Fixed-fee leasehold conveyancing in Biddenham:

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Common questions relating to Biddenham leasehold conveyancing

There are only 72 years remaining on my lease in Biddenham. I am keen to get lease extension but my landlord is can not be found. 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 Court. However, you will be required to demonstrate that you have done all that could be expected to track down the freeholder. For most situations a specialist may be useful to conduct investigations and to produce a report to be accepted by the court as proof that the freeholder can not be located. It is advisable to get professional help from a solicitor in relation to investigating the landlord’s disappearance and the vesting order request to the County Court overseeing Biddenham.

I’m about to sell my basement apartment in Biddenham.Conveyancing solicitors are to be appointed soon but I have just received a yearly service charge invoice – Do I pay up?

The sensible thing to do is discharge 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 management companies will not acknowledge the buyer unless 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. This will smooth the conveyancing process.

Back In 2002, I bought a leasehold house in Biddenham. Conveyancing and Aldermore mortgage went though with no issue. I have received a letter from someone claiming to own the reversionary interest in the property. It included a demand for arrears of ground rent dating back to 1994. The conveyancing practitioner in Biddenham who acted for me is not around.What should I do?

First contact HMLR to be sure that the individual purporting to own the freehold is in fact the new freeholder. There is no need to incur the fees of a Biddenham conveyancing practitioner to do this as you can do this on the Land Registry website for a few pound. You should note that in any event, even if this is the legitimate freeholder, under the Limitation Act 1980 no more than 6 years of rent can be collected.

Can you provide any top tips for leasehold conveyancing in Biddenham from the point of view of expediting the sale process?

  • Much of the delay in leasehold conveyancing in Biddenham can be reduced where you appoint lawyers as soon as your agents start marketing the property and request that they start to collate the leasehold documentation needed by the buyers lawyers.
  • In the event that you altered the property did you need the Landlord’s approval? Have you, for example laid down wooden flooring? Biddenham leases often stipulate that internal structural alterations or laying down wooden flooring calls for a licence from the Landlord acquiescing to such alterations. Should you fail to have the approvals in place do not contact the landlord without checking with your solicitor in advance.
  • Some Biddenham leases require Landlord’s consent to the sale and approval of the buyers. If this is the case, it would be prudent to notify your estate agents to make sure that the purchasers obtain bank and professional references. The 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 actual amount of the service charge so that they can pass this information on to the buyers or their solicitors.
  • If you have had conflict with your freeholder or managing agents it is very important that these are settled before the property is put on the market. The buyers and their solicitors will be warry about purchasing a property where a dispute is unsettled. You may have to bite the bullet and pay any arrears of service charge or resolve 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 particulars of the dispute to the buyers, but it is clearly preferable to reveal the dispute as over rather than unsettled.
  • If you are supposed to have a share in the freehold, you should make sure that you have the original share certificate. Arranging a new share certificate can be a time consuming process and slows down many a Biddenham conveyancing deal. Where a duplicate share is needed, you should approach the company officers or managing agents (where applicable) for this as soon as possible.

  • Are there frequently found deficiencies that you encounter in leases for Biddenham properties?

    There is nothing unique about leasehold conveyancing in Biddenham. All leases are individual and drafting errors can result in certain clauses are erroneous. The following missing provisions could result in a defective lease:

    • Repairing obligations to or maintain parts of the property
    • A duty to insure the building
    • Clauses dealing with recovering service charges for expenditure on the building or common parts.
    • Service charge per centages that don't add up correctly leaving a shortfall

    A defective lease can cause issues when trying to sell a property as they can affect a potential buyer’s ability to obtain a mortgage. National Westminster Bank, The Mortgage Works, and Bank of Ireland all have express requirements when it comes to what is expected in a lease. Where a lender has been advised by their lawyers that the lease does not cover certain provisions they may refuse to grant the mortgage, forcing the buyer to pull out.

    I own a studio flat in Biddenham, conveyancing formalities finalised 1996. How much will my lease extension cost? Comparable properties in Biddenham with a long lease are worth £174,000. The average or mid-range amount of ground rent is £65 invoiced annually. The lease terminates on 21st October 2100

    With 80 years unexpired we estimate the price of your lease extension to be between £10,500 and £12,000 as well as costs.

    The suggested premium range above a general guide to costs for renewing a lease, but we cannot give you a more accurate figure without more detailed due diligence. You should not use the figures in tribunal or court proceedings. There are no doubt additional 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 placing reliance on this information before getting professional advice.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Biddenham