Leasehold Conveyancing in Alston - Get a Quote from the leasehold experts approved by your lender

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Frequently asked questions relating to Alston leasehold conveyancing

I own a leasehold house in Alston. Conveyancing and Santander mortgage are in place. I have received a letter from someone saying they have taken over the freehold. It included a demand for arrears of ground rent dating back to 1992. The conveyancing solicitor in Alston who previously acted has long since retired.What should I do?

The first thing you should do is contact the Land Registry to be sure that this person is indeed the new freeholder. It is not necessary to instruct a Alston conveyancing solicitor to do this as it can be done on-line for less than a fiver. You should note that regardless, even if this is the legitimate landlord, under the Limitation Act 1980 no more than 6 years of rent can be collected.

I am tempted by the attractive purchase price for a two apartments in Alston which have approximately fifty years remaining on the lease term. Will this present a problem?

There are plenty of short leases in Alston. The lease is a right to use the premises for a prescribed time frame. As the lease gets shorter the saleability of the lease reduces and results in it becoming more costly to extend the lease. This is why it is generally wise to extend the lease term. It is often difficult to sell a property with a short lease as mortgage lenders less inclined to grant a loan on properties of this type. Lease enfranchisement can be a protracted process. We advise that you seek professional help from a solicitor and surveyor with experience in this area

I work for a busy estate agency in Alston where we have witnessed a few leasehold sales put at risk as a result of short leases. I have received contradictory information from local Alston conveyancing solicitors. Can you shed some light as to whether the vendor of a flat can commence the lease extension process for the buyer?

As long as the seller has owned the lease for at least 2 years it is possible, to serve a Section 42 notice to start the lease extension process and assign the benefit of the notice to the purchaser. This means that the proposed purchaser can avoid having to sit tight for 2 years for a lease extension. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment has to be done prior to, or simultaneously with completion of the disposal of the property.

Alternatively, it may be possible to agree the lease extension with the freeholder either before or after the sale. If you are informally negotiating there are no rules and so you cannot insist on the landlord agreeing to grant an extension or transferring the benefit of an agreement to the purchaser.

What advice can you give us when it comes to choosing a Alston conveyancing practice to deal with our lease extension?

If you are instructing a solicitor for lease extension works (regardless if they are a Alston conveyancing firm) it is imperative that he or she should be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of conveyancing. We recommend that you talk with two or three firms including non Alston conveyancing practices before you instructing a firm. If the firm is ALEP accredited then that’s a bonus. Some following of questions might be useful:

  • How experienced is the firm with lease extension legislation?
  • How many lease extensions has the firm carried out in Alston in the last year?

  • Can you provide any advice for leasehold conveyancing in Alston from the perspective of expediting the sale process?

    • A significant proportion of the delay in leasehold conveyancing in Alston can be reduced if you instruct lawyers the minute your agents start advertising the property and request that they start to collate the leasehold documentation needed by the purchasers’ representatives.
    • Many landlords or managing agents in Alston levy fees for providing management packs for a leasehold premises. You or your lawyers should discover the fee that they propose to charge. The management pack sought as soon as you have a buyer, thus accelerating the process. The typical amount of time it takes to obtain the necessary information is three weeks. It is the most common reason for frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Alston.
  • In the event that you altered the property did you need the Landlord’s consent? In particular have you laid down wooden flooring? Most leases in Alston state that internal structural changes or addition of wooden flooring necessitate a licence from the Landlord approving such alterations. Where you dont have the consents to hand you should not communicate with the landlord without checking with your conveyancer in advance.
  • A minority of Alston leases require Licence to Assign from the landlord. If this applies to your lease, it would be prudent to place the estate agents on notice to make sure that the purchasers obtain financial (bank) and professional references. The bank reference will need to confirm that the buyers are able to meet the annual 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.
  • You may think that you are aware of the number of years remaining on your lease but it would be advisable double-check by asking your lawyers. A buyer’s lawyer will be unlikely to recommend their client to proceed with the purchase of a leasehold property the lease term is under 80 years. In the circumstances it is essential at an early stage that you identify whether the lease term requires a lease extension. If it does, contact your solicitors before you put your premises on the market for sale.

  • Leasehold Conveyancing in Alston - Examples of Questions you should consider Prior to Purchasing

      What restrictions are there in the Alston Lease? The best form of lease arrangement is where the freehold title is in the ownership of the leaseholders. In this arrangement the tenants have control and notwithstanding that a managing agent is usually employed where it is bigger than a house conversion, the managing agent acts for the leaseholders themselves. It would be a good idea to enquire if the the lease contains any unreasonable restrictions in the lease. By way of example it is fairly common in Alston leases that pets are not allowed in in a block in Alston. If you love the apartmentin Alston yet your cat can’t move with you then you have a very hard decision.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Alston