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Frequently asked questions relating to Allenton leasehold conveyancing

I have recently realised that I have Seventy years unexpired on my lease in Allenton. I now want to extend my lease but my landlord is can not be found. What options are available to me?

On the basis that you qualify, under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 you can apply to the County Court for an order to dispense with the service of the initial notice. This will enable the lease to be lengthened by the Court. However, you will be required to prove that you or your lawyers have used your best endeavours to find the landlord. For most situations an enquiry agent should be useful to carry out a search and to produce a report which can be used as evidence that the freeholder can not be located. It is wise to seek advice from a property lawyer in relation to investigating the landlord’s absence and the application to the County Court overseeing Allenton.

I am tempted by the attractive purchase price for a couple of apartments in Allenton which have about 50 years unexpired on the leases. Will this present a problem?

There are no two ways about it. A leasehold flat in Allenton is a wasting asset as a result of the reducing lease term. The closer the lease gets to zero years unexpired, the more it adversely affects the salability of the premises. For most buyers and mortgage companies, leases with less than 75 years become less and less marketable. On a more positive note, leaseholders can extend their leases by serving a Section 42 Notice. One stipulation is that they must have owned the premises for two years (unlike a Section 13 notice for purchasing the freehold, when leaseholders can participate from day one of ownership). When successful, they will have the right to an extension of 90 years to the current term and ground rent is effectively reduced to zero. Before moving forward with a purchase of a residence with a short lease term remaining you should talk to a solicitor specialising in lease extensions and leasehold enfranchisement. We are are happy to put you in touch with Allenton conveyancing experts who will explain the options available to you during an initial telephone conversation free of charge. More often than not it is possible to negotiate informally with the freeholder to extend the lease They may agree to a smaller lump sum and an increase in the ground rent, but to shorter extension terms in return. You need to ensure that the agreed terms represent good long-term value compared with the standard benefits of the Section 42 Notice and that onerous clauses are not inserted into any redrafting of the lease.

Can you offer any advice when it comes to finding a Allenton conveyancing firm to deal with our lease extension?

When appointing a solicitor for lease extension works (regardless if they are a Allenton conveyancing practice) it is essential that they be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of work. We recommend that you talk with several firms including non Allenton conveyancing practices before you instructing a firm. If the firm is ALEP accredited then so much the better. Some following of questions might be useful:

  • How familiar is the firm with lease extension legislation?
  • Can they put you in touch with client in Allenton who can give a testimonial?

  • Do you have any advice for leasehold conveyancing in Allenton with the intention of expediting the sale process?

    • Much of the delay in leasehold conveyancing in Allenton can be reduced where you instruct lawyers the minute your agents start advertising the property and request that they start to collate the leasehold information needed by the buyers representatives.
    • In the event that you altered the property did you need the Landlord’s consent? Have you, for example laid down wooden flooring? Most leases in Allenton state that internal structural alterations or installing wooden flooring calls for a licence from the Landlord approving such alterations. Should you fail to have the consents to hand you should not contact the landlord without contacting your lawyer before hand.
  • A minority of Allenton leases require Licence to Assign from the landlord. If this is the case, it would be prudent to notify your estate agents to make sure that the purchasers put in hand bank and professional references. The bank reference should make it clear that the buyer is able to meet the yearly service charge and the actual amount of the service charge should be quoted in the bank’s letter. You will therefore need to provide your estate agents with the actual amount of the service charge so that they can pass this information on to the buyers or their lawyers.
  • If you have had any disputes with your landlord or managing agents it is very important that these are settled before the property is put on the market. The purchasers and their solicitors will be reluctant to purchase a property where a dispute is ongoing. You may need to swallow your pride and discharge any arrears of service charge or resolve the dispute prior to the buyers completing the purchase. It is therefore preferable to have any dispute settled prior to the contract papers being issued to the buyers’ solicitors. You will still have to reveal details of the dispute to the purchasers, but it is clearly preferable to present the dispute as historic as opposed to unresolved.
  • If you are supposed to have a share in the freehold, you should make sure that you are holding the original share certificate. Arranging a re-issued share certificate is often a lengthy process and delays many a Allenton conveyancing transaction. Where a new share is necessary, do contact the company officers or managing agents (where relevant) for this as soon as possible.

  • What makes a Allenton lease problematic?

    There is nothing unique about leasehold conveyancing in Allenton. Most leases are individual and drafting errors can sometimes mean that certain sections are erroneous. For example, if your lease is missing any of the following, it could be defective:

    • Repairing obligations to or maintain elements of the premises
    • A duty to insure the building
    • A provision for the recovery of money spent for the benefit of another party.
    • Service charge per centages that don't add up correctly leaving a shortfall

    You could have a problem when selling your property if you have a defective lease primarily because it impacts on the ability to obtain a mortgage on the property. Nationwide Building Society, Leeds Building Society, and Nottingham Building Society all have very detailed requirements when it comes to what is expected in a lease. If a mortgage lender believes that the lease is problematic they may refuse to provide security, forcing the purchaser to withdraw.

    I acquired a 2 bed flat in Allenton, conveyancing having been completed half a dozen years ago. How much will my lease extension cost? Similar properties in Allenton with a long lease are worth £212,000. The ground rent is £65 per annum. The lease comes to an end on 21st October 2094

    With 72 years remaining on your lease the likely cost is going to range between £10,500 and £12,000 as well as plus your own and the landlord's "reasonable" professional fees.

    The suggested premium range above a general guide to costs for extending a lease, but we are not able to provide a more accurate figure without more comprehensive due diligence. Do not use this information in a Notice of Claim or as an informal offer. There may be additional issues that need to be considered and clearly you want to be as accurate as possible in your negotiations. Please do not take any other action placing reliance on this information without first seeking the advice of a professional.

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    Lease Extensions in Allenton