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Bodmin leasehold conveyancing: Q and A’s

I want to rent out my leasehold flat in Bodmin. Conveyancing solicitor who did the purchase is retired - so can't ask her. Is permission from the freeholder required?

A small minority of properties in Bodmin do contain a provision to say that subletting is only allowed with permission. The landlord cannot unreasonably refuse but, in such cases, they would need to review references. Experience dictates that problems are usually caused by unsatisfactory tenants rather than owner-occupiers and for that reason you can expect the freeholder to take up the references and consider them carefully before granting consent.

I only have 68 years remaining on my flat in Bodmin. I now want to extend my lease but my freeholder is missing. 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 for permission to dispense with the service of the initial notice. This will enable the lease to be granted an extra 90 years by the magistrate. You will be obliged to prove that you or your lawyers have done all that could be expected to track down the freeholder. For most situations a specialist may be helpful to conduct investigations and to produce a report to be accepted by the court as proof that the landlord is indeed missing. It is advisable to get professional help from a solicitor both on investigating the landlord’s absence and the vesting order request to the County Court overseeing Bodmin.

Estate agents have just been given the go-ahead to market my garden flat in Bodmin.Conveyancing is yet to be initiated but I have just had a quarterly maintenance charge demand – Do I pay up?

It best that you clear 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 managing agents will not acknowledge the buyer until 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. Having a clear account will assist your cause and will leave you no worse off financially.

I am looking at a two apartments in Bodmin which have approximately fifty years remaining on the leases. should I be concerned?

There are plenty of short leases in Bodmin. The lease is a legal document that entitles you to use the property for a prescribed time frame. As a lease shortens the value of the lease decreases and it becomes more costly to extend the lease. This is why it is generally wise to increase the term of the lease. More often than not it is difficulties arise selling premises with a short lease because mortgage companies may be reluctant to lend money on properties of this type. Lease extension can be a protracted process. We recommend you seek professional help from a solicitor and surveyor with experience in this field

Last month I purchased a leasehold house in Bodmin. Do I have any liability for service charges relating to a period prior to completion of my purchase?

In a situation where the service charge has already been demanded from the previous lessee and they have not paid you would not usually be personally liable for the arrears. Strange as it may seem, your landlord may still be able to take action to forfeit the lease. It is an essential part of leasehold conveyancing for your conveyancer to be sure to have an up to date clear service charge receipt before completion of your purchase. If you have a mortgage this is likely to be a requirement of your lender.

If you purchase part way through an accounting year you may be liable for charges not yet demanded even if they relate to a period prior to your purchase. In such circumstances your conveyancer would normally arrange for the seller to set aside some money to cover their part of the period (usually called a service charge retention).

I am the registered owner of a studio flat in Bodmin, conveyancing having been completed 10 years ago. Can you give me give me an indication of the likely cost of a lease extension? Corresponding flats in Bodmin with over 90 years remaining are worth £198,000. The ground rent is £60 yearly. The lease terminates on 21st October 2094

You have 72 years left to run we estimate the price of your lease extension to span between £11,400 and £13,200 as well as plus your own and the landlord's "reasonable" professional fees.

The figure above a general guide to costs for extending a lease, but we are not able to provide the actual costs in the absence of detailed investigations. Do not use this information in tribunal or court proceedings. There are no doubt other 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 without first seeking the advice of a professional.

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Lease Extensions in Bodmin