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Buckden leasehold conveyancing: Q and A’s

I wish to let out my leasehold flat in Buckden. Conveyancing solicitor who did the purchase is retired - so can't ask her. Do I need to ask my freeholder for their consent?

Your lease dictates relations between the freeholder and you the leaseholder; specifically, it will say if subletting is banned, or permitted but only subject to certain conditions. The accepted inference is that if the lease contains no expres ban or restriction, subletting is allowed. Most leases in Buckden do not contain subletting altogether – such a clause 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 copy of the tenancy agreement.

I have just appointed agents to market my basement apartment in Buckden.Conveyancing is yet to be initiated but I have just received a half-yearly service charge demand – Do I pay up?

The sensible thing to do is discharge the service charge 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.

Back In 2000, I bought a leasehold house in Buckden. Conveyancing and Bank of Ireland mortgage organised. I have received a letter from someone claiming to own the reversionary interest in the property. It included a demand for arrears of ground rent dating back to 1992. The conveyancing solicitor in Buckden who acted for me is not around.Any advice?

First make enquiries of HMLR to be sure that the individual claiming to own the freehold is in fact the registered owner of the freehold reversion. There is no need to incur the fees of a Buckden conveyancing practitioner to do this as you can do this on the Land Registry website for less than a fiver. You should note that in any event, even if this is the legitimate freeholder, under the Limitation Act 1980 no more than 6 years of rent can be collected.

I am employed by a long established estate agency in Buckden where we have witnessed a few leasehold sales derailed as a result of leases having less than 80 years remaining. I have been given contradictory information from local Buckden conveyancing firms. Please can you confirm whether the vendor of a flat can commence the lease extension formalities for the purchaser on completion of the sale?

As long as the seller has been the owner for at least 2 years it is possible, to serve a Section 42 notice to kick-start the lease extension process and assign the benefit of the notice to the purchaser. The benefit of this is that the proposed purchaser need not have to sit tight for 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 simultaneously with completion of the disposal of the property.

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 purchaser.

We expect to complete our sale of a £350000 flat in Buckden in just under a week. The management company has quoted £396 for Certificate of Compliance, building insurance schedule and previous years statements of service charge. Is it legal for a freeholder to charge exorbitant fees for a flat conveyance in Buckden?

Buckden conveyancing on leasehold flats nine out of ten times necessitates fees being invoiced by managing agents :

  • Answering pre-exchange questions
  • Where consent is required before sale in Buckden
  • 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 Buckden leasehold premises is £350. For Buckden 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 answers.

Leasehold Conveyancing in Buckden - Sample of Questions you should consider Prior to Purchasing

    It is important to be aware whether fixing the lift or some other significant cost is pending to be shared by the tenants and could well dramatically increase the the service costs or result in a one off invoice. Please note if it is fewer than eighty years it will affect the marketability of the property. Check with your mortgage company that they are happy with remaining years on the lease. A short lease means that you will most likely have to extend the lease at some point and it is worth discovering what this will be. For most Buckdenlease extensions you would be required to have been the owner of the property for 24 months in order to be entitled to extend the lease. How many of the leaseholders are in arrears for their service charge payments?

Other Topics

Lease Extensions in Buckden