Guaranteed fixed fees for Leasehold Conveyancing in Billingham

When it comes to leasehold conveyancing in Billingham, you will need to chose a conveyancing solicitor with leasehold experience. Whether your mortgage company is to be Santander, Yorkshire Building Society or NatWest make sure you choose a lawyer on their approved list. Find a Billingham conveyancing lawyer with our search tool

Top Five Questions relating to Billingham leasehold conveyancing

I have recently realised that I have Fifty years unexpired on my flat in Billingham. I now want to get lease extension but my freeholder is can not be found. What should I do?

If you qualify, under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 you can submit an application to the County Court for an order to dispense with the service of the initial notice. This will mean that your lease can be extended by the magistrate. However, you will be required to prove that you have made all reasonable attempts to locate the freeholder. For most situations a specialist should be useful to conduct investigations and prepare a report to be used as evidence that the landlord is indeed missing. It is advisable to get professional help from a conveyancer in relation to devolving into the landlord’s disappearance and the application to the County Court covering Billingham.

I am hoping to put an offer on a small detached house that appears to meet my requirements, at a great price which is making it more attractive. I have since been informed that it's a leasehold rather than freehold. I would have thought 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?

Most houses in Billingham are freehold and not leasehold. In this scenario it’s worth having a local conveyancer used to dealing with such properties who can assist with the conveyancing process. We note that you are buying in Billingham so you should seriously consider shopping around for a Billingham conveyancing practitioner and be sure 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 lessee you will not be entirely free to do whatever you want with the house. The lease will likely included provisions such as obtaining the landlord’sconsent to carry out alterations. It may be necessary to pay a maintenance charge towards the upkeep of the communal areas where the house is located on an estate. Your lawyer should appraise you on the various issues.

I own a leasehold house in Billingham. Conveyancing and Godiva Mortgages Ltd mortgage went though with no issue. A letter has just been received from someone saying they have taken over the freehold. Attached was a demand for arrears of ground rent dating back to 1996. The conveyancing solicitor in Billingham who previously acted has long since retired.Any advice?

First contact HMLR to be sure that the individual purporting to own the freehold is in fact the new freeholder. It is not necessary to incur the fees of a Billingham conveyancing solicitor to do this as you can do this on the Land Registry website for £3. Rest assured that in any event, even if this is the legitimate freeholder, under the Limitation Act 1980 the limitation period for recovery of ground rent is six years.

Do you have any advice for leasehold conveyancing in Billingham from the perspective of speeding up the sale process?

  • Much of the frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Billingham can be reduced where you appoint lawyers the minute you market your property and ask them to put together the leasehold information which will be required by the buyers representatives.
  • In the event that you altered the property did you need the Landlord’s approval? Have you, for example installed wooden flooring? Most leases in Billingham state that internal structural alterations or installing wooden flooring require a licence issued by the Landlord approving such changes. Where you fail to have the consents in place do not contact the landlord without contacting your lawyer in advance.
  • Some Billingham leases require Licence to Assign from the landlord. If this is the case, you should notify your estate agents to make sure that the purchasers put in hand bank and professional references. The bank reference should make it clear that the buyer is financially capable of paying 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 freeholder or managing agents it is essential that these are resolved before the property is put on the market. The buyers and their solicitors will be nervous about purchasing a flat where there is an ongoing dispute. You will have to accept that you will have to 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 are still duty bound to disclose details of the dispute to the buyers, but it is clearly preferable to reveal the dispute as over as opposed to ongoing.
  • You believe that you know the number of years remaining on your lease but you should verify this via your conveyancers. A buyer’s conveyancer will not be happy to advise their client to proceed with the purchase of a leasehold property the lease term is below 80 years. In the circumstances it is important at an early stage that you identify whether the lease requires a lease extension. If it does, contact your solicitors before you put your property on the market for sale.

  • Our conveyancer has advised that he intends to complete and exchange simultaneously on the sale of our £475000 garden flat in Billingham on Monday in a week. The freeholder has quoted £312 for Landlord’s certificate, insurance certificate and 3 years statements of service charge. Is the landlord entitled to charge exorbitant fees for a leasehold conveyance in Billingham?

    Billingham conveyancing on leasehold flats nine out of ten times necessitates fees being levied by management companies :

    • Completing pre-exchange questions
    • Where consent is required before sale in Billingham
    • Copies of the building insurance and schedule
    • Deeds of covenant upon sale
    • Registering of the assignment of the change of lessee after a sale
    Your lawyer will have no control over the level of the charges for this information but the average costs for the information for Billingham leasehold property is £350. For Billingham conveyancing transactions it is customary for the seller to pay for these costs. The landlord or their agents are under no legal obligation to answer such questions most will be willing to do so - albeit often at exorbitant prices where the fees bear little relation to the work involved. Unfortunately there is no law that requires fixed charges for administrative tasks. Neither is there any legal time frame by which they are obliged to supply the information.

    Leasehold Conveyancing in Billingham - A selection of Queries before buying

      The prefered form of lease arrangement is a share of the freehold. In this scenario the leaseholders enjoy being in charge if their destiny and although a managing agent is usually employed where it is larger than a house conversion, the managing agent acts for the leaseholders themselves. Who is in charge of the building? The majority of Billingham leasehold apartments will incur a service bill for maintenance of the block set by the management company. Should you acquire the apartment you will have to pay this amount, normally periodically accross the year. This could vary from a couple of hundred pounds to thousands of pounds for blocks with lifts and large communal areas. In all probability there will be a rentcharge to be met annual, this is usually not a exorbitant figure, say about £50-£100 but you should to enquire as occasionally it can be many hundreds of pounds.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Billingham