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

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Barnard Castle leasehold conveyancing Example Support Desk Enquiries

My fiance and I may need to sub-let our Barnard Castle basement flat for a while due to taking a sabbatical. We used a Barnard Castle conveyancing firm in 2004 but they have closed and we did not have the foresight to get any guidance as to whether the lease allows us to sublet. How do we find out?

A lease governs the relationship between the freeholder and you the flat owner; specifically, it will say if subletting is prohibited, or permitted but only subject to certain caveats. The accepted inference is that if the lease contains no expres ban or restriction, subletting is permitted. Most leases in Barnard Castle do not contain an absolute prevention of subletting – such a provision would undoubtedly devalue the property. In most cases there is a basic requirement that the owner notifies the freeholder, possibly sending a copy of the tenancy agreement.

I've found a house that appears to tick a lot of boxes, at a great figure which is making it all the more appealing. I have since found out that it's a leasehold as opposed to freehold. I am assuming that there are particular concerns purchasing a house with a leasehold title in Barnard Castle. Conveyancing advisers have not yet been instructed. Will my lawyers set out the risks of buying a leasehold house in Barnard Castle ?

Most houses in Barnard Castle are freehold and not leasehold. This is one of the situations where having a local conveyancer who is familiar with the area can help the conveyancing process. It is clear that you are buying in Barnard Castle so you should seriously consider looking for a Barnard Castle conveyancing solicitor and be sure that they have experience in advising on leasehold houses. First you will need to check the number of years remaining. As a leaseholder you will not be at liberty to do whatever you want to the property. The lease will likely included provisions such as obtaining the freeholder’spermission to carry out alterations. It may be necessary to pay a service charge towards the maintenance of the estate where the house is part of an estate. Your lawyer will report to you on the legal implications.

I am employed by a long established estate agency in Barnard Castle where we have experienced a few flat sales jeopardised as a result of short leases. I have received inconsistent advice from local Barnard Castle conveyancing firms. Could you confirm whether the seller of a flat can start the lease extension process for the buyer?

Provided that the seller has been the owner for at least 2 years it is possible, to serve a Section 42 notice to commence the lease extension process and assign the benefit of the notice to the purchaser. This means that the buyer need not have to wait 2 years to extend their lease. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment has to be done prior to, or at the same time as completion of the sale.

Alternatively, it may be possible to extend the lease informally by agreement with the landlord 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.

Do you have any top tips for leasehold conveyancing in Barnard Castle with the aim of speeding up the sale process?

  • Much of the frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Barnard Castle can be bypassed where you get in touch lawyers the minute your agents start advertising the property and ask them to collate the leasehold documentation which will be required by the purchasers’ lawyers.
  • In the event that you altered the property did you need the Landlord’s approval? Have you, for example installed wooden flooring? Most leases in Barnard Castle state that internal structural changes or addition of wooden flooring necessitate a licence from the Landlord acquiescing to such works. Should you dont have the paperwork in place do not communicate with the landlord without checking with your solicitor in the first instance.
  • Some Barnard Castle leases require Landlord’s consent to the sale and approval of the buyers. If this applies to your lease, it would be prudent to place the estate agents on notice to make sure that the purchasers obtain bank and professional references. The bank reference will need to confirm that the buyers are financially capable of paying 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 service charge figures so that they can pass this information on to the buyers or their solicitors.
  • If you have had any disputes with your freeholder or managing agents it is essential that these are settled prior to the flat being marketed. The purchasers and their solicitors will be warry about purchasing a flat where a dispute is ongoing. You will have to accept that you will have to pay any arrears of service charge or settle 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 are still duty bound to disclose details of the dispute to the purchasers, but it is clearly preferable to present the dispute as historic rather than unresolved.
  • You may think that you are aware of the number of years left on your lease but you should verify this via your conveyancers. A purchaser's lawyer will not be happy to advise their client to where the lease term is below 75 years. It is therefore important at an as soon as possible that you identify whether the lease requires a lease extension. If it does, contact your solicitors before you put your property on the market for sale.

  • Are there frequently found defects that you see in leases for Barnard Castle properties?

    There is nothing unique about leasehold conveyancing in Barnard Castle. Most leases is drafted differently and legal mistakes in the legal wording can result in certain sections are not included. The following missing provisions could result in a defective lease:

    • A provision to repair to or maintain parts of the property
    • Insurance obligations
    • Clauses dealing with recovering service charges for expenditure on the building or common parts.
    • Service charge per centages that don't add up correctly leaving a shortfall

    You may have difficulties when selling your property if you have a defective lease as they can affect a potential buyer’s ability to obtain a mortgage. Lloyds TSB Bank, Leeds Building Society, and Bank of Ireland all have very detailed requirements when it comes to what is expected in a lease. If a mortgage lender believes that the lease is defective they may refuse to provide security, forcing the buyer to withdraw.

    Barnard Castle Leasehold Conveyancing - A selection of Queries Prior to Purchasing

      It would be wise to investigate if the the lease includes any adverse restrictions in the lease. For example it is reasonably common in Barnard Castle leases that pets are not allowed in in a block in Barnard Castle. If you like the apartmentin Barnard Castle yet your dog can’t move with you then you will be faced hard choice. How much is the service charge and ground rent on the property? What is the name of the managing agents?

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Barnard Castle