Experts for Leasehold Conveyancing in Benfleet

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Questions and Answers: Benfleet leasehold conveyancing

Looking forward to exchange soon on a basement flat in Benfleet. Conveyancing lawyers inform me that they will have a report out to me next week. What should I be looking out for?

Your report on title for your leasehold conveyancing in Benfleet should include some of the following:

  • The physical extent of the property. This will be the apartment itself but may incorporate a loft or cellar if appropriate.
  • You must be told what constitutes a Nuisance in the lease
  • An explanation as to the provision in the lease to pay service charges - with regard to both the building, and the more general rights a leaseholder has
  • Whether your lease has a provision for a reserve fund?
  • Changes to the flat (alterations and additions)
  • I don't know whether the lease allows me to alter or improve anything in the flat - you should know whether it applies to all alterations or just structural alteration, and whether consent is required
  • What you can do if a neighbour is in violation of a provision in their lease? For a comprehensive list of information to be contained in your report on your leasehold property in Benfleet please enquire of your conveyancer in ahead of your conveyancing in Benfleet

  • I've found a house that appears to be perfect, at a reasonable figure which is making it all the more appealing. I have just discovered that it's a leasehold rather than freehold. I would have thought that there are issues buying a house with a leasehold title in Benfleet. Conveyancing advisers have are soon to be appointed. Will they explain the issues?

    The majority of houses in Benfleet are freehold rather than leasehold. In this scenario it’s worth having a local conveyancer used to dealing with such properties who can help the conveyancing process. It is clear that you are purchasing in Benfleet so you should seriously consider shopping around for a Benfleet conveyancing solicitor and check that they are used to dealing with leasehold houses. First you will need to check the number of years remaining. Being a lessee you will not be at liberty to do whatever you want to the property. The lease will likely included provisions for example requiring the freeholder’spermission to conduct changes to the property. You may also be required to pay a maintenance charge towards the maintenance of the estate where the house is part of an estate. Your solicitor should appraise you on the various issues.

    I am attracted to a two flats in Benfleet which have about forty five years left on the lease term. should I be concerned?

    There are no two ways about it. A leasehold apartment in Benfleet is a deteriorating 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 property. The majority of purchasers and banks, leases with under 75 years become less and less attractive. On a more upbeat note, leaseholders can extend their leases by serving a Section 42 Notice. One stipulation is that they must have owned the premises 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 a residence 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 Benfleet conveyancing experts who will explain the options available to you during an initial telephone conversation free of charge. More often than not it is possible to negotiate informally with the freeholder to extend 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.

    I am a negotiator for a busy estate agency in Benfleet where we have experienced a number of leasehold sales put at risk as a result of short leases. I have been given inconsistent advice from local Benfleet conveyancing firms. Could you clarify whether the seller of a flat can start the lease extension formalities 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 can avoid having to wait 2 years to extend their lease. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment needs to be completed before, or at the same time as completion of the sale.

    An alternative approach is to agree the lease extension with the freeholder 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.

    Do you have any top tips for leasehold conveyancing in Benfleet with the purpose of saving time on the sale process?

    • A significant proportion of the frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Benfleet can be bypassed where you appoint lawyers as soon as you market your property and request that they start to put together the leasehold information needed by the purchasers’ solicitors.
    • Many freeholders or Management Companies in Benfleet levy fees for providing management packs for a leasehold homes. You or your lawyers should enquire as to the actual amount of the charges. The management pack can be applied for on or before finding a buyer, thus accelerating the process. The typical amount of time it takes to obtain the necessary information is three weeks. It is the most usual reason for delay in leasehold conveyancing in Benfleet.
  • In the event that you altered the property did you need the Landlord’s consent? In particular have you installed wooden flooring? Benfleet leases often stipulate that internal structural alterations or installing wooden flooring require a licence from the Landlord approving such works. Should you fail to have the consents to hand do not communicate with the landlord without checking with your solicitor before hand.
  • If you have had conflict with your freeholder or managing agents it is essential that these are settled before the property is marketed. The purchasers and their solicitors will be warry about purchasing a property where there is a current dispute. You may need to swallow your pride and discharge 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 ahead of 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 better to present the dispute as historic as opposed to unsettled.
  • You may think that you are aware of the number of years remaining on your lease but it would be advisable verify this by asking your lawyers. A buyer’s lawyer will not be happy to advise their client to proceed with the purchase of a leasehold property the remaining number of years is less than 80 years. In the circumstances it is important at an early stage 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.

  • Leasehold Conveyancing in Benfleet - Examples of Questions you should ask before buying

      How much is the annual service fee and ground rent? Who is in charge of the building? How many of the leaseholders are in arrears for their service charge payments?

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Benfleet