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Recently asked questions relating to Dursley leasehold conveyancing

I am in need of some leasehold conveyancing in Dursley. Before I get started I require certainty as to the number of years remaining on the lease.

If the lease is registered - and most are in Dursley - 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.

My wife and I may need to rent out our Dursley garden flat temporarily due to taking a sabbatical. We instructed a Dursley conveyancing practice in 2002 but they have closed and we did not think at the time seek any guidance as to whether the lease allows us to sublet. How do we find out?

A small minority of properties in Dursley do contain a provision to say that subletting is only permitted with prior consent from the landlord. The landlord is not entitled to unreasonably refuse but, in such cases, they would need to review references. Experience dictates that problems are usually caused by unsatisfactory tenants rather than owner-occupiers and for that reason you can expect the freeholder to take up the references and consider them carefully before granting consent.

I only have 72 years left on my lease in Dursley. I now want to extend my lease but my freeholder is missing. What should I do?

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 granted an extra 90 years by the Court. You will be obliged to demonstrate that you have done all that could be expected to find the freeholder. On the whole a specialist would be helpful to try and locate and to produce a report which can be accepted by the court as proof that the landlord can not be located. It is wise to seek advice from a conveyancer in relation to investigating the landlord’s disappearance and the application to the County Court covering Dursley.

I've found a house that appears to tick a lot of boxes, at a great price which is making it all the more appealing. I have since discovered that the title is leasehold as opposed to freehold. I would have thought that there are particular concerns buying a house with a leasehold title in Dursley. Conveyancing lawyers have not yet been appointed. Will they explain the issues?

The majority of houses in Dursley are freehold rather than leasehold. This is one of the situations where having a local solicitor who is familiar with the area can help the conveyancing process. It is clear that you are purchasing in Dursley in which case you should be shopping around for a Dursley conveyancing practitioner and be sure that they have experience in transacting on leasehold houses. As a matter of priority you will need to check the unexpired lease term. As a lessee you will not be at liberty to do whatever you want with the house. The lease will likely included provisions such as requiring the freeholder’spermission to conduct alterations. It may be necessary to pay a service charge towards the upkeep of the estate where the house is located on an estate. Your conveyancer should appraise you on the various issues.

Can you provide any top tips for leasehold conveyancing in Dursley with the intention of expediting the sale process?

  • Much of the delay in leasehold conveyancing in Dursley can be avoided if you instruct lawyers as soon as your agents start advertising the property and request that they start to collate the leasehold documentation which will be required by the purchasers’ representatives.
  • If you have carried out any alterations to the property would they have required Landlord’s approval? Have you, for example laid down wooden flooring? Most leases in Dursley state that internal structural alterations or addition of wooden flooring necessitate a licence from the Landlord approving such changes. Where you fail to have the approvals to hand you should not contact the landlord without contacting your conveyancer in advance.
  • A minority of Dursley leases require Landlord’s consent to the sale and approval of the buyers. If this is the case, it would be prudent to place the estate agents on notice to make sure that the purchasers obtain financial (bank) and professional references. The bank reference should make it clear that the buyer is financially capable of paying the annual 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 solicitors.
  • If you have had any disputes with your freeholder or managing agents it is essential that these are resolved before the property is put on the market. The purchasers and their solicitors will be nervous about purchasing a property where a dispute is unresolved. You may need to swallow your pride 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 ahead of the contract papers being issued to the buyers’ solicitors. You are still duty bound to disclose particulars of the dispute to the purchasers, but it is clearly preferable to reveal the dispute as historic rather than unresolved.
  • You believe that you know the number of years remaining on your lease but it would be wise to double-check by asking your lawyers. A purchaser's lawyer will not be happy to advise their client to where the remaining number of years is below 80 years. It is therefore important at an as soon as possible 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.

  • Dursley Conveyancing for Leasehold Flats - A selection of Queries Prior to buying

      Are any of leasehold owners in dispute over their service charge payments? You should want to discover as much as you can regarding the managing agents as they will affect your use and enjoyment of the property. As the owner of a leasehold property you are frequently in the clutches of the managing agents from a financial perspective and when it comes to practical issues like the cleanliness of the communal areas. Ask prospective neighbours what they think of them. In conclusion, investigate as to the dates that you are obliged pay the maintenance charge to the appropriate party and specifically what it includes. Does the lease contain onerous restrictions?

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Dursley