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Common questions relating to Darwen leasehold conveyancing

My fiance and I may need to rent out our Darwen basement flat for a while due to taking a sabbatical. We instructed a Darwen conveyancing firm in 2003 but they have since shut and we did not think at the time get any guidance as to whether the lease permits subletting. How do we find out?

The lease dictates relations between the landlord and you the flat owner; specifically, it will indicate if subletting is not allowed, or permitted but only subject to certain caveats. The accepted inference is that if the lease contains no expres ban or restriction, subletting is permitted. The majority of leases in Darwen do not prevent an absolute prevention of subletting – such a clause would adversely affect the market value the property. In most cases there is a basic requirement that the owner notifies the freeholder, possibly sending a copy of the sublease.

I’m about to sell my ground floor apartment in Darwen.Conveyancing solicitors are to be appointed soon but I have just received a half-yearly maintenance charge invoice – what should I do?

It best that you discharge 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 managing agents 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.

I've recently bought a leasehold flat in Darwen. 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. A critical element of leasehold conveyancing for your conveyancer to be sure 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).

Can you offer any advice when it comes to choosing a Darwen conveyancing firm to deal with our lease extension?

When appointing a conveyancer for your lease extension (regardless if they are a Darwen conveyancing firm) it is essential that they be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of work. We recommend that you make enquires with several firms including non Darwen conveyancing practices prior to instructing a firm. If the firm is ALEP accredited then that’s a bonus. Some following of questions might be of use:

  • How familiar is the practice with lease extension legislation?
  • What are the costs for lease extension work?

  • Can you provide any top tips for leasehold conveyancing in Darwen from the point of view of speeding up the sale process?

    • Much of the delay in leasehold conveyancing in Darwen can be reduced if you get in touch lawyers the minute you market your property and request that they start to collate the leasehold information needed by the buyers lawyers.
    • Many freeholders or Management Companies in Darwen charge for supplying management packs for a leasehold premises. You or your lawyers should find out the fee that they propose to charge. The management information sought as soon as you have a buyer, thus accelerating the process. The average time it takes to receive management information is three weeks. It is the most frequent cause of delay in leasehold conveyancing in Darwen.
  • Some Darwen leases require Licence to Assign from the landlord. If this is the case, you should place the estate agents on notice to make sure that the purchasers obtain bank and professional references. The bank reference should make it clear that the buyer is financially capable of paying the yearly service charge and the actual amount of the service charge should be quoted in the bank’s letter. You will therefore need to provide your estate agents with the service charge figures so that they can pass this information on to the purchasers or their solicitors.
  • If you are supposed to have a share in the Management Company, you should make sure that you hold the original share document. Arranging a re-issued share certificate can be a time consuming formality and frustrates many a Darwen home move. If a duplicate share is required, do contact the company director and secretary or managing agents (where applicable) for this at the earliest opportunity.
  • You may think that you are aware of the number of years left on your lease but it would be wise to double-check via your lawyers. A buyer’s conveyancer will be unlikely to recommend their client to where the lease term is under 80 years. It is therefore important 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 property on the market for sale.

  • Darwen Conveyancing for Leasehold Flats - Sample of Questions you should consider before Purchasing

      The prefered form of lease arrangement is a share of the freehold. In this arrangement the leaseholders have being in charge if their destiny and notwithstanding that a managing agent is often employed where the building is larger than a house conversion, the managing agent retained by the leaseholders. Who takes responsibility for maintaining and repairing the building? How is the lease structured?

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Darwen