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Basildon leasehold conveyancing: Q and A’s

I wish to let out my leasehold apartment in Basildon. Conveyancing solicitor who did the purchase is retired - so can't ask him. Do I need to ask my freeholder for their consent?

A lease dictates the relationship between the freeholder and you the flat owner; in particular, it will say if subletting is banned, or permitted but only subject to certain conditions. The rule is that if the lease contains no specific ban or restriction, subletting is allowed. Most leases in Basildon do not contain subletting altogether – such a clause would undoubtedly devalue the flat. In most cases there is a basic requirement that the owner notifies the freeholder, possibly sending a copy of the sublease.

Having checked my lease I have discovered that there are only Seventy years left on my lease in Basildon. I need to get lease extension but my freeholder is missing. What options are available to me?

On the basis that you meet the appropriate requirements, 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 mean that your lease can be lengthened by the magistrate. However, you will be required to prove that you have made all reasonable attempts to track down the landlord. For most situations an enquiry agent would be helpful to carry out a search and prepare a report to be accepted by the court as proof that the freeholder can not be located. It is wise to seek advice from a conveyancer both on investigating the landlord’s disappearance and the vesting order request to the County Court covering Basildon.

I am attracted to a two flats in Basildon which have approximately fifty years remaining on the leases. Should I regard a short lease as a deal breaker?

A lease is a right to use the premises for a period of time. As a lease shortens the marketability of the lease decreases and results in it becoming more expensive to acquire a lease extension. For this reason it is often a good idea to increase the term of the lease. Sometimes it is difficult to sell a property with a short lease because mortgage lenders less inclined to grant a loan on properties of this type. Lease extension can be a difficult process. We advise that you get professional assistance from a solicitor and surveyor with experience in this arena

Can you provide any advice for leasehold conveyancing in Basildon from the point of view of speeding up the sale process?

  • A significant proportion of the delay in leasehold conveyancing in Basildon can be avoided if you appoint lawyers the minute you market your property and request that they start to put together the leasehold documentation needed by the buyers lawyers.
  • The majority freeholders or Management Companies in Basildon charge for supplying management packs for a leasehold homes. You or your lawyers should discover the actual amount of the charges. The management information can be applied for as soon as you have a buyer, thus accelerating the process. The average time it takes to obtain the necessary information is three weeks. It is the most frequent cause of delay in leasehold conveyancing in Basildon.
  • A minority of Basildon leases require Licence to Assign from the landlord. If this is the case, it would be prudent to place the estate agents on notice to make sure that the purchasers obtain bank and professional references. Any 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 service charge figures so that they can pass this information on to the buyers or their lawyers.
  • If you have had conflict with your freeholder or managing agents it is very important that these are settled before the property is marketed. The purchasers and their solicitors will be warry about purchasing a flat where there is an ongoing dispute. You may have to bite the bullet and pay any arrears of service charge or settle the dispute prior to completion of the sale. 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 particulars of the dispute to the purchasers, but it is better to present the dispute as over rather than ongoing.
  • You believe that you know the number of years left on your lease but it would be wise to verify this via your lawyers. A buyer’s conveyancer will be unlikely to recommend their client to to exchange contracts if the remaining number of years is below 80 years. It is therefore essential at an as soon as possible that you identify whether the lease for your property needs extending. If it does, contact your solicitors before you put your property on the market for sale.

  • Our conveyancer has advised that he intends to complete and exchange simultaneously on the disposal of our £150000 maisonette in Basildon in 5 days. The managing agents has quoted £300 for Landlord’s certificate, building insurance schedule and 3 years statements of service charge. Is the landlord entitled to charge such fees for a flat conveyance in Basildon?

    Basildon conveyancing on leasehold maisonettes ordinarily results in fees being invoiced by management companies :

    • Addressing conveyancing due diligence questions
    • Where consent is required before sale in Basildon
    • Supplying insurance information
    • Deeds of covenant upon sale
    • Registering of the assignment of the change of lessee after a sale
    Your conveyancer will have no control over the level of the charges for this information but the average costs for the information for Basildon leasehold premises is £350. For Basildon conveyancing transactions it is customary for the seller to pay for these costs. The landlord or their agents are under no legal obligation to answer such questions most will be willing to do so - albeit often at exorbitant prices where the fees bear little relation to the work involved. Unfortunately there is no law that requires fixed charges for administrative tasks. Neither is there any legal time frame by which they are obliged to supply the information.

    Basildon Conveyancing for Leasehold Flats - Examples of Questions you should ask Prior to buying

      Who are the managing agents? In the main the cost for major works are not wrapped into the service charges, although some managing agents in Basildon require leasehold owners to contribute towards a reserve fund and this is used to offset against larger works. Where a Basildon lease has no more than eighty years it will impact the value of the property. Check with your mortgage company that they are happy with the length of the lease. Leases with less than 80 years remaining means that you will almost definitely have to extend the lease at some point and you need to have some idea of how much this would cost. For most Basildonlease extensions you would be required to have owned the residence for a couple of years in order to be entitled to extend the lease.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Basildon