Strange as it may seem, 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).

Do you have any top tips for leasehold conveyancing in Wokingham with the purpose of saving time on the sale process?

  • A significant proportion of the frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Wokingham can be avoided if you get in touch lawyers as soon as you market your property and ask them to collate the leasehold information which will be required by the buyers solicitors.
  • In the event that you altered the property did you need the Landlord’s consent? Have you, for example laid down wooden flooring? Wokingham leases often stipulate that internal structural changes or laying down wooden flooring calls for a licence from the Landlord approving such works. Should you dont have the consents in place you should not communicate with the landlord without contacting your solicitor in advance.
  • A minority of Wokingham leases require Licence to Assign from the landlord. If this applies to your lease, you should notify your estate agents to make sure that the purchasers obtain financial (bank) and professional references. The bank reference should make it clear that the buyer is able to meet the annual 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 solicitors.
  • If you hold a share in a the freehold, you should ensure that you are holding the original share document. Arranging a replacement share certificate is often a lengthy process and delays many a Wokingham conveyancing transaction. If a reissued share certificate is needed, do contact the company director and secretary or managing agents (where applicable) for this at the earliest opportunity.
  • You may think that you are aware of the number of years remaining on your lease but you should double-check via your lawyers. A purchaser's conveyancer will be unlikely to recommend their client to where the remaining number of years is less than 80 years. It is therefore essential at an as soon as possible that you identify whether the lease term requires a lease extension. If it does, contact your solicitors before you put your premises on the market for sale.

  • In relation to leasehold conveyancing in Wokingham what are the most frequent lease defects?

    There is nothing unique about leasehold conveyancing in Wokingham. All leases are individual and drafting errors can sometimes mean that certain provisions are not included. For example, if your lease is missing any of the following, it could be defective:

    • Repairing obligations to or maintain elements of the building
    • Insurance obligations
    • A provision for the recovery of money spent for the benefit of another party.
    • Service charge per centages that don't add up correctly leaving a shortfall

    You will have a problem when selling your property if you have a defective lease primarily because it impacts on the ability to obtain a mortgage on the property. HSBC Bank, The Mortgage Works, and Nottingham Building Society all have very detailed conveyancing instructions when it comes to what is expected in a lease. If a mortgage lender believes that the lease does not cover certain provisions they may refuse to provide security, obliging the purchaser to withdraw.

    I inherited a split level flat in Wokingham, conveyancing was carried out 9 years ago. Can you let me have an estimate of the premium that my landlord can legally expect in return for granting a renewal of my lease? Similar properties in Wokingham with an extended lease are worth £240,000. The average or mid-range amount of ground rent is £60 levied per year. The lease terminates on 21st October 2079

    With only 58 years left to run we estimate the premium for your lease extension to range between £24,700 and £28,600 as well as professional fees.

    The suggested premium range that we have given is a general guide to costs for extending a lease, but we cannot give you a more accurate figure in the absence of detailed due diligence. Do not use the figures in a Notice of Claim or as an informal offer. 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 Wokingham