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

While any conveyancing practice can theoretically deal with your leasehold conveyancing in Durham, your mortgage provider may unwilling to work with them if the firm are not on their list of approved solicitors for conveyancing

Recently asked questions relating to Durham leasehold conveyancing

There are only Fifty years unexpired on my lease in Durham. I need to get lease extension but my freeholder is absent. What should I do?

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 magistrate. However, you will be required to demonstrate that you have done all that could be expected to track down the lessor. In some cases an enquiry agent would be helpful to carry out a search and to produce a report which can be accepted by the court as proof that the freeholder can not be located. It is wise to seek advice from a property lawyer both on devolving into the landlord’s absence and the vesting order request to the County Court covering Durham.

I've recently bought a leasehold house in Durham. Do I have any liability for service charges for periods before my ownership?

Where the service charge has already been demanded from the previous lessee 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 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).

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

If you are instructing a conveyancer for your lease extension (regardless if they are a Durham conveyancing practice) it is imperative that he or she should be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of work. We advise that you speak with several firms including non Durham conveyancing practices prior to instructing a firm. If the firm is ALEP accredited then so much the better. Some following of questions might be of use:

  • How experienced is the practice with lease extension legislation?
  • If they are not ALEP accredited then why not?

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

    • Much of the delay in leasehold conveyancing in Durham can be reduced where you instruct lawyers the minute you market your property and request that they start to collate the leasehold information which will be required by the purchasers’ lawyers.
    • A minority of Durham leases require Landlord’s consent to the sale and approval of the buyers. If this applies to your lease, you should place the estate agents on notice to make sure that the purchasers obtain financial (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 buyers or their solicitors.
  • If you have had conflict with your freeholder or managing agents it is very important that these are resolved prior to the flat being marketed. The purchasers and their solicitors will be reluctant to purchase a property where there is a current dispute. You may have to bite the bullet and discharge any arrears of service charge or settle the dispute prior to completion of the sale. It is therefore preferable to have any dispute settled prior to the contract papers being issued to the buyers’ solicitors. You are still duty bound to disclose particulars of the dispute to the buyers, but it is clearly preferable to reveal the dispute as over as opposed to unsettled.
  • If you are supposed to have a share in the freehold, you should ensure that you hold the original share certificate. Arranging a replacement share certificate can be a lengthy formality and delays many a Durham home move. If a reissued share certificate is required, do contact the company director and secretary 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 via your conveyancers. A purchaser's conveyancer will be unlikely to recommend their client to proceed with the purchase of a leasehold property the remaining number of years is less than 75 years. It is therefore important at an early stage that you consider whether the lease term for your property needs extending. If it does, contact your solicitors before you put your home on the market for sale.

  • All being well we will complete the sale of our £125000 garden flat in Durham next Thursday . The landlords agents has quoted £384 for Landlord’s certificate, insurance certificate and 3 years service charge statements. Is the landlord entitled to charge such fees for a flat conveyance in Durham?

    Durham conveyancing on leasehold maisonettes more often than not requires the buyer’s conveyancer sending enquiries for the landlord to address. Although the landlord is not legally bound to answer such questions the majority will be willing to assist. They are entitled levy a reasonable charge for responding to questions or supplying documentation. There is no set fee. The average costs for the paperwork that you are referring to is over three hundred pounds, in some transactions it is in excess of £800. The management information fee invoiced by the landlord must be accompanied by a synopsis of rights and obligations in relation to administration charges, otherwise the charge is technically not due. Reality however dictates that you have no option but to pay whatever is demanded should you wish to sell the property.

    Leasehold Conveyancing in Durham - A selection of Questions you should consider before buying

      The prefered form of lease arrangement is a share of the freehold. In this arrangement the tenants have being in charge if their destiny and notwithstanding that a managing agent is usually employed if it is larger than a house conversion, the managing agent acts for the leaseholders themselves. Who is in charge of the building? The answer will be useful as a) areas may result in problems for the block as the common areas may begin to deteriorate if services remain unpaid b) if the tenants have a dispute with the managing agents you will wish to have complete disclosure

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Durham