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Cottenham leasehold conveyancing: Q and A’s

I own a leasehold flat in Cottenham. Conveyancing and Bank of Ireland mortgage are in place. I have received a letter from someone claiming to own the reversionary interest in the property. Attached was a ground rent demand for rent dating back to 1994. The conveyancing practitioner in Cottenham who previously acted has long since retired.Do I pay?

The first thing you should do is make enquiries of HMLR to be sure that this person is indeed the new freeholder. You do not need to incur the fees of a Cottenham conveyancing practitioner to do this as it can be done on-line for a few pound. Rest assured that in any event, even if this is the rightful freeholder, under the Limitation Act 1980 the limitation period for recovery of ground rent is six years.

I am looking at a two maisonettes in Cottenham which have approximately forty five years remaining on the lease term. Do I need to be concerned?

There are plenty of short leases in Cottenham. The lease is a legal document that entitles you to use the premises for a period of time. As the lease gets shorter the marketability of the lease decreases and results in it becoming more costly to extend the lease. For this reason it is generally wise to increase the term of the lease. More often than not it is difficulties arise selling premises with a short lease as mortgage companies may be reluctant to lend money on properties of this type. Lease extension can be a difficult process. We advise that you get professional help from a conveyancer and surveyor with experience in this arena

What are your top tips when it comes to finding a Cottenham conveyancing practice to carry out our lease extension conveyancing?

If you are instructing a property lawyer for your lease extension (regardless if they are a Cottenham conveyancing practice) it is essential that he or she should be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of conveyancing. We suggested that you speak with several firms including non Cottenham conveyancing practices prior to instructing a firm. If the firm is ALEP accredited then so much the better. Some following of questions might be helpful:

  • How many lease extensions have they completed in Cottenham in the last year?
  • Can they put you in touch with client in Cottenham who can give a testimonial?

  • We expect to complete our sale of a £175000 flat in Cottenham on Monday in a week. The freeholder has quoted £420 for Certificate of Compliance, building insurance schedule and previous years service charge statements. Is the landlord entitled to charge exorbitant fees for a flat conveyance in Cottenham?

    For most leasehold sales in Cottenham conveyancing will involve, questions about the management of a building inevitably needing to be answered directly by the freeholder or its agent, this includes :

    • Addressing conveyancing due diligence questions
    • Where consent is required before sale in Cottenham
    • Supplying insurance information
    • 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 Cottenham leasehold property is £350. For Cottenham 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 required to provide answers.

    What makes a Cottenham lease unacceptable for security purposes?

    Leasehold conveyancing in Cottenham is not unique. All leases are individual and drafting errors can result in certain provisions 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.
    • Service charge per centages that don't add up correctly leaving a shortfall

    You may encounter difficulties when selling your property if you have a defective lease as they can affect a potential buyer’s ability to obtain a mortgage. Lloyds TSB Bank, Bank of Scotland, and Platform Home Loans Ltd all have express conveyancing instructions when it comes to what is expected in a lease. Where a lender has been advised by their lawyers that the lease is defective they may refuse to provide security, forcing the purchaser to withdraw.

    I bought a 1 bedroom flat in Cottenham, conveyancing having been completed 5 years ago. Can you shed any light on how much the price could be for a 90 year extension to my lease? Similar flats in Cottenham with a long lease are worth £247,000. The ground rent is £55 invoiced every year. The lease ends on 21st October 2079

    With only 58 years unexpired we estimate the premium for your lease extension to range between £24,700 and £28,600 plus legals.

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

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Cottenham