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Questions and Answers: Bolton leasehold conveyancing

I am intending to sublet my leasehold apartment in Bolton. Conveyancing solicitor who did the purchase is retired - so can't ask her. Is permission from the freeholder required?

Your lease dictates relations between the landlord and you the flat owner; specifically, it will set out if subletting is banned, or permitted but only subject to certain caveats. The accepted inference is that if the lease contains no expres ban or restriction, subletting is allowed. The majority of leases in Bolton do not contain strict prohibition on subletting – such a provision would adversely affect the market value the flat. In most cases there is simply a requirement that the owner notifies the freeholder, possibly sending a duplicate of the sublease.

I am hoping to complete next month on a garden flat in Bolton. Conveyancing lawyers inform me that they report fully next week. Are there areas in the report that I should be focusing on?

The report on title for your leasehold conveyancing in Bolton should include some of the following:

  • How long the lease is You should be advised as what happens when the lease ends, and aware of the importance of the 80 year mark
  • Are pets allowed in the flat?
  • Ground rent - how much and when you need to pay, and also know whether this is subject to change
  • You should have a good understanding of the insurance provisions
  • The landlord’s rights to access the flat you be made aware that your landlord has rights of access and I know how much notice s/he must provide.
  • The landlord’s obligations to repair and maintain the building. It is important that you know who is responsible for the repair and maintenance of every part of the building
  • Responsibility for repairing the window frames For details of the information to be included in your report on your leasehold property in Bolton please ask your lawyer in ahead of your conveyancing in Bolton

  • I have just appointed agents to market my basement flat in Bolton.Conveyancing is yet to be initiated but I have just received a half-yearly maintenance charge demand – should I leave it to the buyer to sort out?

    Your conveyancing lawyer is likely to suggest that you should pay 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 management companies 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. This will smooth the conveyancing process.

    I am employed by a busy estate agency in Bolton where we have experienced a number of flat sales derailed due to leases having less than 80 years remaining. I have been given inconsistent advice from local Bolton conveyancing solicitors. Can you shed some light as to whether the vendor of a flat can commence the lease extension formalities 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 start the lease extension process and assign the benefit of the notice to the purchaser. The benefit of this is that the proposed purchaser can avoid having to wait 2 years to extend their lease. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment needs to be completed prior to, or at the same time as 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.

    We expect to complete our sale of a £450000 garden flat in Bolton in just under a week. The landlords agents has quoted £324 for Landlord’s certificate, building insurance schedule and 3 years statements of service charge. Is it legal for a freeholder to charge such fees for a flat conveyance in Bolton?

    Bolton conveyancing on leasehold apartments usually necessitates the buyer’s lawyer sending enquiries for the landlord to answer. Although the landlord is not legally bound to answer such questions most will be willing to do so. They are at liberty levy a reasonable charge for answering enquiries or supplying documentation. There is no upper cap for such fees. The average fee for the paperwork that you are referring to is £350, in some cases it exceeds £800. The management information fee invoiced by the landlord must be sent together with a synopsis of entitlements and obligations in relation to administration fees, otherwise the invoice is technically not due. In reality you have no choice but to pay whatever is demanded should you wish to complete the sale of your home.

    I am the registered owner of a studio flat in Bolton, conveyancing formalities finalised in 2009. Can you give me give me an indication of the likely cost of a lease extension? Comparable flats in Bolton with over 90 years remaining are worth £185,000. The ground rent is £45 charged once a year. The lease terminates on 21st October 2076

    With just 55 years left to run we estimate the premium for your lease extension to be between £30,400 and £35,200 as well as plus your own and the landlord's "reasonable" professional fees.

    The figure that we have given is a general guide to costs for extending a lease, but we are not able to advice on a more accurate figure without more detailed investigations. Do not use this information in a Notice of Claim or as an informal offer. There may be additional issues that need to be considered and clearly you want to be as accurate as possible in your negotiations. Please do not take any other action placing reliance on this information before seeking the advice of a professional.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Bolton