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Leasehold Solicitors

Nicola Ryan

Written by

7th Nov 2022 (Last updated on 7th Dec 2022) 4 minute read

Leasehold solicitors are able to help with the purchase or sale of leasehold properties. A leasehold residential property has higher fees compared to a freehold property. This is due to the extra paperwork and documentation involved.

In this guide, we’ll be taking you through everything you need to know about leasehold property solicitors. Your solicitor’s main responsibility is to explain any legal jargon and guide you through the process.

This article will cover the following:
  1. What Does a Leasehold Solicitor Do?
  2. How Much Do Leasehold Solicitors Charge?
  3. Do I Need a Solicitor to Renew my Lease?
  4. Other Reasons to Hire a Leasehold Solicitor
  5. Can I Purchase the Freehold?
  6. Why Use Compare My Move’s Leasehold Solicitors?

What Does a Leasehold Solicitor Do?

Your solicitor will submit the correct documentation and make sure that all initial payments are made. They will be able to provide expert legal advice to ensure that you have confidence in your transaction. Here are the most important documents and payments you should be aware of:

LPE1 Form

The LPE1 Form is known as the Leasehold Property Enquiries Form. This form is one of the most important documents that must be submitted. It is completed by the freeholder or managing agent who owns the lease. The LPE1 Form delves into important information on the property. This includes pet restrictions, parking, fire safety, and urgent work that needs to be conducted.

LPE2 Form

The LPE2 Form is known as the Consumer Summary Form. It is also completed by the freeholder or managing agent alongside the LPE1 Form. This form will include the costs for the compliance certificate and any maintenance costs.

Ground rent

Ground rent is another charge that the buyer will have to pay. It is usually paid every six months, but it is dependent on your lease agreement. The ground rent is owed to the party that owns the property freehold.

Other service charges

There are other service charges that you should be aware of such as maintenance fees. Your solicitor will help you set up your payments. They may also offer additional services such as lease extension documentation. Lease extensions cost extra due to the paperwork involved.

Read our guide on Freehold vs Leasehold: What’s the Difference?

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How Much Do Leasehold Solicitors Charge?

Based on the national UK average house price of £277,000, the average solicitor fees when buying a leasehold property is £1,490 and £1,420 when selling a leasehold property. The average freehold equivalent costs are £1,320 and £1,270, respectively.

There are also additional costs depending on what you need. For example, the average cost of buying the freehold is £6,000. This is known as Leasehold Enfranchisement.

Read more about solicitor fees when selling a property.

Do I Need a Solicitor to Renew my Lease?

If you wish to renew your lease, you will need a solicitor to submit the documentation for you. Most leases last between 99 and 999 years; however, if you have taken on a shorter lease, you may wish to have it renewed at the end of your lease term.

A lease extension costs an average between £7,000 and £10,000. There are also additional costs including solicitor and valuation fees that will need to be considered.

There is no guarantee that the party who owns the freehold will grant you a lease extension. However, most freehold owners want tenants who will stay in the property for a long term. Your solicitor should be highly experienced and able to deal with the extra paperwork that needs to be submitted.

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Other Reasons to Hire a Leasehold Solicitor

While leasehold solicitors are typically hired during the purchase or sale of a leasehold property, there are other scenarios in which they may be instructed. Here are some other examples:

Appointing a Manager

Leasehold solicitors can help you to appoint a new manager. This is done by applying for a First-tier Tribunal under the Landlord and Tenant Act 1987.

Breach of Lease

Leasehold solicitors can also assist with a breach of the lease. If you are a landlord or managing agent and are dealing with a disruptive tenant, you can hire a leasehold solicitor to assist with addressing the breach. Breaches can include noise complaints, sub-letting, or unauthorised pets.

Dispute Resolution

A common reason why leasehold solicitors are hired is dispute resolution. This is when the landlord and tenant disagree over the terms of the lease. Therefore, the solicitors are on hand to offer legal advice and to act on your behalf until an agreement is reached. Most leasehold solicitors will advise both landlords and tenants.

Leasehold Development

Lastly, if there are any leasehold developments taking place, a leasehold solicitor should be instructed. This is to prevent any legal difficulties further down the line. It will also ensure that all developments are carried out correctly.

Can I Purchase the Freehold?

It is possible to purchase the freehold. It is dependent on whether the landlord is willing to sell the freehold. If they are, then you will need to hire a leasehold solicitor to deal with the transaction. There is more paperwork that needs to be submitted. Purchasing the freehold is known as Collective Enfranchisement. This is when the occupants of a building collectively purchase the freehold.

There are many benefits that come with purchasing the freehold including lower maintenance costs. Owners of the freehold can also choose the property management company among other advantages.

Keep in mind that the freeholder may not be willing to sell you the freehold. Therefore, it's best to check that the owner of the freehold is willing to go ahead with the sale before instructing a solicitor.

Read more on Collective Enfranchisement.

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Why Use Compare My Move’s Leasehold Solicitors?

Compare My Move has a network of licensed leasehold solicitors who are able to assist you with the sale or purchase of your leasehold property. All our partners are regulated by either the SRA, CLC, LSS, LSNI, or CILEx. We can connect you with up to six solicitors, so you can compare quotes and save money on your fees.

Nicola Ryan

Written by Nicola Ryan

Nicola focusses on all things moving house at Compare My Move where she writes articles for the advice centre, guiding users through everything they need to know about moving house.

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