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Frequently asked questions relating to Epping leasehold conveyancing

Jane (my partner) and I may need to sub-let our Epping 1st floor flat for a while due to a career opportunity. We instructed a Epping conveyancing firm in 2001 but they have closed and we did not think at the time get any guidance as to whether the lease permits subletting. How do we find out?

Even though your last Epping conveyancing lawyer is no longer available you can check your lease to check if you are permitted to let out the property. The accepted inference is that if the lease is silent, subletting is permitted. There may be a precondition that you need to seek consent from your landlord or other appropriate person in advance of subletting. This means you not allowed to sublet without first obtaining permission. Such consent should not be unreasonably refused ore delayed. If your lease prohibits you from subletting the property you will need to ask your landlord if they are willing to waive this restriction.

There are only Sixty One years unexpired on my flat in Epping. I now want to extend my lease but my freeholder is absent. 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 an order to dispense with the service of the initial notice. This will enable the lease to be granted an extra 90 years by the magistrate. However, you will be required to demonstrate that you or your lawyers have done all that could be expected to find the freeholder. For most situations an enquiry agent should be useful to conduct investigations and prepare a report to be used as proof that the freeholder can not be located. It is advisable to get professional help from a conveyancer in relation to proving the landlord’s disappearance and the application to the County Court covering Epping.

I today plan to offer on a house that seems to be perfect, at a reasonable price which is making it more attractive. I have since discovered that it's a leasehold rather than freehold. I would have thought that there are particular concerns buying a leasehold house in Epping. Conveyancing solicitors have not yet been appointed. Will they explain the issues?

Most houses in Epping are freehold rather than leasehold. In this scenario it’s worth having a local conveyancer who is familiar with the area can help the conveyancing process. it is apparent that you are purchasing in Epping so you should seriously consider looking for a Epping conveyancing solicitor and check that they have experience in dealing with leasehold houses. First you will need to check the unexpired lease term. As a leaseholder you will not be entirely free to do whatever you want with the house. The lease comes with conditions such as requiring the freeholder’sconsent to conduct changes to the property. You may also be required to pay a maintenance charge towards the upkeep of the estate where the property is part of an estate. Your conveyancer should report to you on the legal implications.

I am employed by a busy estate agent office in Epping where we have witnessed a few leasehold sales derailed due to short leases. I have received conflicting advice from local Epping conveyancing firms. Could you clarify whether the vendor of a flat can commence the lease extension formalities for the buyer?

As long as the seller has owned the lease 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 can avoid having to sit tight for 2 years to extend their lease. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment needs to be completed prior to, or at the same time as completion of the disposal of the property.

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 purchaser.

Can you offer any advice when it comes to appointing a Epping conveyancing firm to carry out our lease extension conveyancing?

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

  • If they are not ALEP accredited then why not?
  • How many lease extensions has the firm conducted in Epping in the last 12 months?

  • I am the registered owner of a garden flat in Epping, conveyancing was carried out half a dozen years ago. Can you please calculate a probable premium for a statutory lease extension? Corresponding flats in Epping with over 90 years remaining are worth £267,000. The ground rent is £65 invoiced annually. The lease ends on 21st October 2072

    With 52 years left to run the likely cost is going to range between £32,300 and £37,400 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 provide a more accurate figure in the absence of detailed investigations. Do not use this information in tribunal or court proceedings. There are no doubt additional issues that need to be considered and clearly you should be as accurate as possible in your negotiations. Please do not move forward placing reliance on this information before getting professional advice.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Epping