When it comes to buying a property, there are a number of essential legal stages which need to be completed.
If the property is leasehold the process is more complicated as there are additional parties involved, which is why it’s important to choose the right conveyancer to help you with your purchase.
Expert conveyancing for your leasehold property purchase
At Home Property Lawyers our helpful and friendly conveyancers will support you, working with the estate agents, seller’s solicitors and other third parties to ensure your leasehold property purchase proceeds as quickly as possible.
Our experienced team are here to ensure that each stage proceeds as smoothly as possible. With a dedicated and contactable conveyancer personally assigned to you from start to finish, you will be kept fully informed throughout.
What do I need to consider about purchasing a leasehold property?
When buying a leasehold property the transaction will generally take longer than buying a freehold property. This is because there are additional checks to carry out and information that needs to be gathered from third parties such as the Landlord or Managing Agent.
You will need to be prepared for additional expenses when buying a leasehold property. There will be fees payable to either a Landlord, Management Company or a Management Agent for providing information and potentially registering changes in ownership as well as additional conveyancing fees for dealing with these requests.
What are the stages of a buying a leasehold property?
Once you have found a property to buy the conveyancing process for a leasehold property typically follows these steps.
View the steps
- We will send you a pack of information and some forms to complete and return.
- You will be asked to provide money on account for third party expenses such as searches.
- You may be asked for evidence of your identity and your address if not provided by the estate agent.
- If your deposit is a gift, we will need proof of the gift, ID and address verification for the person giving the gift. You will need to tell your lender of any gift as soon as possible to avoid any issues later in the transaction.
- We will contact the seller’s solicitors to request
When we receive the contract pack we will check the title and raise our initial enquiries with the seller’s solicitors
- The contract
- Details of the title to the property
- A Fixtures and Fittings Form
- A Property Information Form (Protocol forms)
- Leasehold Information Form
- We will review the lease to make sure it is acceptable to you and if you are obtaining a mortgage also ensure it complies with the lender requirements. We will check the lease accurately describes the property, provides appropriate rights, that the term of lease is acceptable and the provisions for future ground rent increases.
- We will check the Leasehold Property Enquiries from the Management Company and information from the landlord about ground rent, insurance and service charges. Some Leasehold transactions can involve further complexities for example Shared Ownership Leases and Retirement housing which often include additional requirements to be dealt with before completion.
- If not already provided to us, we will request searches such as:
Once we receive the results, we will review them and raise any further enquiries with the seller’s solicitors.
- Local Authority Search
- Environmental Search
- Drainage Search
- A property report will be prepared setting out key information relating to the property. We will send this to you with:
- A plan so we can ensure the boundaries of the property you are buying are correct
- A contract
- A Transfer Deed (TR1)
- Completed Protocol forms
- Copy documents such as the lease
Mortgage and Money
- If you are obtaining a mortgage, your lender will send us a mortgage offer. Once received, we will review the offer and deal with any special conditions so that on completion we can get the mortgage funds from your lender.
- If you have a Help-To-Buy ISA you will need to provide us with your closing statement at least three weeks before completion. You can get this from the bank or building Society managing your ISA. We will need this together with a signed First Time Buyer declaration to enable us to obtain the bonus. It is imperative that you provide this to us; any delay could result in the bonus being delayed. If we do not have this on completion you will lose the bonus as we are unable to utilise this after completion under the scheme rules. Further information can be found here.
- Once we and your lender (if applicable) are satisfied regarding enquiries and searches, we can discuss a completion date with your seller’s solicitors and commit (exchange contracts) to moving (completion).
- In readiness for exchange of contracts we will require your deposit
- We will carry out final searches before completion in case anything has changed. We will also request the funds from your lender (if applicable) and any balance funds from you. On the day of completion we will pay the purchase monies to the seller’s solicitors.
- On the day of completion, once the seller’s solicitors receive the funds, we can confirm completion and you can collect your keys.
- Following completion we will deal with the management Company’s post completion requirements, pay your stamp duty land tax to HMRC and we will deal with registration of your ownership and your lenders charge with the Land Registry
Why might buying a leasehold property take longer?
Although the process of a buying a property is quite straightforward, occasionally there are things that can complicate and delay matters, particularly in the case of a leasehold purchase, for example:
- A defective lease which needs to be varied. For example, if the unexpired term of lease needs to be increased or the provision to increase ground rent is unacceptable
- Matters referred to in the Leasehold Property Enquiries from the Management Company need further investigation e.g. Proposed future works
- Several people in the chain, all with different transactions and personal circumstances to accommodate.
- An adverse survey which down-values a property or means that estimates or essential work needs to be carried out before completion.
- Someone in the chain unable to secure a mortgage.
- Problems with the property title, such as missing documents, inaccurate plan, defective lease, breach of covenants or lack of necessary planning permissions or building regulations.
Should any of the above issues arise, it’s important that you have a conveyancer who will keep you informed and help find solutions to progress your purchase through to the exchange of contracts.
Choosing Home Property Lawyers for your leasehold purchase gives you:
- A friendly and caring expert conveyancer, assigned to you.
- Efficient and proactive service from a team of professionals.
- Helpful and responsive communication, keeping you informed throughout your leasehold purchase.