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I only have 62 years left on my flat in Coleford. I am keen to extend my lease but my freeholder is missing. What are my options?

If you qualify, under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 you can apply to the County Court for for permission to dispense with the service of the initial notice. This will mean that your lease can be extended by the Court. You will be obliged to prove that you or your lawyers have done all that could be expected to track down the lessor. In some cases a specialist would be helpful to carry out a search and to produce a report to be used as evidence that the landlord is indeed missing. It is advisable to get professional help from a conveyancer both on proving the landlord’s absence and the vesting order request to the County Court overseeing Coleford.

I am hoping to exchange soon on a garden flat in Coleford. Conveyancing lawyers have said that they will have a report out to me on Monday. Are there areas in the report that I should be focusing on?

Your report on title for your leasehold conveyancing in Coleford should include some of the following:

  • Details of the parties to the lease, for example these could be the leaseholder (you), head lessor, freeholder
  • The physical extent of the premises. This will be the flat itself but might include a roof space or basement if applicable.
  • Setting out your legal entitlements in respect of the communal areas in the building.E.G., does the lease contain a right of way over a path or staircase?
  • Ground rent - how much and when you need to pay, and also know whether this will change in the future
  • Repair and maintenance of the flat
  • I don't know whether the lease allows me to alter or improve anything in the flat - you should know whether it applies to all alterations or just structural alteration, and whether consent is required
  • What the implications are if you breach a clause of your lease? For details of the information to be contained in your report on your leasehold property in Coleford please enquire of your conveyancer in advance of your conveyancing in Coleford

  • I am hoping to put an offer on a small detached house that appears to meet my requirements, at a great figure which is making it all the more appealing. I have subsequently discovered that the title is leasehold rather than freehold. I would have thought that there are issues purchasing a house with a leasehold title in Coleford. Conveyancing solicitors have are about to be instructed. Will they explain the issues?

    The majority of houses in Coleford 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. We note that you are buying in Coleford in which case you should be looking for a Coleford conveyancing solicitor and be sure that they are used to transacting on leasehold houses. First you will need to check the number of years remaining. Being a tenant you will not be entirely free to do whatever you want to the property. The lease comes with conditions for example obtaining the freeholder’spermission to conduct alterations. You may also be required to pay a maintenance charge towards the maintenance of the estate where the property is part of an estate. Your conveyancer will advise you fully on all the issues.

    What advice can you give us when it comes to finding a Coleford conveyancing practice to deal with our lease extension?

    If you are instructing a conveyancer for your lease extension (regardless if they are a Coleford conveyancing practice) it is most important that they be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of work. We suggested that you speak with two or three firms including non Coleford conveyancing practices prior to instructing a firm. Where the conveyancing practice is ALEP accredited then that’s a bonus. Some following of questions could be helpful:

    • What volume of lease extensions have they carried out in Coleford in the last year?
  • What are the costs for lease extension work?

  • What makes a Coleford lease problematic?

    There is nothing unique about leasehold conveyancing in Coleford. All leases are unique and drafting errors can sometimes mean that certain clauses are erroneous. For example, if your lease is missing any of the following, it could be defective:

    • Repairing obligations to or maintain parts of the premises
    • A duty to insure the building
    • A provision for the recovery of money spent for the benefit of another party.
    • Maintenance charge proportions which don’t add up to the correct percentage

    You will have a problem when selling your property if you have a defective lease as they can affect a potential buyer’s ability to obtain a mortgage. Accord Mortgages Ltd, Barnsley Building Society, and Godiva Mortgages 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 provide security, obliging the purchaser to withdraw.

    I inherited a 2 bed flat in Coleford, conveyancing was carried out half a dozen years ago. Can you shed any light on how much the price could be for a 90 year extension to my lease? Equivalent flats in Coleford with a long lease are worth £268,000. The ground rent is £55 yearly. The lease terminates on 21st October 2083

    With 62 years unexpired the likely cost is going to be between £20,000 and £23,000 as well as professional fees.

    The suggested premium range that we have given is a general guide to costs for extending a lease, but we cannot give you the actual costs without more detailed investigations. Do not use the figures in tribunal or court proceedings. There may be additional concerns that need to be taken into account and you obviously want to be as accurate as possible in your negotiations. Please do not take any other action based on this information without first seeking the advice of a professional.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Coleford