Fixed-fee leasehold conveyancing in Bedford:

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Bedford leasehold conveyancing Example Support Desk Enquiries

My wife and I may need to rent out our Bedford basement flat for a while due to a new job. We used a Bedford conveyancing firm in 2002 but they have since shut and we did not think at the time seek any advice as to whether the lease allows us to sublet. How do we find out?

A small minority of properties in Bedford do contain a provision to say that subletting is only allowed with permission. The landlord cannot unreasonably refuse but, in such cases, they would need to review references. Experience suggests that problems are usually caused by unsatisfactory tenants rather than owner-occupiers and for that reason you can expect the freeholder to take up the references and consider them carefully before granting permission.

Having checked my lease I have discovered that there are only 62 years unexpired on my lease in Bedford. I now want to get lease extension but my landlord is missing. What should I do?

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 an order to dispense with the service of the initial notice. This will enable the lease to be extended by the Court. However, you will be required to demonstrate that you have done all that could be expected to find the lessor. For most situations an enquiry agent should be helpful to conduct investigations and to produce a report which can be used as proof that the landlord is indeed missing. It is advisable to get professional help from a solicitor in relation to proving the landlord’s absence and the application to the County Court overseeing Bedford.

My wife and I purchased a leasehold flat in Bedford. Conveyancing and Barclays Direct mortgage are in place. A letter has just been received from someone saying they have taken over the freehold. Attached was a demand for arrears of ground rent dating back to 1995. The conveyancing practitioner in Bedford who acted for me is not around.Any advice?

First contact HMLR to make sure that this person is in fact the registered owner of the freehold reversion. It is not necessary to instruct a Bedford conveyancing lawyer 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 rightful freeholder, under the Limitation Act 1980 the limitation period for recovery of ground rent is six years.

I am attracted to a two apartments in Bedford which have in the region of 50 years remaining on the leases. Will this present a problem?

There is no doubt about it. A leasehold apartment in Bedford 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 marketability of the premises. The majority of buyers and mortgage companies, leases with under eighty years become less and less attractive. 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 property 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 premises 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 Bedford conveyancing experts who will explain the options available to you during an initial telephone conversation free of charge. A more straightforward and quicker method of extending would be to contact your landlord directly and sound him out on the prospect of extending 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 any new 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 provide any advice for leasehold conveyancing in Bedford from the perspective of saving time on the sale process?

  • A significant proportion of the delay in leasehold conveyancing in Bedford can be avoided where you appoint lawyers the minute you market your property and request that they start to collate the leasehold documentation needed by the buyers representatives.
  • The majority landlords or Management Companies in Bedford charge for supplying management packs for a leasehold property. You or your lawyers should discover the actual amount of the charges. The management information sought on or before finding a buyer, thus reducing delays. The typical amount of time it takes to receive management information is three weeks. It is the most common reason for delay in leasehold conveyancing in Bedford.
  • If you have carried out any alterations to the premises would they have required Landlord’s consent? Have you, for example laid down wooden flooring? Most leases in Bedford state that internal structural alterations or laying down wooden flooring require a licence issued by the Landlord approving such changes. Where you fail to have the consents to hand you should not contact the landlord without contacting your lawyer in the first instance.
  • If there is a history of any disputes with your freeholder or managing agents it is very important 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 a current dispute. You may have to bite the bullet and discharge any arrears of service charge or settle 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 are still duty bound to disclose details of the dispute to the buyers, but it is better to present the dispute as over rather than unresolved.
  • If you are supposed to have a share in the freehold, you should ensure that you are holding the original share certificate. Organising a replacement share certificate can be a lengthy formality and frustrates many a Bedford conveyancing transaction. If a new share is necessary, do contact the company director and secretary or managing agents (if applicable) for this sooner rather than later.

  • I invested in buying a leasehold flat in Bedford, conveyancing having been completed 2004. Can you shed any light on how much the price could be for a 90 year extension to my lease? Corresponding properties in Bedford with a long lease are worth £172,000. The average or mid-range amount of ground rent is £45 invoiced annually. The lease runs out on 21st October 2100

    With just 79 years left to run we estimate the price of your lease extension to be between £9,500 and £11,000 plus plus your own and the landlord's "reasonable" professional fees.

    The suggested premium range that we have given is a general guide to costs for renewing a lease, but we cannot give you the actual costs in the absence of comprehensive investigations. Do not use the figures in a Notice of Claim or as an informal offer. There are no doubt other issues that need to be considered and you obviously want to be as accurate as possible in your negotiations. Neither should you take any other action based on this information without first getting professional advice.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Bedford