In accordance with SRA Transparency Guidance 2018, please find below our approach to fees and service in relation to a Leasehold Residential Purchase.

What is this going to cost me?

Our charges
Fees incurred by you for a Leasehold Purchase are calculated on a fixed fee basis and are based on the value of the Leasehold.

What does this include?
Our fees cover all the work required to complete the purchase of your leasehold property. This includes:

  • Acting for you in the purchase of the property
  • Acting for your lender in the purchase of the property

The legal fees are calculated on a fixed fee basis using an hourly rate. Our fee assumes that:

  • This is a standard transaction and that no unforeseen matters arise including, for example (but not limited to) a defect in title which requires remedying prior to completion, or the preparation of additional documents which are required for the main transaction;
  • This is an assignment of an existing lease and is not the grant of a new lease, nor a transaction requiring the extension of an existing 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 or information;
  • No indemnity policies are required. Additional costs may be incurred if these are required.

Should any of these become apparent during the course of the transaction, your contact will advise you as soon as possible, and advise you of any cost implications.

Disbursements
Disbursements are expenses that are payable to third parties, such as Land Registry fees. We handle the payment of disbursements on your behalf to ensure a smoother process.

There are also certain payments which will be set out in the individual lease relating to the property.

The disbursements we usually anticipate are detailed below. This is not an exhaustive list and other disbursements may apply depending on the terms of the lease and the requirements of the landlord | management company. We will update with you any specific fees upon receipt and review of the lease.

  • Land Registry Fee £40 – £910 (depending on the price of the property)
  • Search fees £350 – £400
  • Notice of transfer fee. Often this is between £50 and £75
  • Notice of charge fee. Often the fee is between £50 and £75
  • Deed of Covenant fee (provided by the management company and can be difficult to estimate. It is often between £100 and £150)
  • Certificate of compliance fee (to be confirmed upon receipt of the lease but it can range between £100 and £150)

Normally we require a payment of £350 on account of searches and other costs.

Note that fees can vary greatly from property to property and can on occasion be significantly more than the ranges given above. We can only give you an accurate figure once we have sight of your specific documents.

What else will I need to consider?

The below are all payments you will need to consider, which are likely to need to be paid in addition to the fees and disbursements detailed above.

Ground rent and service charges
Ground rent and service charges are likely to apply throughout the ownership of your property. We will confirm the ground rent and anticipated service charges as soon as we receive this information.

Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT)
Stamp Duty Land Tax payments are dependent on the price of the property and the individual circumstances of the buyer. They are in addition to the legal costs and disbursements. You can calculate the amount you will need to pay by using the HMRC’s website link here.

What happens if I change my mind and don’t want to go through with the transaction anymore?

Should you wish to terminate the transaction at any time, you will be liable for any costs and disbursements incurred to date, and will be billed for them.

Additional services and searches

The following additional services and searches are available and will be charged in addition to the fixed fee quoted to you, based on the cost of the additional search (if relevant) and an hourly rate to provide the additional service.

  • Locational searches (for example, Coal Mining in the north of the UK)
  • Planning searches
  • Chancel liability insurance

Your contact will advise you if it is considered to be worthwhile to consider any of these additional services on a case by case basis. If possible, and if the conditions are known, this will be done before the transaction is undertaken. If the conditions are not known at the start of the transaction, you will be advised as soon as we are aware of the requirement.

How long is my transaction likely to take?

How long the Purchase of a Leasehold can take depends on a number of factors, for example the number of parties in a chain.

If you are a first time buyer, purchasing a chain free property with a mortgage, it could take as little as six weeks.

If you are buying a leasehold property which requires a lease extension, or is in a long chain, it may take as much as 12 weeks. In such a situation, additional charges would apply.

The average timescale for a leasehold purchase from acceptance of offer to completion is eight to ten weeks.

What can I expect from this process?

The key stages in an average Leasehold Purchase are:

  • 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 advice on all documents and information you receive
  • Going through the conditions of the mortgage offer with you
  • Reporting to you
  • Sending final contract to you for signature or reporting to you in person
  • Drafting transfer
  • Advising you on joint ownership
  • Obtaining pre-completion searches
  • Agreeing completion date (date from which you own the property)
  • Exchanging contracts and notifying you that this has happened
  • Arranging all monies needed to be received from lender and you
  • Effecting legal completion
  • Dealing with payment of Stamp Duty Land Tax
  • Dealing with registration at the Land Registry
  • Dealing with Notice of Transfer with landlord | management company
  • Dealing with your lender as appropriate

We are dependent on information received from the counterparty’s lawyer, and can only work as fast as the information is given to us. We will keep you informed if we are experiencing delays which are likely to impact on the desired completion date of the transaction.

Who is going to do this work for me and what is their experience?

The work will be carried out by one or more of our lawyers in the Residential Conveyancing Team.