Fixed-fee leasehold conveyancing in Billingham:

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Top Five Questions relating to Billingham leasehold conveyancing

I am in need of some leasehold conveyancing in Billingham. Before diving in I require certainty as to the number of years remaining on the lease.

Assuming the lease is recorded at the land registry - and almost all are in Billingham - 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 own a leasehold house in Billingham. Conveyancing and Birmingham Midshires mortgage went though with no issue. I have received a letter from someone claiming to own the freehold. It included a demand for arrears of ground rent dating back to 1994. The conveyancing practitioner in Billingham who acted for me is not around.Do I pay?

The first thing you should do is contact the Land Registry to make sure that the individual purporting to own the freehold is in fact the new freeholder. You do not need to instruct a Billingham conveyancing practitioner to do this as you can do this on the Land Registry website for £3. You should note that regardless, even if this is the rightful landlord, under the Limitation Act 1980 no more than 6 years of rent can be collected.

I am attracted to a two apartments in Billingham which have approximately fifty years remaining on the leases. should I be concerned?

There are no two ways about it. A leasehold flat in Billingham is a deteriorating asset as a result of the shortening lease. The closer the lease gets to zero years unexpired, the more it adversely affects the marketability of the property. The majority of buyers and lenders, leases with under 75 years become less and less marketable. 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 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 property 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 Billingham 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 You may find he or she is happy to negotiate informally and willing to consider your offer straight off, without having to involve anyone else. This will save you time and money and it could help you reach a lower price on the lease. You need to ensure that the agreed 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 top tips for leasehold conveyancing in Billingham with the aim of saving time on the sale process?

  • Much of the delay in leasehold conveyancing in Billingham can be avoided if you instruct lawyers the minute your agents start marketing the property and ask them to collate the leasehold information which will be required by the buyers lawyers.
  • The majority landlords or managing agents in Billingham levy fees for supplying management packs for a leasehold premises. You or your lawyers should discover the actual amount of the charges. The management information sought as soon as you have 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 frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Billingham.
  • A minority of Billingham leases require Licence to Assign from the landlord. If this applies to your lease, you should notify your estate agents to make sure that the purchasers obtain bank and professional references. Any 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 purchasers or their solicitors.
  • If you have had conflict with your landlord or managing agents it is essential that these are settled prior to the flat being put on the market. The purchasers and their solicitors will be reluctant to purchase a property where there is an ongoing dispute. You may have to bite the bullet and discharge any arrears of service charge or resolve the dispute prior to completion of the sale. It is therefore preferable to have any dispute settled prior to the contract papers being issued to the buyers’ solicitors. You will still have to reveal particulars of the dispute to the purchasers, but it is better to reveal the dispute as over as opposed to ongoing.
  • If you hold a share in a the Management Company, you should ensure that you are holding the original share document. Organising a replacement share certificate is often a lengthy formality and frustrates many a Billingham conveyancing deal. If a reissued share is necessary, do contact the company director and secretary or managing agents (where relevant) for this as soon as possible.

  • What makes a Billingham lease problematic?

    There is nothing unique about leasehold conveyancing in Billingham. Most leases are individual and legal mistakes in the legal wording can result in certain sections are not included. The following missing provisions could result in a defective lease:

    • A provision to repair to or maintain elements of the premises
    • A duty to insure the building
    • A provision for the recovery of money spent for the benefit of another party.
    • Maintenance charge proportions which don’t add up to the correct percentage

    You may encounter a problem when selling your property if you have a defective lease primarily because it impacts on the ability to obtain a mortgage on the property. Barclays , Leeds Building Society, and Bank of Ireland all have express conveyancing instructions when it comes to what is expected in a lease. If a mortgage lender believes that the lease is problematic they may refuse to provide security, forcing the purchaser to pull out.

    Billingham Leasehold Conveyancing - Sample of Queries before buying

      If a Billingham lease has less than eighty years it will have adverse implications on the salability of the apartment. It is worth checking with your bank that they are content with the length of the lease. A short lease means that you will most likely have to extend the lease at some point and it is worth finding out how much this would cost. For most Billinghamlease extensions you would need to own the premises for 24 months before you are entitled to extend the lease. Many Billingham leasehold flats will have a service bill for maintenance of the building invoiced on behalf of the freeholder. Where you purchase the apartment you will have to meet this amount, normally quarterly throughout the year. This may differ from two or three hundred pounds to thousands of pounds for buildings with lifts and large common areas. There will also be a rentcharge to be met yearly, this is usually not a large figure, say approximately £50-£100 but you need to check it because on occasion it can be prohibitively expensive. Make sure you investigate if there is anything that is prohibited in the lease. For instance it is reasonably common in Billingham leases that pets are not permitted in certain buildings in Billingham. If you like the flatin Billingham but your cat is not allowed to move with you then you have a very hard decision.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Billingham