Quality lawyers for Leasehold Conveyancing in Bolton

Any conveyancing solicitor can theoretically handle your leasehold conveyancing in Bolton, your mortgage provider may not be willing to work with them if the firm are not on their list of approved solicitors for conveyancing

Questions and Answers: Bolton leasehold conveyancing

I've found a house that seems to be perfect, at a reasonable price which is making it all the more appealing. I have since found out that the title is leasehold rather than freehold. I would have thought that there are particular concerns buying a house with a leasehold title in Bolton. Conveyancing lawyers have not yet been appointed. Will they explain the issues?

Most houses in Bolton are freehold and not leasehold. This is one of the situations where having a local solicitor used to dealing with such properties who can assist with the conveyancing process. We note that you are buying in Bolton in which case you should be looking for a Bolton conveyancing solicitor and be sure that they have experience in advising 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 with the house. The lease comes with conditions such as obtaining the landlord’spermission to conduct alterations. It may be necessary to pay a service charge towards the maintenance of the communal areas where the property is located on an estate. Your solicitor should report to you on the legal implications.

I am looking at a couple of flats in Bolton both have about forty five years remaining on the leases. Will this present a problem?

There is no doubt about it. A leasehold flat in Bolton is a deteriorating asset as a result of the shortening lease. The closer the lease gets to its expiry date, the more it reduces the marketability of the premises. The majority of purchasers and mortgage companies, leases with less than eighty years become less and less attractive. 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 Bolton 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 They may agree to a smaller lump sum and an increase in the ground rent, but to shorter extension terms in return. You need to ensure that any new 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 offer any advice when it comes to choosing a Bolton conveyancing firm to deal with our lease extension?

If you are instructing a solicitor for your lease extension (regardless if they are a Bolton conveyancing practice) it is most important that he or she should be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of conveyancing. We advise that you make enquires with several firms including non Bolton conveyancing practices prior to instructing a firm. If the firm is ALEP accredited then that’s a bonus. Some following of questions could be of use:

  • If the firm is not ALEP accredited then what is the reason?
  • How many lease extensions has the firm carried out in Bolton in the last 12 months?

  • Can you provide any top tips for leasehold conveyancing in Bolton from the point of view of speeding up the sale process?

    • Much of the frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Bolton can be avoided if you instruct lawyers as soon as your agents start marketing the property and request that they start to collate the leasehold documentation needed by the purchasers’ representatives.
    • Many freeholders or managing agents in Bolton charge for providing management packs for a leasehold homes. You or your lawyers should discover the actual amount of the charges. The management information can be applied for as soon as you have a buyer, thus accelerating the process. The average time it takes to obtain the necessary information is three weeks. It is the most frequent reason for delay in leasehold conveyancing in Bolton.
  • A minority of Bolton leases require Landlord’s consent to the sale and approval of the buyers. If this is the case, it would be prudent to notify your estate agents to make sure that the purchasers put in hand financial (bank) and professional references. The bank reference will need to confirm that the buyers are financially capable of paying 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 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 settled before the property is marketed. The buyers and their solicitors will be concerned about purchasing a property where there is a current 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 are still duty bound to disclose particulars of the dispute to the buyers, but it is clearly preferable to present the dispute as over rather than ongoing.
  • You believe that you know the number of years left on your lease but it would be advisable verify this via your lawyers. A purchaser's lawyer will not be happy to advise their client to to exchange contracts if the remaining number of years is less than 75 years. It is therefore essential at an as soon as possible that you identify whether the lease term for your property needs extending. If it does, contact your solicitors before you put your premises on the market for sale.

  • What are the common problems that you see in leases for Bolton properties?

    There is nothing unique about leasehold conveyancing in Bolton. Most leases are individual and legal mistakes in the legal wording can result in certain provisions are not included. For example, if your lease is missing any of the following, it could be defective:

    • A provision to repair to or maintain parts of the property
    • A duty to insure the building
    • Clauses dealing with recovering service charges for expenditure on the building or common parts.
    • Service charge per centages that don't add up correctly leaving a shortfall

    A defective lease will likely cause issues when trying to sell a property primarily because it impacts on the ability to obtain a mortgage on the property. Lloyds TSB Bank, Coventry Building Society, and TSB all have express conveyancing instructions when it comes to what is expected in a lease. Where a lender has been advised by their lawyers that the lease is problematic they may refuse to provide security, obliging the purchaser to pull out.

    I bought a leasehold flat in Bolton, conveyancing having been completed in 2003. Can you shed any light on how much the price could be for a 90 year extension to my lease? Corresponding flats in Bolton with over 90 years remaining are worth £203,000. The average or mid-range amount of ground rent is £60 per annum. The lease ends on 21st October 2086

    With only 63 years left to run we estimate the price of your lease extension to be between £20,000 and £23,000 as well as legals.

    The suggested premium range above a general guide to costs for renewing a lease, but we cannot give you a more accurate figure without more comprehensive due diligence. Do not use the figures in a Notice of Claim or as an informal offer. There are no doubt additional issues that need to be considered and you obviously should be as accurate as possible in your negotiations. Neither should you take any other action based on this information before getting professional advice.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Bolton