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Recently asked questions about conveyancing in Histon

As someone not used to conveyancing in Histon what is the number one tip you can give me concerning the legal transfer of property in Histon

You may not hear this from too many lawyers but conveyancing in Histon or throughout England and Wales is often a confrontational process. Put another way, when it comes to conveyancing there exists plenty of opportunity for conflict between you and other parties involved in the transaction. For example, the seller, property agent and sometimes a mortgage company. Choosing a solicitor for your conveyancing in Histon is a critical decision as your conveyancer is your adviser, and is the SOLE person in the legal process whose responsibility is to act in your best interests and to keep you safe.

We are witnessing a worrying ongoing adversarial element to conveyancing- someone must be blamed for the process being so protracted. You should always trust your solicitor above all other players when it comes to the legal transfer of property.

I have 71 years remaining on my lease and need a lease extension for my flat in Histon. Conveyancing solicitors on the The Mortgage Works panel can deal with such extensions correct?

Most leasehold conveyancing experts should be able to deal with a lease extension. if you are securing 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 23/1/2023 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 0.5% 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 0.5% 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

I require fast conveyancing in Histon as I am faced with pressure to sign on the dotted line within one month. A home loan is not required. Is it possible to avoid the conveyancing searches to save fees and time?

As you are not taking a mortgage you are at liberty not to have searches carried out although no lawyer would suggest that you don't. With lots of history conveyancing in Histon the following are instances of issues that can show up and adversely affect future saleability: Refused Planning Applications, Outstanding Fees, Overdue Grants, Railway Schemes,...

In scouring the internet for the term conveyancing in Histon it reveals many solicitorsin the area. With so much choice what is the best way to find the right solicitor for the sale of my house?

The preferential method of choosing a suitable conveyancer is via trusted referral, so ask colleagues and relatives who have bought a property in Histon or a reputable estate agent or financial adviser. Fees for conveyancing in Histon differ, so it's a good idea to obtain at least four quotes from different solicitors. Dont forget to clarify that the charges are guaranteed not to increase.

Do you have any advice for leasehold conveyancing in Histon with the purpose of expediting the sale process?

  • A significant proportion of the frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Histon can be bypassed where you instruct lawyers the minute your agents start marketing the property and request that they start to collate the leasehold information needed by the buyers’ lawyers.
  • Many freeholders or Management Companies in Histon charge for supplying management packs for a leasehold property. You or your lawyers should discover the fee that they propose to charge. The management pack can be applied for 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 usual reason for delay in leasehold conveyancing in Histon. If you are supposed to have a share in the Management Company, you should ensure that you are holding the original share document. Obtaining a re-issued share certificate is often a lengthy formality and slows down many a Histon home move. If a new share certificate is necessary, do contact the company director and secretary or managing agents (where applicable) for this as soon as possible. A minority of Histon leases require Licence to Assign from the landlord. If this is the case, you should place the estate agents on notice to make sure that the purchasers obtain financial (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 actual amount of the service charge so that they can pass this information on to the buyers or their solicitors. If there is a history of any disputes with your freeholder or managing agents it is very important that these are resolved before the property is marketed. The purchasers and their solicitors will be nervous about purchasing 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 ahead of 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 better to present the dispute as historic as opposed to ongoing.

Histon Leasehold Conveyancing - A selection of Queries before Purchasing

    It is important to be aware whether window replacement or some other major work is coming up to be shared amongst the leasehold owners and may well materially increase the the maintenance charges or necessitate a one off payment. The answer will be useful as a) areas can cause problems in the block as the communal areas may begin to deteriorate where repairs are not paid for b) if the leasehold owners have a dispute with the managing agents you will want to have full disclosure How long is the Lease?

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