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Frequently asked questions relating to Crediton leasehold conveyancing

I only have 62 years left on my flat in Crediton. I now want to get lease extension but my landlord is missing. What are my options?

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 Court. However, you will be required to demonstrate that you or your lawyers have used your best endeavours to find the freeholder. For most situations an enquiry agent would be useful to conduct investigations and to produce a report to be accepted by the court as evidence that the landlord is indeed missing. It is advisable to get professional help from a solicitor both on investigating the landlord’s absence and the vesting order request to the County Court overseeing Crediton.

I am tempted by the attractive purchase price for a couple of apartments in Crediton both have about 50 years left on the lease term. should I be concerned?

There are plenty of short leases in Crediton. The lease is a right to use the property for a period of time. As the lease shortens the value of the lease decreases and it becomes more expensive to extend the lease. This is why it is advisable to increase the term of the lease. More often than not it is difficult to sell a property with a short lease as mortgage lenders less inclined to grant a loan on such properties. Lease extension can be a protracted process. We advise that you get professional assistance from a solicitor and surveyor with experience in this arena

I've recently bought a leasehold property in Crediton. Do I have any liability for service charges relating to a period prior to completion of my purchase?

Where the service charge has already been demanded from the previous owner and they have not paid you would not usually be personally liable for the arrears. Strange as it may seem, your landlord may still be able to take action to forfeit the lease. It is an essential part of leasehold conveyancing for your conveyancer to ensure to have an up to date clear service charge receipt before completion of your purchase. If you have a mortgage this is likely to be a requirement of your lender.

If you purchase part way through an accounting year you may be liable for charges not yet demanded even if they relate to a period prior to your purchase. In such circumstances your conveyancer would normally arrange for the seller to set aside some money to cover their part of the period (usually called a service charge retention).

Do you have any advice for leasehold conveyancing in Crediton from the point of view of speeding up the sale process?

  • Much of the delay in leasehold conveyancing in Crediton can be bypassed if you instruct lawyers as soon as your agents start marketing the property and ask them to collate the leasehold documentation which will be required by the purchasers’ lawyers.
  • Many landlords or Management Companies in Crediton charge for providing management packs for a leasehold property. You or your lawyers should enquire as to the actual amount of the charges. The management information can be applied for as soon as you have a buyer, thus accelerating the process. The average time it takes to obtain the necessary information is three weeks. It is the most frequent reason for frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Crediton.
  • If you have had conflict with your freeholder or managing agents it is essential that these are resolved prior to the flat being put on the market. The purchasers and their solicitors will be warry about purchasing a flat where a dispute is unsettled. You will have to accept that you will have to pay any arrears of service charge or resolve the dispute prior to completion of the sale. It is therefore preferable to have any dispute settled ahead of the contract papers being issued to the buyers’ solicitors. You are still duty bound to disclose details of the dispute to the buyers, but it is clearly preferable to present the dispute as over as opposed to unsettled.
  • If you are supposed to have a share in the Management Company, you should make sure that you are holding the original share certificate. Arranging a replacement share certificate can be a lengthy process and slows down many a Crediton home move. Where a duplicate share certificate is required, do contact the company director and secretary or managing agents (if applicable) for this sooner rather than later.
  • You may think that you are aware of the number of years left on your lease but it would be wise to double-check by asking your conveyancers. A buyer’s lawyer will not be happy to advise their client to proceed with the purchase of a leasehold property the remaining number of years is under 75 years. In the circumstances it is essential at an as soon as possible that you consider whether the lease requires a lease extension. If it does, contact your solicitors before you put your premises on the market for sale.

  • In relation to leasehold conveyancing in Crediton what are the most common lease problems?

    There is nothing unique about leasehold conveyancing in Crediton. Most leases is drafted differently and legal mistakes in the legal wording can sometimes mean that certain sections are not included. The following missing provisions could result in a defective lease:

    • A provision to repair to or maintain parts of the property
    • 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

    A defective lease will likely cause issues when trying to sell a property primarily because it impacts on the ability to obtain a mortgage on the property. Barclays , Coventry Building Society, and Britannia 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, forcing the purchaser to pull out.

    Leasehold Conveyancing in Crediton - A selection of Questions you should ask Prior to buying

      It is important to be aware whether window replacement or some other significant cost is due in the near future to be shared amongst the leaseholders and could well dramatically impact the level of the service costs or necessitate a one off invoice. How is the lease structured? In the main the cost for major works are not wrapped into the service charges, albeit that there some managing agents in Crediton ask leasehold owners to pay into a sinking fund and this is used to offset against major repairs or maintenance.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Crediton