Fixed-fee leasehold conveyancing in Consett:

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Top Five Questions relating to Consett leasehold conveyancing

My wife and I may need to let out our Consett garden flat temporarily due to a new job. We used a Consett conveyancing firm in 2003 but they have since shut and we did not think at the time seek any advice as to whether the lease allows us to sublet. How do we find out?

Your lease dictates relations between the freeholder and you the leaseholder; specifically, it will indicate if subletting is banned, or permitted but only subject to certain conditions. The rule is that if the lease contains no specific ban or restriction, subletting is permitted. Most leases in Consett do not contain subletting altogether – such a provision would adversely affect the market value the flat. In most cases there is simply a requirement that the owner notifies the freeholder, possibly supplying a duplicate of the tenancy agreement.

Having checked my lease I have discovered that there are only 68 years unexpired on my flat in Consett. I now want to extend my lease but my freeholder is can not be found. What should I do?

On the basis that you meet the appropriate requirements, under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 you can apply to the County Court for an order 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. However, you will be required to demonstrate that you have done all that could be expected to locate the freeholder. For most situations a specialist should be helpful to try and locate and prepare a report to be accepted by the court as proof that the freeholder can not be located. It is wise to seek advice from a solicitor in relation to proving the landlord’s absence and the application to the County Court overseeing Consett.

I’m about to sell my basement apartment in Consett.Conveyancing has not commenced but I have just had a quarterly service charge demand – should I leave it to the buyer to sort out?

The sensible thing to do is clear 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 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.

My wife and I purchased a leasehold flat in Consett. Conveyancing and The Royal Bank of Scotland mortgage went though with no issue. A letter has just been received from someone claiming to own the reversionary interest in the property. It included a ground rent demand for rent dating back to 1993. The conveyancing practitioner in Consett who previously acted has now retired.Do I pay?

First contact HMLR to make sure that this person is indeed the registered owner of the freehold reversion. You do not need to incur the fees of a Consett conveyancing solicitor to do this as it can be done on-line for less than a fiver. You should note that in any event, even if this is the rightful freeholder, under the Limitation Act 1980 no more than 6 years of rent can be collected.

I am employed by a reputable estate agent office in Consett where we see a few flat sales put at risk due to leases having less than 80 years remaining. I have been given inconsistent advice from local Consett conveyancing solicitors. Can you shed some light as to whether the seller of a flat can instigate the lease extension formalities for the buyer?

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. This means that the proposed purchaser need not have to wait 2 years to extend their lease. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment needs to be completed before, or simultaneously with completion of the disposal of the property.

Alternatively, it may be possible to extend the lease informally by agreement with the landlord 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.

I bought a leasehold flat in Consett, conveyancing was carried out 1998. How much will my lease extension cost? Comparable properties in Consett with an extended lease are worth £248,000. The ground rent is £45 charged once a year. The lease ceases on 21st October 2094

With only 72 years remaining on your lease we estimate the price of your lease extension to span between £13,300 and £15,400 as well as costs.

The suggested premium range above a general guide to costs for renewing a lease, but we cannot give you the actual costs without more comprehensive due diligence. Do not use this information in a Notice of Claim or as an informal offer. There may be other issues that need to be considered and clearly you want to be as accurate as possible in your negotiations. Please do not take any other action placing reliance on this information before getting professional advice.

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Lease Extensions in Consett