Top Five Questions relating to Durham leasehold conveyancing
I am in need of some leasehold conveyancing in Durham. Before I set the wheels in motion I want to be sure as to the unexpired term of the lease.
If the lease is recorded at the land registry - 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.
I am hoping to put an offer on a small detached house that appears to be perfect, at a great price which is making it more attractive. I have since found out that it's a leasehold as opposed to freehold. I would have thought that there are issues purchasing a leasehold house in Durham. Conveyancing advisers have are soon to be appointed. Will they explain the issues?
Most houses in Durham are freehold and not leasehold. In this scenario it’s worth having a local conveyancer who is familiar with the area can assist with the conveyancing process. It is clear that you are purchasing in Durham in which case you should be shopping around for a Durham conveyancing practitioner and check that they have experience in advising on leasehold houses. First you will need to check the unexpired lease term. Being a tenant you will not be at liberty to do whatever you want to the property. The lease will likely included provisions for example requiring the landlord’sconsent to conduct changes to the property. You may also be required to pay a service charge towards the maintenance of the estate where the house is located on an estate. Your lawyer will appraise you on the various issues.
I am tempted by the attractive purchase price for a two maisonettes in Durham both have in the region of 50 years unexpired on the leases. Will this present a problem?
There is no doubt about it. A leasehold apartment in Durham is a wasting asset as a result of the shortening lease. The nearer the lease gets to zero years unexpired, the more it reduces the value of the premises. The majority of buyers and mortgage companies, leases with under eighty years become less and less marketable. On a more upbeat 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 premises 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 any new 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.
I am a negotiator for a busy estate agent office in Durham where we have experienced a few leasehold sales jeopardised as a result of leases having less than 80 years remaining. I have received contradictory information from local Durham conveyancing solicitors. Please can you shed some light as to whether the owner of a flat can commence the lease extension formalities for the buyer?
As long as the seller has been the owner for at least 2 years it is possible, to serve a Section 42 notice to commence the lease extension process and assign the benefit of the notice to the purchaser. The benefit of this is that the buyer can avoid having to wait 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 agree the lease extension with the freeholder 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 buyer.
Our conveyancer has advised that he intends to complete and exchange simultaneously on our sale of a £350000 flat in Durham in just under a week. The management company has quoted £408 for Landlord’s certificate, building insurance schedule and 3 years statements of service charge. Is the landlord entitled to charge exorbitant fees for a leasehold conveyance in Durham?
Durham conveyancing on leasehold flats normally necessitates the buyer’s solicitor submitting enquiries for the landlord to answer. Although the landlord is under no legal obligation to address such questions most will be content to do so. They are entitled levy a reasonable administration fee 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 sent together with a synopsis of entitlements and obligations in respect of administration charges, otherwise the invoice is technically not due. Reality however dictates that you have no option but to pay whatever is requested of you if you want to exchange contracts with the buyer.
I bought a 1st floor flat in Durham, conveyancing having been completed in 2007. Can you work out an approximate cost of a lease extension? Similar properties in Durham with a long lease are worth £197,000. The average or mid-range amount of ground rent is £65 invoiced every year. The lease terminates on 21st October 2091
With just 70 years left to run we estimate the premium for your lease extension to be between £11,400 and £13,200 as well as costs.
The figure that we have given is a general guide to costs for renewing a lease, but we are not able to advice on the actual costs in the absence of detailed due diligence. You should not use this information in tribunal or court proceedings. There may be additional concerns that need to be considered and you obviously should be as accurate as possible in your negotiations. You should not take any other action placing reliance on this information before getting professional advice.