Experts for Leasehold Conveyancing in Woolacombe

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Top Five Questions relating to Woolacombe leasehold conveyancing

I would like to sublet my leasehold flat in Woolacombe. Conveyancing solicitor who did the purchase is retired - so can't ask her. Is permission from the freeholder required?

Some leases for properties in Woolacombe do contain a provision to say that subletting is only allowed with permission. The landlord is not entitled to unreasonably withhold 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 Woolacombe. Am I liable to pay 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. 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).

Can you provide any top tips for leasehold conveyancing in Woolacombe from the perspective of speeding up the sale process?

  • A significant proportion of the delay in leasehold conveyancing in Woolacombe can be avoided where you get in touch lawyers the minute you market your property and request that they start to collate the leasehold documentation needed by the purchasers’ conveyancers.
  • Many landlords or Management Companies in Woolacombe levy fees for supplying management packs for a leasehold property. You or your lawyers should enquire as to the actual amount of the charges. The management pack can be applied for as soon as you have a buyer, thus reducing delays. The average time it takes to receive management information is three weeks. It is the most common cause of delay in leasehold conveyancing in Woolacombe.
  • A minority of Woolacombe leases require Licence to Assign from the landlord. If this is the case, it would be prudent to notify your estate agents to make sure that the purchasers put in hand bank and professional references. The bank reference will need to confirm that the buyers are financially capable of paying 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 service charge figures so that they can pass this information on to the purchasers or their solicitors.
  • If you hold a share in a the freehold, you should make sure that you hold the original share certificate. Organising a new share certificate is often a lengthy process and delays many a Woolacombe home move. Where a duplicate share certificate is necessary, do contact the company director and secretary or managing agents (where relevant) for this as soon as possible.
  • You may think that you are aware of the number of years left on your lease but you should double-check by asking your conveyancers. A buyer’s lawyer will be unlikely to recommend their client to where the lease term is below 75 years. It is therefore essential at an early stage 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.

  • All being well we will complete the sale of our £425000 flat in Woolacombe in six days. The freeholder has quoted £396 for Landlord’s certificate, insurance certificate and previous years statements of service charge. Is it legal for a freeholder to charge exorbitant fees for a leasehold conveyance in Woolacombe?

    For the majority of leasehold sales in Woolacombe conveyancing will involve, questions about the management of a building inevitably needing to be answered directly by the freeholder or its agent, this includes :

    • Addressing pre-contract enquiries
    • Where consent is required before sale in Woolacombe
    • Supplying insurance information
    • Deeds of covenant upon sale
    • Registering of the assignment of the change of lessee after a sale
    Your solicitor will have no control over the level of the charges for this information but the average costs for the information for Woolacombe leasehold premises is £350. For Woolacombe conveyancing transactions it is customary for the seller to pay for these costs. The landlord or their agents are under no legal obligation to answer such questions most will be willing to do so - albeit often at exorbitant prices where the fees bear little relation to the work involved. Unfortunately there is no law that requires fixed charges for administrative tasks. Neither is there any legal time frame by which they are obliged to supply the information.

    When it comes to leasehold conveyancing in Woolacombe what are the most frequent lease problems?

    There is nothing unique about leasehold conveyancing in Woolacombe. Most leases are individual and drafting errors can sometimes mean that certain clauses are erroneous. The following missing provisions could result in a defective lease:

    • A provision to repair to or maintain parts of the property
    • A duty to insure the building
    • Clauses dealing with recovering service charges for expenditure on the building or common parts.
    • Service charge per centages that don't add up correctly leaving a shortfall

    A defective lease can cause problems when trying to sell a property primarily because it impacts on the ability to obtain a mortgage on the property. Birmingham Midshires, Leeds Building Society, and TSB all have very detailed conveyancing instructions when it comes to what is expected in a lease. Where a lender has been advised by their lawyers that the lease is problematic they may refuse to grant the mortgage, obliging the purchaser to pull out.

    Woolacombe Conveyancing for Leasehold Flats - A selection of Queries Prior to Purchasing

      Plenty Woolacombe leasehold properties will incur a service bill for maintenance of the block invoiced by the management company. If you buy the apartment you will have to pay this charge, normally in instalments during the year. This could differ from a couple of hundred pounds to thousands of pounds for large purpose-built buildings. There will also be a rentcharge for you to pay annual, ordinarily this is not a large figure, say around £25-£75 but you need to check as on occasion it could be many hundreds of pounds. Its a good idea to discover as much as possible about the company managing the block as they will either make your life much easier or a lot more difficult. As the owner of a leasehold property you are frequently in the clutches of the managing agents from a financial perspective and when it comes to practical issues like the cleanliness of the common parts. Ask other people whether they are happy with them. In conclusion, be sure you know the dates that the maintenance fees are due to the managing agents and specifically what it includes. Is anyone aware of any major works on the horizon that will increase the service charges?

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Woolacombe