If you’re looking to sell a leasehold property, you’ll require something known as a leasehold information pack in order to move forward.
A leasehold information pack, sometimes referred to as a leasehold management pack or ‘replies to LPE1 enquiries’, is a collection of documents that a seller must purchase from a managing agent or freeholder and give to the buyer’s conveyancer.
The pack will include all the information related to the management of a building in which a leasehold property -- especially a terraced house, apartment, flat, or maisonette -- is located.
These packs offer buyers details about how buildings are managed so they can better understand what they’re getting into when purchasing a leasehold property.
It also helps clarify any fees related to building or grounds management that they’ll need to pay.
As a reminder, leaseholders own a lease from the building owner to use the home for a fixed period. The freeholder, by contrast, is one who owns the building and the land it stands on outright.
Most flats in England, and some new build houses, are leaseholds - but their popularity varies considerably by UK region.
New build leaseholds are particularly common in the North West of England, for example, especially the Greater Manchester area, and in London.
The leasehold information pack is filled with documents that relate to the management aspects of the leasehold property.
Although it forms an essential part of the formal leasehold enquiries that a seller must provide a buyer, there is no standardised list of contents.
Still, materials included in the pack are likely to include information on:
Service charges (for instance, costs needed to maintain any lifts, communal stairs or hallways, parking spaces, gardens, entry systems, etc)
Proposed future maintenance works (also known as ‘major works’)
Last three years of the management company’s accounting history
Fire risk assessments (typically, a ‘form EWS1 External Wall Fire Review’)
Freeholder contact details
Freeholder fees, including notice or deed of covenant fees (if applicable)
Disputes by the leaseholder (if applicable)
Applications to buy the freehold (if applicable)
But depending on your specific lease or property transfer, you may require different documentation – this is where your conveyancing solicitor should be helpful.
Sellers of leasehold properties are usually required to obtain an information pack from the managing agent or, if the freeholder hasn’t employed one, from the freeholder themselves. It’s not unusual for the freeholder to be the local council or a large housebuilder.
Buyers then obtain the leasehold information pack from the seller of the leasehold property or a solicitor working on the seller’s behalf.
Sometimes more than one information pack needs to be requested. This occurs when the freeholder manages the ground rent, but a separate managing agent runs and manages the freehold in return for service charges.
The information in the pack comes from the landlord, the management company, or the managing agent – or sometimes a combination of these.
Note, however, that the people or entities providing the information are not legally required to do so. As a result, delays are not uncommon at this stage.
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The party providing the pack typically charges a fee, which varies considerably, to cover the costs of compiling the information for the leaseholder.
On the upper end, the charges could be as high as £500. On the cheaper end, often in cases where the council is the freeholder, the fee could be as low as £150.
However, as noted above, there are occasions, such as when the ground rent is collected by one party and the service charge provided by a second, when two property management packs are required.
As a result of such variability, you should always call the freeholders in the early stages of the process to gain a sense of what kind of fee they expect to charge for the pack.
Again, it depends. But expect anywhere from one week to six weeks, depending on the responsiveness of the freeholder or the managing agent.
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