21 January 2019

Should conveyancers do more to increase buyers’ understanding of leasehold properties?


Gary Cane, head of property management company, Property Block Management, says that conveyancers need to do more to make sure that leasehold property buyers fully comprehend the implications of their home choice.

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Poor understanding amongst buyers

Mr Cane comments that purchasers have often not completely understood exactly what owning a leasehold property involves. He feels conveyancers are obliged to ensure that their clients have a proper understanding of their lease.

Cane insists on the need for a culture shift amongst conveyancers as well as a move away from what he calls today’s race to reach the bottom on price.

Cost of conveyancers’ services

A balance needs to be forged between price, speed and quality of service, Cane says. Buyers require top advice when they are making such a big investment, and better-quality service may come at a higher cost.

Cane feels that a great number of leaseholders misunderstand what is theirs when they buy a leasehold house or flat. Greater transparency is vital, he says. For example, a summary of Key Facts would supply a clear overview for less knowledgeable buyers. He adds that this is also relevant to freehold houses which are part of an estate.

Increased regulation is a goal that would help safeguard homeowners against unscrupulous parties that abuse a position of power. Consumers can be protected by the targeting of agents who undercut prices and subsequently under-deliver on contracts.

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At worst, a lack of knowledge can mean a failure to carry out essential checks and maintenance, possibly putting clients at risk and leading to a drop in the value of property.
If you are seeking conveyancing solicitors London-based firms include https://www.samconveyancing.co.uk/conveyancing-solicitors/conveyancing-solicitors-London.

An explanation of conveyancing for buyers is here: https://hoa.org.uk/advice/guides-for-homeowners/i-am-buying/conveyancing-made-easy-for-buyers/.

Checks to make before purchase

Conveyancing can be costlier for leasehold properties compared to freehold properties as there are more checks to be made. It’s important to read the lease thoroughly, and it’s vital to check how many years are left on the lease – the shorter the lease, the less the property will be worth. Leaseholders will have to pay a service charge and perhaps make payments into a sinking fund. Fully discuss all costs with your conveyancer before making the purchase so you know what you are agreeing to.