Leasehold Conveyancing in Durham - Get a Quote from the leasehold experts approved by your lender

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Examples of recent questions relating to leasehold conveyancing in Durham

I am on look out for some leasehold conveyancing in Durham. Before diving in I would like to find out the number of years remaining on the lease.

If the lease is registered - and almost all are in Durham - then the leasehold title will always include the basic details 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 looking at a two apartments in Durham which have in the region of 50 years remaining on the leases. Should I regard a short lease as a deal breaker?

There are no two ways about it. A leasehold flat in Durham is a deteriorating asset as a result of the reducing lease term. The closer the lease gets to zero years unexpired, the more it adversely affects the marketability of the property. The majority of purchasers and mortgage companies, leases with under 75 years become less and less attractive. On a more positive note, leaseholders can extend their leases by serving a Section 42 Notice. One stipulation is that they must have owned the premises for two years (unlike a Section 13 notice for purchasing the freehold, when leaseholders can participate from day one of ownership). When successful, they will have the right to an extension of 90 years to the current term and ground rent is effectively reduced to zero. Before moving forward with a purchase of a residence with a short lease term remaining you should talk to a solicitor specialising in lease extensions and leasehold enfranchisement. We are are happy to put you in touch with Durham conveyancing experts who will explain the options available to you during an initial telephone conversation free of charge. A more straightforward and quicker method of extending would be to contact your landlord directly and sound him out on the prospect of extending the lease They may agree to a smaller lump sum and an increase in the ground rent, but to shorter extension terms in return. You need to ensure that the agreed terms represent good long-term value compared with the standard benefits of the Section 42 Notice and that onerous clauses are not inserted into any redrafting of the lease.

What are your top tips when it comes to finding a Durham conveyancing firm to deal with our lease extension?

When appointing a property lawyer for your lease extension (regardless if they are a Durham conveyancing firm) it is most important 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 Durham conveyancing practices prior to instructing a firm. If the firm is ALEP accredited then that’s a bonus. Some following of questions could be useful:

  • What volume of lease extensions has the firm completed in Durham in the last 12 months?
  • Can they put you in touch with client in Durham who can give a testimonial?

  • Can you provide any top tips for leasehold conveyancing in Durham from the perspective of saving time on the sale process?

    • A significant proportion of the frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Durham can be avoided where you appoint lawyers the minute you market your property and ask them to collate the leasehold documentation needed by the purchasers’ lawyers.
    • The majority landlords or Management Companies in Durham charge for providing management packs for a leasehold homes. You or your lawyers should find out the actual amount of the charges. The management pack sought on or before finding a buyer, thus accelerating the process. The typical amount of time it takes to receive management information is three weeks. It is the most common reason for delay in leasehold conveyancing in Durham.
  • If you have carried out any alterations to the property would they have required Landlord’s consent? In particular have you installed wooden flooring? Durham leases often stipulate that internal structural alterations or addition of wooden flooring necessitate a licence issued by the Landlord consenting to such alterations. Should you fail to have the approvals to hand you should not communicate with the landlord without checking with your conveyancer first.
  • Some Durham leases require Licence to Assign from the landlord. If this is the case, you should notify your estate agents to make sure that the purchasers obtain bank and professional references. The bank reference will need to confirm that the buyers are able to meet 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 actual amount of the service charge so that they can pass this information on to the buyers or their lawyers.
  • If there is a history of any disputes with your landlord or managing agents it is very important that these are settled prior to the flat being marketed. The buyers and their solicitors will be concerned about purchasing a flat where there is a current dispute. You may have to bite the bullet and pay any arrears of service charge or resolve the dispute prior to the buyers completing the purchase. 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 better to reveal the dispute as historic as opposed to unsettled.

  • We expect to complete our sale of a £375000 flat in Durham in just under a week. The freeholder has quoted £336 for Landlord’s certificate, insurance certificate and 3 years statements of service charge. Is the landlord entitled to charge exorbitant fees for a flat conveyance in Durham?

    Durham conveyancing on leasehold flats often involves the purchaser’s conveyancer submitting questions for the landlord to address. Although the landlord is under no legal obligation to address such questions the majority will be content to assist. They are entitled levy a reasonable administration fee for responding to enquiries or supplying documentation. There is no upper cap for such fees. The average costs for the information that you are referring to is £350, in some transactions it is above £800. The administration charge levied by the landlord must be accompanied by a summary of rights and obligations in respect of administration charges, without which the charge is technically not due. In reality you have little option but to pay whatever is demanded if you want to exchange contracts with the buyer.

    I purchased a split level flat in Durham, conveyancing formalities finalised 4 years ago. Can you let me have an estimated range of the fair premium for a lease extension? Corresponding flats in Durham with an extended lease are worth £167,000. The ground rent is £55 invoiced annually. The lease finishes on 21st October 2092

    With only 72 years left to run the likely cost is going to range between £8,600 and £9,800 plus costs.

    The figure above a general guide to costs for renewing a lease, but we are not able to provide the actual costs without more comprehensive due diligence. You should not use this information in tribunal or court proceedings. There are no doubt other issues that need to be taken into account and you obviously want to be as accurate as possible in your negotiations. Please do not move forward placing reliance on this information without first seeking the advice of a professional.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Durham