Questions and Answers: Bideford leasehold conveyancing
I have recently realised that I have Seventy years remaining on my flat in Bideford. I now want to get lease extension but my freeholder is absent. What should I do?
If you qualify, 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 granted an extra 90 years by the magistrate. You will be obliged to prove that you or your lawyers have used your best endeavours to find the freeholder. On the whole a specialist would be helpful to carry out a search and prepare an expert document to be accepted by the court as proof that the landlord is indeed missing. It is wise to seek advice from a property lawyer both on proving the landlord’s absence and the application to the County Court overseeing Bideford.
I am hoping to sign contracts shortly on a studio apartment in Bideford. Conveyancing lawyers have said that they are sending me a report on Monday. Are there areas in the report that I should be focusing on?
The report on title for your leasehold conveyancing in Bideford should include some of the following:
- Details of the parties to the lease, for example these could be the leaseholder (you), head lessor, freeholder
I am looking at a couple of apartments in Bideford both have about 50 years left on the leases. Will this present a problem?
There are plenty of short leases in Bideford. The lease is a right to use the property for a period of time. As the lease shortens the saleability of the lease deteriorate and results in it becoming more costly to acquire a lease extension. For this reason it is often a good idea to increase the term of the lease. It is often difficult to sell a property with a short lease as mortgage companies less inclined to grant a loan on properties of this type. Lease extension can be a difficult process. We recommend you get professional assistance from a conveyancer and surveyor with experience in this field
I work for a busy estate agency in Bideford where we see a few flat sales derailed as a result of short leases. I have received contradictory information from local Bideford conveyancing firms. 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. The benefit of this is that the buyer need not have 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 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 appointing a Bideford conveyancing practice to deal with our lease extension?
When appointing a solicitor for your lease extension (regardless if they are a Bideford conveyancing firm) it is imperative that he or she should be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of work. We advise that you speak with several firms including non Bideford conveyancing practices prior to instructing a firm. If the firm is ALEP accredited then that’s a bonus. Some following of questions might be helpful:
- How familiar is the practice with lease extension legislation?
Bideford Conveyancing for Leasehold Flats - Sample of Queries Prior to buying
It is important to be aware whether a new roof is being put on or some other major work is coming up that will be shared by the leaseholders and could well materially impact the level of the maintenance fees or require a one time payment.
It would be sensible to discover if there are any onerous prohibitions in the lease. By way of example some leases prohibit pets being permitted in in a block in Bideford. If you love the propertyin Bideford but your dog is not allowed to make the move with you then you will be faced hard choice.
For many Bideford leaseholds the cost for major works tend not to be included within service charges, albeit that a few managing agents in Bideford require leaseholders to contribute towards a reserve fund and this is used to offset against larger works.