Thank you for looking at our property services. Whether you are a first-time buyer or an investor, we are here to take the stress out of buying and selling leasehold property.
We will guide you through each step of your transaction, tailoring our service to fit your requirements, so you can have complete peace of mind that every detail has been properly handled. Where necessary, we can also recommend other professionals such as Surveyors, Independent Financial Advisors and property valuers, giving you access to all the expertise you need.
At a time where money really matters, we take care to provide a high quality, value-for-money service you can rely on. We will keep you regularly advised of every detail you need to know so you can make informed decisions and conclude your leasehold property transaction promptly and with the minimum possible stress and hassle.
We have an experienced team who understand the stress involved in buying, selling or re-mortgaging your property. Our approach is a simple – we provide a first-class service from our expert team who make the difference by taking the stress away from you and dealing with all the details of your transaction on your behalf.
We know that communication is key, especially when dealing with the complex issues that can sometimes be involved with leasehold property. Our team are made up of highly qualified Solicitors and Conveyancers who have the legal and technical “know how” to resolve any issues as they arise in a professional and efficient manner, but also have the people skills to ensure you are kept informed of everything you need to know in plain English.
You will have the confidence that you are our priority, with our aim being that any member of the team is available to speak with you when you need some clarity and certainty at any stage in the process. We feel this provides reassurance and gives you an outlet for any concerns that you may have.
We realised that this is potentially the biggest investment of your life and we not only want to provide the first-class service you deserve, but also real value for money with no hidden fees.
We are proud to hold Lexcel and CQS Accreditations, issued by the Law Society. This involves the firm undergoing a rigorous audit process which ensures we maintain the highest levels of client care.
We know how important cost is when deciding who to use for leasehold conveyancing, so we review our fees on a regular basis, taking into account clients’ feedback, so we can make sure we always offer great value.
We typically work on a fixed fee basis, so that from the outset you know what the fees will be for your transaction. If during the transaction there is a new development, we will discuss the change in fees with you and agree a way forward.
Leasehold Residential Property
Our leasehold fees cover all the work required to complete the purchase of your new home, including dealing with registration at the Land Registry, dealing with the payment of Stamp Duty Land Tax (known as Stamp Duty) if the property is in England, or Land Transaction Tax (known as Land Tax) if the property is in Wales and dealing with all post completion requirements on behalf of your Landlord and/or Management Company.
To make the process of buying a leasehold property as convenient as possible for you we have installed a Conveyancing Quote Calculator on our website which will allow you to input your purchase details to generate an instant conveyancing estimate. Please note that so we can generate an instant and accurate conveyancing quote you will need to input all the information requested on the calculator. Once you have input the requested information our conveyancing calculator will generate a quote which includes the following information:
Fee for acting on behalf of the mortgage lender
HM Land Registry fee
Electronic money transfer fee
Disbursements are any costs related to your matter that are payable to third parties, such as search fees. We handle the payment of the disbursements on your behalf to ensure a smoother process.
There are certain disbursements which will be set out in the individual lease relating to the Property.
The disbursements which we anticipate in advance will be set out in our conveyancing quote calculator, however please note that upon receipt of the lease and leasehold information pack from the sellers solicitors additional disbursement will most likely also be payable.
On completion of a leasehold purchase the Landlord and/or Management Company will charge various fees which you will be responsible to pay for. As the Landlord and Management Company are different on every purchase it is difficult to anticipate exactly how much the Landlord/Management Company will charge for their fees, we usually find this information out once the sellers' solicitors supply us with a leasehold information pack. Below is a list of the items that that the Landlord/Management Company usually make a charge for.
Notice of Transfer fee, which if chargeable, is set out in the lease.
Notice of Charge fee (if the property is to be mortgaged), will be set out in the lease.
Deed of Covenant fee (associated with maintenance and service charges) will be provided by the management company for the property.
Certificate of Compliance fee
You should also be aware that ground rent and service charges are likely to apply throughout your ownership of the property. We will confirm the ground rent and the anticipated service charge as soon as we receive this information.
Stamp Duty Land Tax
The amount of stamp duty payable will depend on the purchase price of your property. You can calculate the amount you will need to pay by using HMRC's website or if the property is located in Wales by using the Welsh Revenue Authority's website here.
Our conveyancing calculator will also generate a figure payable for stamp duty, please note however that the figure will be generated based on information you input on the calculator so you must ensure that the information you supply is accurate.
Our conveyancing team are not tax advisors but we can obtain tax advice from other in-house staff should this be required. If you request us to do so fees will apply.
Our fees are fixed, however there may be factors which would typically increase the cost of the fees estimated above. Where there is likely to be any additional cost, we will make sure you are informed of this at the earliest opportunity and a clear estimate of those extra costs will be provided.
Factors that may lead to an increase in cost include:
Standard additional fees for residential property
Stamp Duty Land Tax.
Lenders fee (if obtaining a mortgage).
Retention - Monies are retained normally in respect of a leasehold property; service charges tend to be estimated and once the end of the financial year has been concluded, actual accounts are issued and a deficit or surplus will be advised. Any deficit will be apportioned accordingly between the seller & buyer for their period of ownership.
Rectification of title issue –statutory declaration. This is a correction/alteration of a mistake that may affect the title of a registered owner. The Statutory Declaration is a formal Statement made affirming that something is true to the best knowledge of the person making the declaration.
Rectification of title issue – indemnity insurance. If a correction/alteration of a mistake that may affect the title of a registered owner cannot be resolved, a Legal Indemnity Policy is obtained to offer protection to a buyer (and lender) from any actual or potential losses due to the defect. The premium is paid only once and in most cases the Policy is automatically transferrable to successors in title.
Arranging indemnity insurance (chancel, environmental, lack of building regulations approvals). A Chancel Indemnity Policy will be obtained to protect a landowner from paying for the repair of the Chancel (the part of the Church containing the altar and the choir) of an Anglican Parish Church. Chancel Repair Liability goes back hundreds of years to medieval times and some houses/flats stand upon land that is still subject to a perpetual liability to contribute to repairs. There are a number of other Indemnity Policies that can be obtained regarding issues at the property, due to lack of documentation the seller can produce, works carried out at the property without relevant building consent etc, and each Policy obtained offers protection to the buyer for any actual or potential losses.
Dealing with 3rd party solicitors - Some Lenders instruct their own solicitors to act, for example matrimonial solicitors may be involved.
Deed of postponement - Required when one party (normally a Lender) agrees to postpone their right in order for another party (again a lender) to have a first Charge on the title. Consent is required from the first Mortgagee to the postponement and is registered at the Land Registry.
Deed of covenant - May be required when purchasing a leasehold property or a freehold property. The buyer agrees and enters into the Deed of Covenant by signing the same to confirm that they will comply with the terms under the Lease and to pay the relevant maintenance charges on a freehold property normally for communal areas and service charges for a leasehold property.
Deed of variation - To extend the Lease term or to correct or alter a defect in the Lease.
Declaration of Trust (individual price to be confirmed by Private Client Department)
Deed of Easement - This is a binding document which gives rights for another party to use the property or enter upon the land to carry out repairs and check services which is not theirs. The owner gives their consent but does not give up ownership of the property/land.
Licence to Assign - This is a document entered into by the Landlord and the tenant to transfer/assign the obligations under the Lease to another party (new buyer). The Landlord's consent is required.
Protect your property restriction - This is normally required when the property is being purchased as a buy to let, will be left empty for periods of time as the owner lives overseas or not mortgaged. The Land Registry will notify the owner if someone applies to change the register in any way.
Arranging 2nd charges /loans (per loan/charge).
Arranging simultaneous exchange of contracts and completion.
Expedition fee – When there is less than 5 working days between exchange and completion.
Retrieval of files from archiving.
Issuing additional contract (contract race) when there are two separate buyers trying to purchase the same property.
Approval of new build documents.
Help to Buy Equity Loan.
Gifted Deposit - This applies if the buyer is obtaining monies from a third party and not a lender. Normally this is a family member who will be giving the buyer a "gift of money" to purchase the property but will not require the monies to be repaid or to have their interest noted on the property.
Help to buy ISA Fee - Applying for the Government bonus to be released and paid towards the purchase of a property on behalf of the client.
All fees are subject to VAT.
For any transaction, the timescales are subject to change depending on when your offer is accepted and other factors involved. The average process for a leasehold purchase takes between 8-10 weeks. It can be quicker or slower, depending on the parties in the chain. There are certain circumstances that could make the transaction lengthier, for example a lease extension. It is difficult to estimate how long a lease extension would take as this largely depends on co-operation by third parties such as the seller and landlord.
Our fee assumes that:
- This is a standard transaction and that no unforeseen matters arise, including (but not limited to) a defect in title which requires remedying prior to completion or the preparation of additional documents ancillary to the main transaction.
- This is the assignment of an existing lease and is not the grant of a new lease.
- The transaction is concluded in a timely manner and no unforeseen complications arise.
- All parties to the transaction are co-operative and there is no unreasonable delay from third parties providing documentation.
- No indemnity policies are required. Additional disbursements may apply if indemnity policies are required.
With every transaction there are key milestones, which may vary according to individual circumstances. They may be as follows:
- Taking your instructions and giving you initial advice.
- Checking finances are in place to fund purchase and contacting lender's solicitors if needed.
- Receiving and advising on contract documents.
- Carrying out searches.
- Obtaining further planning documentation if required.
- Making any necessary enquiries of seller's solicitor.
- Giving you advice on all documents and information received.
- Going through the conditions of your mortgage offer.
- Sending the final contract to you for signature.
- Draft Transfer.
- Advising you on joint ownership.
- Obtaining pre-completion searches.
- Agreeing a completion date (the date from which you own the property).
- Exchanging contracts and notifying you that this has happened.
- Arranging for all monies needed to be received from lender and you.
- Completing purchase.
- Dealing with payment of Stamp Duty/Land Tax.
- Dealing with application for registration at Land Registry.
- Dealing with post completion requirements on behalf of the Landlord and/or Management Company.
If you have any immediate questions on this topic please do not hesitate to contact us using the enquiry page at geppsolicitors.co.uk or call us on 01245 493939.