Fixed-fee leasehold conveyancing in Woodbury:

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Questions and Answers: Woodbury leasehold conveyancing

I am on look out for some leasehold conveyancing in Woodbury. Before diving in I require certainty as to the unexpired term of the lease.

Assuming the lease is registered - and most are in Woodbury - then the leasehold title will always include the basic details 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 intending to rent out my leasehold apartment in Woodbury. Conveyancing solicitor who did the purchase is retired - so can't ask him. Do I need to ask my freeholder for their consent?

Some leases for properties in Woodbury do contain a provision to say that subletting is only permitted with prior consent from the landlord. The landlord is not entitled to unreasonably refuse but, in such cases, they would need to review references. Experience dictates 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.

Last month I purchased a leasehold house in Woodbury. Do I have any liability for 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 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 Woodbury where we see a number of flat sales derailed due to leases having less than 80 years remaining. I have received inconsistent advice from local Woodbury conveyancing firms. Could you confirm whether the vendor of a flat can instigate the lease extension process 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 start the lease extension process and assign the benefit of the notice to the purchaser. The benefit of this is that the proposed purchaser can avoid having to sit tight for 2 years to extend their lease. 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 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.

Do you have any top tips for leasehold conveyancing in Woodbury with the purpose of expediting the sale process?

  • A significant proportion of the frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Woodbury can be avoided where you get in touch lawyers the minute you market your property and request that they start to collate the leasehold information needed by the purchasers’ lawyers.
  • Many landlords or Management Companies in Woodbury charge for providing management packs for a leasehold homes. You or your lawyers should find out the actual amount of the charges. The management information sought as soon as you have a buyer, thus reducing delays. The typical amount of time it takes to receive management information is three weeks. It is the most common cause of frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Woodbury.
  • 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 Woodbury state that internal structural alterations 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 contact the landlord without contacting your conveyancer first.
  • Some Woodbury leases require Landlord’s consent to the sale and approval of the buyers. If this applies to your lease, you should notify your estate agents to make sure that the purchasers put in hand bank and professional references. Any 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 lawyers.
  • You may think that you are aware of the number of years remaining on your lease but you should double-check via your conveyancers. A buyer’s conveyancer will be unlikely to recommend their client to proceed with the purchase of a leasehold property the lease term is below 75 years. It is therefore important at an early stage 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 acquired a 2 bed flat in Woodbury, conveyancing formalities finalised 6 years ago. Can you please calculate a probable premium for a statutory lease extension? Corresponding flats in Woodbury with over 90 years remaining are worth £257,000. The ground rent is £45 invoiced every year. The lease finishes on 21st October 2091

    You have 70 years unexpired the likely cost is going to range between £10,500 and £12,000 plus legals.

    The suggested premium range above a general guide to costs for extending a lease, but we cannot give you a more accurate figure in the absence of detailed investigations. You should 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 want to be as accurate as possible in your negotiations. Please do not move forward placing reliance on this information without first seeking the advice of a professional.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Woodbury