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Questions and Answers: Crabtree leasehold conveyancing

I am on look out for some leasehold conveyancing in Crabtree. Before diving in I require certainty as to the unexpired term of the lease.

Assuming the lease is recorded at the land registry - and almost all are in Crabtree - then the leasehold title will always include the short particulars of the lease, namely the date; the term; and the original parties. From a conveyancing perspective such details then enable any prospective buyer and lender to confirm that any lease they are looking at is the one relevant to that title.For any other purpose, such as confirming how long the term was granted for and calculating what is left, then the register should be sufficient on it's own.

I am hoping to put an offer on a small detached house that seems to tick a lot of boxes, at a great figure which is making it more attractive. I have since found out that the title is leasehold as opposed to freehold. I am assuming that there are particular concerns buying a house with a leasehold title in Crabtree. Conveyancing advisers have are about to be instructed. Will they explain the issues?

Most houses in Crabtree are freehold and not leasehold. In this scenario it’s worth having a local conveyancer who is familiar with the area can assist with the conveyancing process. it is apparent that you are buying in Crabtree in which case you should be shopping around for a Crabtree conveyancing practitioner and check that they are used to advising on leasehold houses. As a matter of priority you will need to check the number of years remaining. As a leaseholder you will not be at liberty to do whatever you want with the house. The lease comes with conditions for example requiring the freeholder’sconsent to conduct changes to the property. It may be necessary to pay a contribution towards the upkeep of the estate where the property is part of an estate. Your lawyer will appraise you on the various issues.

My wife and I purchased a leasehold house in Crabtree. Conveyancing and Alliance & Leicester mortgage are in place. I have received a letter from someone saying they have taken over the freehold. Attached was a ground rent demand for rent dating back to 1998. The conveyancing solicitor in Crabtree who previously acted has now retired.What should I do?

The first thing you should do is contact HMLR to make sure that this person is indeed the registered owner of the freehold reversion. There is no need to incur the fees of a Crabtree conveyancing firm to do this as you can do this on the Land Registry website for £3. Rest assured that regardless, even if this is the legitimate landlord, under the Limitation Act 1980 the limitation period for recovery of ground rent is six years.

Can you provide any advice for leasehold conveyancing in Crabtree from the perspective of saving time on the sale process?

  • Much of the delay in leasehold conveyancing in Crabtree can be avoided where you get in touch lawyers the minute your agents start marketing the property and ask them to collate the leasehold documentation needed by the purchasers’ representatives.
  • Many landlords or Management Companies in Crabtree levy fees for providing management packs for a leasehold homes. You or your lawyers should enquire as to the actual amount of the charges. The management pack sought as soon as you have a buyer, thus reducing delays. The typical amount of time it takes to obtain the necessary information is three weeks. It is the most common reason for delay in leasehold conveyancing in Crabtree.
  • If you have carried out any alterations to the residence would they have required Landlord’s permission? In particular have you installed wooden flooring? Crabtree leases often stipulate that internal structural changes or laying down wooden flooring calls for a licence issued by the Landlord approving such works. Should you fail to have the paperwork in place do not communicate with the landlord without contacting your solicitor in the first instance.
  • If you have had any disputes with your freeholder or managing agents it is very important that these are settled before the property is put on the market. The buyers and their solicitors will be reluctant to purchase a flat where a dispute is unsettled. You may have to bite the bullet and discharge any arrears of service charge or settle the dispute prior to completion of the sale. It is therefore preferable to have any dispute settled prior to the contract papers being issued to the buyers’ solicitors. You are still duty bound to disclose details of the dispute to the purchasers, but it is better to reveal the dispute as over rather than ongoing.
  • If you have the benefit of shareholding in the Management Company, you should ensure that you have the original share document. Obtaining a duplicate share certificate is often a lengthy formality and slows down many a Crabtree conveyancing transaction. If a new share is required, you should approach the company director and secretary or managing agents (where applicable) for this at the earliest opportunity.

  • When it comes to leasehold conveyancing in Crabtree what are the most frequent lease problems?

    Leasehold conveyancing in Crabtree is not unique. Most leases are unique and drafting errors can result in certain clauses are not included. The following missing provisions could result in a defective lease:

    • A provision to repair to or maintain elements of the premises
    • A duty to insure the building
    • 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 as they can affect a potential buyer’s ability to obtain a mortgage. HSBC Bank, Virgin Money, and Britannia all have very detailed conveyancing instructions when it comes to what is expected in a lease. If a mortgage lender believes that the lease is problematic they may refuse to provide security, forcing the buyer to pull out.

    Crabtree Conveyancing for Leasehold Flats - Sample of Queries Prior to buying

      Many Crabtree leasehold apartments will have a service bill for the upkeep of the building invoiced by the freeholder. Should you purchase the apartment you will have to pay this charge, normally periodically during the year. This could vary from a couple of hundred pounds to thousands of pounds for blocks with lifts and large communal grounds. There will also be a rentcharge for you to pay annual, normally this is not a exorbitant amount, say around £25-£75 but you should to check it because sometimes it can be surprisingly expensive. What is the name of the managing agents? The prefered form of lease structure is a share of the freehold. In this situation the leaseholders enjoy being in charge if their destiny and even though a managing agent is frequently retained if it is bigger than a house conversion, the managing agent retained by the leaseholders.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Crabtree