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Questions and Answers: Dunstable leasehold conveyancing

I have recently realised that I have Seventy years unexpired on my flat in Dunstable. I now want to extend my lease but my landlord is absent. What are my options?

If you qualify, under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 you can submit an application to the County Court for for permission to dispense with the service of the initial notice. This will mean that your lease can be extended by the magistrate. You will be obliged to prove that you or your lawyers have used your best endeavours to find the lessor. For most situations an enquiry agent would be useful to try and locate and prepare an expert document to be used as evidence that the landlord can not be located. It is wise to seek advice from a property lawyer in relation to proving the landlord’s disappearance and the vesting order request to the County Court covering Dunstable.

Due to exchange soon on a basement flat in Dunstable. Conveyancing solicitors have said that they report fully on Monday. Are there areas in the report that I should be focusing on?

The report on title for your leasehold conveyancing in Dunstable should include some of the following:

  • Does the lease require carpeting throughout thus preventing wood flooring?
  • Whether the lease restricts you from renting out the property, or having a home office for business
  • You need to be told what constitutes a Nuisance in the lease
  • Ground rent - how much and when you need to pay, and also know whether this is subject to change
  • You should have a good understanding of the insurance provisions
  • Changes to the flat (alterations and additions)
  • What options are open to you if a neighbour breach a clause of their lease? For details of the information to be included in your report on your leasehold property in Dunstable please ask your lawyer in advance of your conveyancing in Dunstable

  • I’m about to sell my 2 bed flat in Dunstable.Conveyancing solicitors are to be appointed soon but I have just received a 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. This will smooth the conveyancing process.

    Do you have any advice for leasehold conveyancing in Dunstable with the aim of expediting the sale process?

    • A significant proportion of the frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Dunstable can be bypassed if you appoint lawyers the minute your agents start marketing the property and ask them to collate the leasehold information which will be required by the purchasers’ solicitors.
    • In the event that you altered the property did you need the Landlord’s permission? Have you, for example laid down wooden flooring? Most leases in Dunstable state that internal structural changes or addition of wooden flooring require a licence issued by the Landlord approving such works. Where you fail to have the consents to hand do not contact the landlord without contacting your conveyancer in the first instance.
  • If you have had any disputes with your landlord 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 there is an ongoing dispute. You may need to swallow your pride and pay any arrears of service charge or settle 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 will still have to reveal particulars of the dispute to the buyers, but it is clearly preferable to reveal the dispute as over rather than ongoing.
  • If you have the benefit of shareholding in the Management Company, you should make sure that you have the original share document. Obtaining a re-issued share certificate can be a lengthy formality and frustrates many a Dunstable home move. If a new share is needed, you should approach the company officers or managing agents (where relevant) for this as soon as possible.
  • You may think that you are aware of the number of years left on your lease but it would be advisable verify this by asking your solicitors. A buyer’s lawyer will not be happy to advise their client to where the remaining number of years is less than 75 years. It is therefore essential at an as soon as possible that you identify whether the lease requires a lease extension. If it does, contact your solicitors before you put your home on the market for sale.

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

    Leasehold conveyancing in Dunstable is not unique. All leases are individual and drafting errors can sometimes mean that certain sections are missing. For example, if your lease is missing any of the following, it could be defective:

    • A provision to repair to or maintain elements 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

    You will have difficulties when selling your property if you have a defective lease primarily because it impacts on the ability to obtain a mortgage on the property. Yorkshire Building Society, Leeds Building Society, and Aldermore all have very detailed requirements when it comes to what is expected in a lease. If a mortgage lender believes that the lease is problematic they may refuse to grant the mortgage, obliging the purchaser to pull out.

    Leasehold Conveyancing in Dunstable - Sample of Queries Prior to Purchasing

      It is important to be aware whether redecorating or some other major work is due in the foreseeable future that will be shared amongst the tenants and will dramatically increase the the service costs or necessitate a one off invoice. Can you inform me if there are any major works on the horizon that will increase the maintenance charges? The best form of lease structure is a share of the freehold. In this scenario the lessees enjoy being in charge if their destiny and even though a managing agent is frequently retained where it is bigger than a house conversion, the managing agent retained by the leaseholders.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Dunstable