Leasehold Conveyancing in Chelmsford - Get a Quote from the leasehold experts approved by your lender

When it comes to leasehold conveyancing in Chelmsford, you will need to instruct a conveyancing lawyer with leasehold experience. Whether your lender is to be Clydesdale , Birmingham Midshires or Bradford & Bingley be sure to choose a lawyer on their panel. Feel free to use our search tool

Chelmsford leasehold conveyancing: Q and A’s

Harry (my fiance) and I may need to rent out our Chelmsford basement flat temporarily due to a new job. We used a Chelmsford conveyancing practice in 2002 but they have closed and we did not have the foresight to seek any advice as to whether the lease permits subletting. How do we find out?

Some leases for properties in Chelmsford do contain a provision to say that subletting is only permitted with prior consent from the landlord. The landlord is not entitled to 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 have just appointed agents to market my ground floor apartment in Chelmsford.Conveyancing lawyers have not yet been instructed but I have just received a quarterly maintenance charge invoice – should I leave it to the buyer to sort out?

Your conveyancing lawyer is likely to suggest that you should 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 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. Having a clear account will assist your cause and will leave you no worse off financially.

I am a negotiator for a long established estate agent office in Chelmsford where we have experienced a number of flat sales jeopardised as a result of leases having less than 80 years remaining. I have received inconsistent advice from local Chelmsford conveyancing firms. Can you shed some light as to whether the owner of a flat can commence the lease extension process for the purchaser on completion of the sale?

Provided that the seller has owned the lease 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. This means that the buyer can avoid having to sit tight for 2 years for a lease extension. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment needs to be completed before, or simultaneously with completion of the sale.

An alternative approach is 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.

Do you have any advice for leasehold conveyancing in Chelmsford with the purpose of expediting the sale process?

  • Much of the frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Chelmsford can be bypassed where you instruct lawyers as soon as you market your property and request that they start to put together the leasehold information needed by the purchasers’ solicitors.
  • In the event that you altered the property did you need the Landlord’s consent? In particular have you installed wooden flooring? Most leases in Chelmsford state that internal structural changes or installing wooden flooring calls for a licence from the Landlord acquiescing to such works. Where you dont have the approvals in place do not contact the landlord without checking with your lawyer in the first instance.
  • Some Chelmsford leases require Landlord’s consent to the sale and approval of the buyers. If this applies to your lease, you should notify your estate agents to make sure that the purchasers put in hand bank and professional references. Any bank reference should make it clear that the buyer is able to meet the yearly 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 buyers or their solicitors.
  • If there is a history of any disputes with your landlord or managing agents it is very important that these are resolved before the property is put on the market. The buyers and their solicitors will be reluctant to purchase a property where a dispute is unresolved. You will have to accept that you will have to pay any arrears of service charge or resolve the dispute prior to the buyers completing the purchase. It is therefore preferable to have any dispute settled prior to the contract papers being issued to the buyers’ solicitors. You will still have to reveal particulars of the dispute to the purchasers, but it is better to present the dispute as historic as opposed to unsettled.
  • You may think that you are aware of the number of years left on your lease but it would be wise to verify this via your conveyancers. A purchaser's conveyancer will be unlikely to recommend their client to to exchange contracts if the lease term is below 75 years. It is therefore important at an early stage that you identify whether the lease term requires a lease extension. If it does, contact your solicitors before you put your home on the market for sale.

  • When it comes to leasehold conveyancing in Chelmsford what are the most common lease problems?

    Leasehold conveyancing in Chelmsford is not unique. All leases is drafted differently and legal mistakes in the legal wording can sometimes mean that certain sections are erroneous. The following missing provisions could result in a defective lease:

    • Repairing obligations to or maintain elements of the premises
    • Insurance obligations
    • Clauses dealing with recovering service charges for expenditure on the building or common parts.
    • Maintenance charge proportions which don’t add up to the correct percentage

    A defective lease will likely cause problems when trying to sell a property primarily because it impacts on the ability to obtain a mortgage on the property. Yorkshire Building Society, The Royal Bank of Scotland, and Platform Home Loans Ltd all have express requirements 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 grant the mortgage, obliging the purchaser to withdraw.

    I inherited a 1st floor flat in Chelmsford, conveyancing was carried out 2001. Can you please calculate a probable premium for a statutory lease extension? Corresponding flats in Chelmsford with a long lease are worth £172,000. The average or mid-range amount of ground rent is £60 per annum. The lease expires on 21st October 2089

    With just 68 years left to run we estimate the price of your lease extension to range between £10,500 and £12,000 plus professional fees.

    The suggested premium range above a general guide to costs for renewing a lease, but we cannot give you a more accurate figure in the absence of detailed investigations. Do not use the figures in a Notice of Claim or as an informal offer. There may be other issues that need to be taken into account and you obviously should be as accurate as possible in your negotiations. You should not take any other action placing reliance on this information without first seeking the advice of a professional.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Chelmsford