Experts for Leasehold Conveyancing in Durham

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Recently asked questions relating to Durham leasehold conveyancing

I am in need of some leasehold conveyancing in Durham. Before diving in I would like to find out the unexpired term of the lease.

Assuming the lease is registered - and 99.9% are in Durham - 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.

Due to exchange soon on a leasehold property in Durham. Conveyancing lawyers assured me that they report fully within the next couple of days. Are there areas in the report that I should be focusing on?

Your report on title for your leasehold conveyancing in Durham should include some of the following:

  • The unexpired lease term You should be advised as what happens when the lease expires, and aware of the importance of the 80 year mark
  • Defining your legal entitlements in relation to common areas in the building.For example, does the lease grant a right of way over an accessway or staircase?
  • Does the lease prohibit wood flooring?
  • Will you be prohibited or prevented from having pets in the property?
  • Whether the lease restricts you from renting out the property, or having a home office for business
  • Ground rent - how much and when you need to pay, and also know whether this will change in the future
  • You should have a good understanding of the insurance provisions For details of the information to be included in your report on your leasehold property in Durham please ask your conveyancer in advance of your conveyancing in Durham

  • I have just appointed agents to market my 2 bed flat in Durham.Conveyancing lawyers have not yet been instructed but I have just received a half-yearly service charge invoice – what should I do?

    Your conveyancing lawyer is likely to suggest that you should discharge the invoice 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 am employed by a busy estate agency in Durham where we have experienced a number of leasehold sales put at risk due to leases having less than 80 years remaining. I have received inconsistent advice from local Durham conveyancing firms. Can you confirm whether the owner of a flat can start the lease extension process for the purchaser on completion of the sale?

    As long as the seller has been the owner for at least 2 years it is possible, to serve a Section 42 notice to start the lease extension process and assign the benefit of the notice to the purchaser. This means that the proposed purchaser need not have to sit tight for 2 years for a lease extension. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment has to be done before, or simultaneously with completion of the sale.

    Alternatively, it may be possible to extend the lease informally by agreement with the landlord either before or after the sale. If you are informally negotiating there are no rules and so you cannot insist on the landlord agreeing to grant an extension or transferring the benefit of an agreement to the purchaser.

    Do you have any advice for leasehold conveyancing in Durham with the intention of speeding up the sale process?

    • Much of the delay in leasehold conveyancing in Durham can be avoided where you get in touch lawyers as soon as you market your property and request that they start to collate the leasehold documentation which will be required by the buyers conveyancers.
    • In the event that you altered the property did you need the Landlord’s approval? Have you, for example installed wooden flooring? Most leases in Durham state that internal structural alterations or installing wooden flooring necessitate a licence from the Landlord acquiescing to such alterations. If you dont have the paperwork in place do not communicate with the landlord without checking with your solicitor before hand.
  • Some Durham leases require Landlord’s consent to the sale and approval of the buyers. If this is the case, you should notify your estate agents to make sure that the purchasers put in hand bank and professional references. Any 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 service charge figures so that they can pass this information on to the purchasers or their lawyers.
  • If you are supposed to have a share in the freehold, you should make sure that you are holding the original share document. Organising a duplicate share certificate can be a lengthy process and frustrates many a Durham home move. Where a duplicate share certificate is necessary, do contact the company officers or managing agents (where applicable) for this sooner rather than later.
  • You may think that you are aware of the number of years remaining on your lease but it would be wise to verify this via your solicitors. A buyer’s lawyer will be unlikely to recommend their client to proceed with the purchase of a leasehold property the lease term is less than 80 years. It is therefore essential at an early stage that you consider whether the lease term requires a lease extension. If it does, contact your solicitors before you put your home on the market for sale.

  • Leasehold Conveyancing in Durham - Examples of Questions you should consider Prior to buying

      The best form of lease structure is if the freehold reversion is in the ownership of the leaseholders. In this scenario the lessees enjoy control and even though a managing agent is usually retained if it is bigger than a house conversion, the managing agent is directed by the tenants. Is the freehold reversion owned collectively by the tenants? Plenty Durham leasehold flats will incur a service charge for maintenance of the block levied on behalf of the landlord. If you buy the flat you will have to pay this charge, normally quarterly accross the year. This may be anything from several hundred pounds to thousands of pounds for bigger purpose-built blocks. In all likelihood there will be a ground rent to be met yearly, this is usually not a exorbitant sum, say about £25-£75 but you should to enquire as occasionally it could be many hundreds of pounds.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Durham