Leasehold vs. Freehold

Why are the conveyancing legal fees different?

By Corinne Vaughan – Associate

My teams work with first time buyers, growing estate agents and mortgage brokers, right through to seasoned investors. Often, clients want to know the differences between residential conveyancing for leasehold or freehold properties. I wanted to share a quick summary of some of the differences, and the effect they have on transactions.

One common question is: why are there additional legal fees involved in buying or selling a leasehold property?

First, there are conditions that conveyancers must follow. There are additional costs before completion, and the process takes up more of a conveyancer’s time, which increases fees.

Leasehold conveyancing involves more people. A conveyancer needs to work with third parties (including management companies). Costs increase due to signing more documents, providing essential packs and extra information required etc.

Managing leasehold properties is more complex. This is due to the nature of the contract (and some can be particularly complicated!), and a longer legal process which increases legal fees.

How is this different to freehold?

In short, freehold properties have no lease to comply with, and no third parties or management companies to deal with, there are no constraints and it’s a simpler legal process.

The process is generally more seamless, resulting in no additional legal fees, no charges from management agents, and only the potential for small estate charges during the process.

As simpler ownership contracts are involved there are fewer complexities to manage. This means that my team spends less time on these matters, and additional conveyancing fees are less likely.

Buying & Selling Your Home

Buying and selling your home, divorce and family and relationship issues.

Employment Law & HR

Settlement agreements, contracts, employment tribunal support, disciplinary and discrimination.

Wills & Probate Advice

Writing or updating a will, Trust advice, Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) and more.

Family & Relationships

All aspects covering divorce, marriage, civil partnerships and cohabiting.