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

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Questions and Answers: Benfleet leasehold conveyancing

I am in need of some leasehold conveyancing in Benfleet. Before diving in I would like to find out the number of years remaining on the lease.

If the lease is registered - and most are in Benfleet - then the leasehold title will always include the short particulars of the lease, namely the date; the term; and the original parties. From a conveyancing perspective such details then enable any prospective buyer and lender to confirm that any lease they are looking at is the one relevant to that title.For any other purpose, such as confirming how long the term was granted for and calculating what is left, then the register should be sufficient on it's own.

I only have 72 years remaining on my flat in Benfleet. I now want to extend my lease but my freeholder is absent. What are my options?

On the basis that 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 mean that your lease can be lengthened by the magistrate. However, you will be required to demonstrate that you have used your best endeavours to locate the freeholder. For most situations a specialist should be useful to conduct investigations and prepare a report which can be used as evidence that the landlord is indeed missing. It is wise to seek advice from a conveyancer both on investigating the landlord’s absence and the vesting order request to the County Court overseeing Benfleet.

I have just started marketing my ground floor apartment in Benfleet.Conveyancing is yet to be initiated but I have just received a yearly service charge invoice – what should I do?

The sensible thing to do is clear the invoice as normal because all ground rent and service charges will be apportioned on completion, so you will be reimbursed by the buyer for the period running from after the completion date to the next payment date. Most managing agents will not acknowledge the buyer until the service charges have been paid and are up to date so it is important for both buyer and seller for the seller to show that they are up to date. Having a clear account will assist your cause and will leave you no worse off financially.

I own a leasehold flat in Benfleet. Conveyancing and Skipton Building Society mortgage organised. A letter has just been received from someone claiming to own the freehold. Attached was a demand for arrears of ground rent dating back to 1997. The conveyancing solicitor in Benfleet who previously acted has long since retired.Do I pay?

First contact HMLR to make sure that this person is in fact the registered owner of the freehold reversion. You do not need to incur the fees of a Benfleet conveyancing solicitor to do this as you can do this on the Land Registry website for a few pound. You should note that regardless, even if this is the legitimate freeholder, under the Limitation Act 1980 no more than 6 years of rent can be collected.

I've recently bought a leasehold house in Benfleet. Do I have any liability for service charges for periods before my ownership?

In a situation where the service charge has already been demanded from the previous lessee and they have not paid you would not usually be personally liable for the arrears. Strange as it may seem, your landlord may still be able to take action to forfeit the lease. A critical element of leasehold conveyancing for your conveyancer to be sure to have an up to date clear service charge receipt before completion of your purchase. If you have a mortgage this is likely to be a requirement of your lender.

If you purchase part way through an accounting year you may be liable for charges not yet demanded even if they relate to a period prior to your purchase. In such circumstances your conveyancer would normally arrange for the seller to set aside some money to cover their part of the period (usually called a service charge retention).

Benfleet Leasehold Conveyancing - A selection of Queries before buying

    Where a Benfleet lease has less than eighty years it will have adverse implications on the marketability of the flat. Check with your lender that they are willing to lend given the lease term. A short lease means that you will probably require a lease extension sooner rather than later and you need to have some idea of how much this would cost. For most Benfleetlease extensions you would be required to have owned the premises for 24 months before you are entitled to extend the lease. Its a good idea to find out as much as possible concerning the managing agents as they will impact your use and enjoyment of the property. Being a leasehold owner you are often in the clutches of the managing agents from a financial perspective and when it comes to every day matters such as the cleanliness of the common parts. You should not be shy to ask other tenants what they think of their management. On a final note, find out the dates that the maintenance charges are due to the managing agents and specifically what you get for your money. How is the lease structured?

Other Topics

Lease Extensions in Benfleet