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Recently asked questions about conveyancing in Hawkshead

Having sold my house in Hawkshead last March but the buyer keeps SMS messaging every few hours to say his solicitor is waiting to hear from mine. What are the post completion sale legalities following completion?

After completion of your disposal your solicitor is obliged to forward the transfer documentation and all supplemental paperwork to the purchaser's conveyancer. If applicable, your solicitor should also send confirmation that the mortgage has been repaid to the purchasers lawyers. There are no post completion requirements peculiar conveyancing in Hawkshead.

I have 70 years remaining on my lease and require a lease extension for my flat in Hawkshead. Conveyancing solicitors on the The Mortgage Works panel can deal with such extensions right?

Most leasehold conveyancing experts should be able to deal with a lease extension. if you are obtaining a mortgage then your lender may insist that the lease be extended before competition. The Mortgage Works have specific requirements as set out in the UK Finance Lenders’ Handbook in relation to minimum unexpired lease terms. As of 17/6/2024 the requirements read as follows :

Minimum unexpired lease term is 70 years with 30 years remaining at the end of the mortgage term.
Where the unexpired lease term is different to that recorded on the mortgage offer, the following clarifies if we need to be informed:

Second hand property:
- If the unexpired lease term on the offer is 85 years or more - only advise us if the actual lease term is less than 85 years
- if the unexpired lease term on the offer is less than 85 years – advise us if the actual lease term is different than reported
- For equity share applications - advise us if the actual lease term is different than reported on the offer

New build property:
- If the unexpired lease term stated on the offer is 125 years (flat) / 250 years (house) or more - only advise us if the actual lease term is less than 125 years (flat) / 250 years (house)
- For equity share applications - always advise us if the actual lease term is different than reported on the offer

Lease terms such as ground rent and event fees must be reasonable at all times during the term of the lease and adhere to our requirements below. If you’re unsure as to whether the terms of a lease are unreasonable or onerous, please refer the details to us in plain English for Valuer consideration. If the potentially onerous terms are in relation to the ground rent please include the current ground rent figure per annum, how often it will be reviewed and the price structure it will be reviewed against. See the guidance below.

SECOND HAND PROPERTIES

Unacceptable - advise Issuing Office (Will be declined):
- Unexpired lease term less than 70 years
- Less than 30 years remaining at the end of the mortgage term
- Ground Rent greater than 0.5% of the property value
- Ground Rent doubles less than every 20 years (e.g. doubles every 5, 10 or 15 years) - acceptable if doubles every 20 years or more
- Ground Rent is compounded RPI
- Ground Rent review period less than or equal to 5 years

Refer to Issuing Office (Valuer will consider any impact on valuation figure and marketability):
- Unexpired lease term is 70 to 85 years
- Ground Rent greater than 0.1% and less than or equal to 0.5% of the property value
- Ground Rent escalation is linked to any indices greater than RPI
- Ground Rent escalation is linked to the value of the building*
- Ground Rent review period is greater than 5 and less than 10 years
- Event clauses exist for normal use e.g. changing the carpet, installing a TV aerial etc
- Estate Rent Charges greater than £500 p/a (please provide details of what the charges cover)
- Service Charges greater than 1.0% of property value p/a (please provide details of what the charges cover)
- Anything that appears onerous, unusual or out of the ordinary

Acceptable (no requirement to advise Issuing Office):
- Unexpired lease term greater than 85 years
- Ground Rent less than or equal to 0.1% of the property value
- Ground Rent review period greater than or equal to 10 years
- Ground Rent escalation less than or equal to RPI

NEW BUILD PROPERTIES (includes office conversions)

Unacceptable - advise Issuing Office (will be declined):
- Unexpired lease term less than 125 years on a new build flat or less than 250 years on a new build house
- Any lease which is subject to a ground rent (or annual rent) being charged which is more than on a peppercorn basis
- Any lease which is subject to a ground rent (or annual rent) being reviewed and altered on any review basis or methodology

Refer to Issuing Office (Valuer will consider any impact on valuation figure and marketability):
- Event clauses exist for normal use e.g. changing the carpet, installing a TV aerial etc
- Estate Rent Charges greater than £500 p/a (please provide details of what the charges cover)
- Service Charges greater than 1.0% of property value p/a (please provide details of what the charges cover)
- Anything else appears onerous, unusual or out of the ordinary

Acceptable (no requirement to advise Issuing Office):
- Unexpired lease term greater than or equal to 125 years on a new build flat or greater than or equal to 250 years on a new build house
- A lease subject to a peppercorn ground rent (annual rent) charges

For the avoidance of doubt, any new build properties completed but not sold pre 30 June 2022 will only be acceptable if the lease conforms to the above guidance

* Where the Ground Rent escalation is linked to the value of the building, please provide the following:
- How is the value of the block/unit currently calculated and if the assessment relates to the block(s), how is the Ground Rent calculated/apportioned per property?
- The current valuation and Ground Rent for each unit
- What is the mechanism for future valuations of the block and how is the Ground Rent calculated/apportioned?
- What is the right of appeal? And is this a documented process within the lease?
- Who bears the cost of the valuation (and appeal) process?
- Confirmation the review period is not less than twenty years

LEASE EXTENSIONS

We require all lease extensions to be completed under the Leasehold Reform Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 and to meet the above criteria as a minimum. Where you become aware that it does not meet these requirements, please refer to the Issuing Office

What will a local search reveal about the house we're purchasing in Hawkshead?

Hawkshead conveyancing often commences with the applying for local authority searches directly from your local Authority or through a personal search organisations such as PSG The local search plays an important part in most Hawkshead conveyancing purchase; that is if you don’t want any nasty once you have moved into your new home. The search should provide information on, amongst other things, details on planning applications applicable to the premises (whether granted or refused), building control history, any enforcement action, restrictions on permitted development, nearby road schemes, contaminated land and radon gas; in all a total of thirteen subject areas.

Planning to sign contracts shortly on a basement flat in Hawkshead. Conveyancing lawyers assured me that they report fully on Monday. Are there areas in the report that I should be focusing on?

The report on title for your leasehold conveyancing in Hawkshead should include some of the following:

    What options are open to you if an adjoining owner is in violation of a provision in their lease? Whether your lease provides for a sinking account for major repairs? Does the lease prevent you from letting out the flat, or having a home office for business The length of the lease term. You should receive guidance as what happens when the lease ends, and aware of the importance of the 80 year mark Whether the landlord has obligations to ensure rights of quiet enjoyment over your property and do you know what it means in practice?
For a comprehensive list of information to be contained in your report on your leasehold property in Hawkshead please ask your lawyer in ahead of your conveyancing in Hawkshead.

I own a 1st floor flat in Hawkshead, conveyancing having been completed in 1998. Can you work out an approximate cost of a lease extension? Similar properties in Hawkshead with over 90 years remaining are worth £265,000. The ground rent is £50 yearly. The lease comes to an end on 21st October 2099

You have 75 years unexpired the likely cost is going to span between £8,600 and £9,800 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 due diligence. You should not use this information in a Notice of Claim or as an informal offer. There may be other issues that need to be taken into account and you obviously want to be as accurate as possible in your negotiations. Please do not move forward placing reliance on this information before seeking the advice of a professional.

I own a leasehold flat in Hawkshead. Conveyancing was finalised in last year. I have read on various advice forums that I mustn’t allow the lease length fall too short. What is the reasoning?

Hawkshead leasehold properties are for a fixed term - usually 99 years when they started. However a significant appartments in Hawkshead were built or converted in the 60’s and so such leases now have less than eighty years unexpired. That may sound like a long time however Banks, Building Societies and other mortgage institutions on the whole require leases to have at least seventy five years unexpired to adequate security. This means that when you come to sell the property you will need to extend the term of your lease if you are approaching seventy five years. To maximise your property value you should be thinking about whether to extend your lease well in advance of selling the property. Furthermore significant benefits to doing so before the lease reaches even eighty years as when the lease is less than 80 years the amount to be paid to extend starts to increase.

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