Questions and Answers: Forest of Dean leasehold conveyancing
Having checked my lease I have discovered that there are only 72 years remaining on my flat in Forest of Dean. I am keen to extend my lease but my freeholder is can not be found. What should I do?
On the basis that 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 lengthened by the magistrate. You will be obliged to demonstrate that you or your lawyers have used your best endeavours to find the lessor. For most situations a specialist should be helpful to carry out a search and to produce an expert document to be accepted by the court as proof that the landlord is indeed missing. It is wise to seek advice from a property lawyer in relation to proving the landlord’s disappearance and the vesting order request to the County Court overseeing Forest of Dean.
I have just started marketing my ground floor flat in Forest of Dean.Conveyancing solicitors are to be appointed soon but I have just had a half-yearly maintenance charge demand – Do I pay up?
Your conveyancing lawyer is likely to suggest that you should discharge the service charge 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 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 just been informed that it's a leasehold rather than freehold. I am assuming that there are issues buying a house with a leasehold title in Forest of Dean. Conveyancing lawyers have are soon to be instructed. Will they explain the issues?
The majority of houses in Forest of Dean are freehold rather than leasehold. This is one of the situations where having a local conveyancer who is familiar with the area can assist with the conveyancing process. It is clear that you are purchasing in Forest of Dean in which case you should be looking for a Forest of Dean conveyancing solicitor and be sure that they are used to dealing with leasehold houses. First you will need to check the number of years remaining. Being a tenant you will not be at liberty to do whatever you want with the house. The lease will likely included provisions such as obtaining the freeholder’spermission to conduct changes to the property. You may also be required to pay a service charge towards the upkeep of the communal areas where the house is part of an estate. Your solicitor should appraise you on the various issues.
Can you offer any advice when it comes to appointing a Forest of Dean conveyancing firm to deal with our lease extension?
When appointing a solicitor for your lease extension (regardless if they are a Forest of Dean conveyancing practice) it is imperative that he or she should be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of conveyancing. We advise that you make enquires with several firms including non Forest of Dean conveyancing practices prior to instructing a firm. Where the conveyancing practice is ALEP accredited then so much the better. Some following of questions might be of use:
- If the firm is not ALEP accredited then why not?
Can you provide any top tips for leasehold conveyancing in Forest of Dean with the aim of speeding up the sale process?
- Much of the delay in leasehold conveyancing in Forest of Dean can be avoided if you appoint 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 buyers lawyers.
- Some Forest of Dean leases require Landlord’s consent to the sale and approval of the buyers. If this applies to your lease, it would be prudent to notify your estate agents to make sure that the purchasers put in hand financial (bank) and professional references. The bank reference will need to confirm that the buyers are financially capable of paying 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.
I am the registered owner of a 2 bed flat in Forest of Dean, conveyancing having been completed half a dozen years ago. Can you please calculate a probable premium for a statutory lease extension? Equivalent properties in Forest of Dean with an extended lease are worth £179,000. The average or mid-range amount of ground rent is £50 yearly. The lease comes to an end on 21st October 2081
With 59 years remaining on your lease we estimate the premium for your lease extension to range between £21,900 and £25,200 plus plus your own and the landlord's "reasonable" professional fees.
The figure that we have given is a general guide to costs for extending a lease, but we cannot give you a more accurate figure without more detailed investigations. You should not use the figures in tribunal or court proceedings. There are no doubt other issues that need to be taken into account and you obviously should be as accurate as possible in your negotiations. Neither should you move forward placing reliance on this information without first getting professional advice.