Fixed-fee leasehold conveyancing in Billingham:

When it comes to leasehold conveyancing in Billingham, you will need to instruct a conveyancing lawyer with leasehold experience. Whether your mortgage company is to be Halifax, Birmingham Midshires or NatWest make sure you choose a lawyer on their panel. Find a Billingham conveyancing lawyer with our search tool

Billingham leasehold conveyancing Example Support Desk Enquiries

I've found a house that seems to tick a lot of boxes, at a great price which is making it more attractive. I have just been informed that it's a leasehold as opposed to freehold. I am assuming that there are issues buying a house with a leasehold title in Billingham. Conveyancing solicitors have are about to be instructed. Will they explain the issues?

The majority of houses in Billingham are freehold rather than leasehold. This is one of the situations where having a local conveyancer used to dealing with such properties who can assist with the conveyancing process. It is clear that you are purchasing in Billingham so you should seriously consider looking for a Billingham conveyancing solicitor and check that they have experience in transacting on leasehold houses. As a matter of priority you will need to check the unexpired lease term. Being a leaseholder 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 alterations. You may also be required to pay a service charge towards the maintenance of the estate where the house is part of an estate. Your solicitor will appraise you on the various issues.

I am a negotiator for a long established estate agency in Billingham where we have witnessed a few flat sales jeopardised due to leases having less than 80 years remaining. I have received inconsistent advice from local Billingham conveyancing firms. Could you shed some light as to whether the seller of a flat can commence the lease extension formalities for the buyer?

Provided that 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 can avoid having to wait 2 years for a lease extension. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment needs to be completed before, or simultaneously with completion of the sale.

Alternatively, it may be possible 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.

Can you offer any advice when it comes to choosing a Billingham conveyancing firm to deal with our lease extension?

When appointing a solicitor for lease extension works (regardless if they are a Billingham conveyancing firm) it is essential that they be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of work. We recommend that you speak with two or three firms including non Billingham conveyancing practices prior to instructing a firm. If the firm is ALEP accredited then so much the better. Some following of questions might be of use:

  • If they are not ALEP accredited then what is the reason?
  • What volume of lease extensions has the firm carried out in Billingham in the last 12 months?

  • Can you provide any advice for leasehold conveyancing in Billingham from the point of view of saving time on the sale process?

    • A significant proportion of the frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Billingham can be reduced if you appoint lawyers the minute your agents start marketing the property and request that they start to collate the leasehold documentation which will be required by the buyers lawyers.
    • Many freeholders or managing agents in Billingham charge for supplying management packs for a leasehold premises. You or your lawyers should discover the fee that they propose to charge. The management information can be applied for on or before finding a buyer, thus accelerating the process. The average time it takes to receive management information is three weeks. It is the most frequent reason for frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Billingham.
  • In the event that you altered the property did you need the Landlord’s consent? Have you, for example installed wooden flooring? Most leases in Billingham state that internal structural changes or laying down wooden flooring necessitate a licence from the Landlord approving such changes. If you fail to have the approvals in place you should not communicate with the landlord without contacting your lawyer before hand.
  • A minority of Billingham leases require Landlord’s consent to the sale and approval of the buyers. If this applies to your lease, you should notify your estate agents to make sure that the purchasers put in hand financial (bank) and professional references. Any bank reference should make it clear that the buyer is able to meet the yearly 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 service charge figures so that they can pass this information on to the purchasers or their lawyers.
  • If you have had any disputes with your landlord or managing agents it is very important that these are resolved prior to the flat being marketed. The purchasers and their solicitors will be concerned about purchasing a flat where there is a current dispute. You may have to bite the bullet 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 will still have to reveal particulars of the dispute to the buyers, but it is better to reveal the dispute as over rather than unresolved.

  • When it comes to leasehold conveyancing in Billingham what are the most frequent lease problems?

    Leasehold conveyancing in Billingham is not unique. All leases is drafted differently and legal mistakes in the legal wording can result in certain clauses are erroneous. For example, if your lease is missing any of the following, it could be defective:

    • A provision to repair to or maintain elements of the building
    • 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 will have a problem when selling your property if you have a defective lease as they can affect a potential buyer’s ability to obtain a mortgage. Accord Mortgages Ltd, The Royal Bank of Scotland, and Bank of Ireland all have very detailed 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 provide security, forcing the purchaser to pull out.

    Leasehold Conveyancing in Billingham - Sample of Queries Prior to buying

      What is the the remaining lease term? How is the lease structured? Be sure to enquire if the the lease includes any adverse restrictions in the lease. For instance plenty of leases prohibit pets being allowed in certain buildings in Billingham. If you like the flatin Billingham however your dog can’t live with you then you have a very hard determination.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Billingham