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Common questions relating to Battlesbridge leasehold conveyancing

I only have 62 years remaining on my lease in Battlesbridge. I now wish to extend my lease but my freeholder is absent. What are my options?

If you meet the appropriate requirements, under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 you can submit an application to the County Court for for permission to dispense with the service of the initial notice. This will mean that your lease can be extended by the magistrate. However, you will be required to prove that you or your lawyers have used your best endeavours to locate the lessor. For most situations an enquiry agent may be useful to carry out a search and to produce a report which can be used as evidence that the freeholder is indeed missing. It is advisable to get professional help from a property lawyer in relation to devolving into the landlord’s absence and the vesting order request to the County Court covering Battlesbridge.

I work for a long established estate agent office in Battlesbridge where we have experienced a number of flat sales jeopardised as a result of short leases. I have received inconsistent advice from local Battlesbridge conveyancing solicitors. Could you confirm whether the owner of a flat can start 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 commence the lease extension process and assign the benefit of the notice to the purchaser. This means that the proposed purchaser need not have to wait 2 years for a lease extension. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment needs to be completed prior to, or simultaneously with completion of the sale.

An alternative approach is 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 buyer.

What advice can you give us when it comes to choosing a Battlesbridge conveyancing practice to carry out our lease extension conveyancing?

If you are instructing a conveyancer for your lease extension (regardless if they are a Battlesbridge conveyancing practice) it is imperative that he or she should be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of work. We suggested that you talk with several firms including non Battlesbridge conveyancing practices prior to instructing a firm. Where the conveyancing practice is ALEP accredited then that’s a bonus. Some following of questions could be helpful:

  • How many lease extensions has the firm completed in Battlesbridge in the last twenty four months?
  • Can they put you in touch with client in Battlesbridge who can give a testimonial?

  • Can you provide any top tips for leasehold conveyancing in Battlesbridge with the purpose of saving time on the sale process?

    • Much of the delay in leasehold conveyancing in Battlesbridge can be reduced if you get in touch lawyers the minute your agents start marketing the property and ask them to put together the leasehold documentation needed by the purchasers’ representatives.
    • If you have carried out any alterations to the property would they have required Landlord’s consent? Have you, for example laid down wooden flooring? Most leases in Battlesbridge state that internal structural alterations or installing wooden flooring require a licence issued by the Landlord approving such changes. If you dont have the paperwork to hand do not communicate with the landlord without contacting your lawyer in the first instance.
  • A minority of Battlesbridge 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. The bank reference should make it clear that the buyer is financially capable of paying 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 solicitors.
  • If you have had any disputes with your freeholder or managing agents it is essential that these are resolved prior to the flat being put on the market. The buyers and their solicitors will be reluctant to purchase a flat where there is an ongoing dispute. You may have to bite the bullet and discharge any arrears of service charge or resolve the dispute prior to completion of the sale. It is therefore preferable to have any dispute settled ahead of 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 clearly preferable to reveal the dispute as historic as opposed to unresolved.
  • If you are supposed to have a share in the freehold, you should ensure that you have the original share document. Obtaining a replacement share certificate is often a lengthy process and frustrates many a Battlesbridge home move. If a reissued share is necessary, do contact the company director and secretary or managing agents (if applicable) for this sooner rather than later.

  • Are there common defects that you come across in leases for Battlesbridge properties?

    Leasehold conveyancing in Battlesbridge is not unique. Most leases is drafted differently and drafting errors can sometimes mean that certain clauses are not included. The following missing provisions could result in a defective lease:

    • A provision to repair 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 may encounter difficulties 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 Godiva Mortgages Ltd all have express requirements when it comes to what is expected in a lease. If a mortgage lender believes that the lease does not cover certain provisions they may refuse to provide security, forcing the buyer to withdraw.

    Leasehold Conveyancing in Battlesbridge - Sample of Queries before Purchasing

      The answer will be useful as a) areas could result in problems in the block as the communal areas may begin to deteriorate if maintenance are not paid for b) if the tenants have an issue with the managing agents you will wish to have all the details How much is the annual maintenance fee and ground rent? How many of the leaseholders are in arrears for their maintenance charge payments?

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Battlesbridge