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Canford Cliffs leasehold conveyancing: Q and A’s

I wish to sublet my leasehold apartment in Canford Cliffs. Conveyancing solicitor who did the purchase is retired - so can't ask him. Is permission from the freeholder required?

Some leases for properties in Canford Cliffs do contain a provision to say that subletting is only allowed with permission. The landlord is not entitled to unreasonably withhold but, in such cases, they would need to review references. Experience suggests 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.

There are only 68 years left on my flat in Canford Cliffs. I need to get lease extension but my landlord is can not be found. What options are available to me?

On the basis that 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 mean that your lease can be granted an extra 90 years by the magistrate. You will be obliged to demonstrate that you have used your best endeavours to track down the freeholder. In some cases a specialist should be useful to conduct investigations and prepare a report to be used as evidence that the freeholder can not be located. It is advisable to get professional help from a property lawyer in relation to devolving into the landlord’s disappearance and the vesting order request to the County Court covering Canford Cliffs.

I am hoping to put an offer on a small detached house that seems to be perfect, at a reasonable figure which is making it more attractive. I have subsequently been informed that it's a leasehold rather than freehold. I am assuming that there are particular concerns buying a house with a leasehold title in Canford Cliffs. Conveyancing solicitors have not yet been instructed. Will they explain the issues?

The majority of houses in Canford Cliffs are freehold and not leasehold. This is one of the situations where having a local conveyancer who is familiar with the area can help the conveyancing process. It is clear that you are purchasing in Canford Cliffs in which case you should be shopping around for a Canford Cliffs conveyancing solicitor and check that they have experience in dealing with leasehold houses. As a matter of priority you will need to check the number of years remaining. Being a lessee you will not be at liberty to do whatever you want with the house. The lease will likely included provisions such as requiring the freeholder’sconsent to conduct changes to the property. You may also be required to pay a service charge towards the maintenance of the communal areas where the house is located on an estate. Your lawyer will report to you on the legal implications.

What advice can you give us when it comes to finding a Canford Cliffs conveyancing firm to carry out our lease extension conveyancing?

If you are instructing a property lawyer for lease extension works (regardless if they are a Canford Cliffs conveyancing firm) it is imperative that they be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of work. We recommend that you speak with several firms including non Canford Cliffs conveyancing practices prior to instructing a firm. Where the conveyancing practice is ALEP accredited then that’s a bonus. Some following of questions might be of use:

  • How many lease extensions have they conducted in Canford Cliffs in the last 12 months?
  • What are the charges for lease extension conveyancing?

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

    • A significant proportion of the delay in leasehold conveyancing in Canford Cliffs can be bypassed where you instruct lawyers the minute your agents start marketing the property and request that they start to collate the leasehold information which will be required by the purchasers’ representatives.
    • The majority freeholders or Management Companies in Canford Cliffs levy fees for supplying management packs for a leasehold property. You or your lawyers should enquire as to the actual amount of the charges. The management information sought on or before finding a buyer, thus accelerating the process. The typical amount of time it takes to obtain the necessary information is three weeks. It is the most usual reason for frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Canford Cliffs.
  • If you have carried out any alterations to the property would they have required Landlord’s consent? In particular have you installed wooden flooring? Most leases in Canford Cliffs state that internal structural alterations or installing wooden flooring require a licence issued by the Landlord consenting to such alterations. Where you fail to have the consents to hand you should not contact the landlord without contacting your solicitor first.
  • If you have the benefit of shareholding in the freehold, you should ensure that you have the original share certificate. Obtaining a re-issued share certificate is often a time consuming formality and slows down many a Canford Cliffs conveyancing deal. If a new share is necessary, do contact the company director and secretary or managing agents (where relevant) for this at the earliest opportunity.
  • You may think that you are aware of the number of years remaining on your lease but you should verify this by asking your solicitors. A buyer’s lawyer will be unlikely to recommend their client to where the remaining number of years is below 75 years. In the circumstances it is important at an as soon as possible 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.

  • Canford Cliffs Conveyancing for Leasehold Flats - Sample of Questions you should consider Prior to Purchasing

      It is important to be aware whether changing the roof or some other significant cost is due shortly that will be shared between the leaseholders and will materially increase the the service fees or result in a specific invoice. The majority of Canford Cliffs leasehold properties will incur a service bill for maintenance of the block invoiced on behalf of the freeholder. If you acquire the apartment you will have to meet this amount, usually quarterly throughout the year. This can vary from two or three hundred pounds to thousands of pounds for blocks with lifts and large common areas. In all likelihood there will be a rentcharge for you to pay yearly, ordinarily this is not a exorbitant amount, say approximately £50-£100 but you need to enquire it because sometimes it could be surprisingly expensive. Its a good idea to find out as much as possible regarding the managing agents as they will impact your use and enjoyment of the property. As the owner of a leasehold property you will be in the clutches of the managing agents both financially and when it comes to practical issues such as the cleanliness of the communal areas. Enquire of prospective neighbours what they think of their management. In conclusion, find out the dates that the maintenance charges are due to the relevant party and precisely what you get for your money.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Canford Cliffs