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Forest Row leasehold conveyancing: Q and A’s

I wish to let out my leasehold apartment in Forest Row. Conveyancing solicitor who did the purchase is retired - so can't ask him. Do I need to ask my freeholder for permission?

Even though your last Forest Row conveyancing lawyer is no longer around you can check your lease to see if it allows you to sublet the property. The rule is that if the deeds are non-specific, subletting is permitted. Quite often there is a prerequisite that you must obtain permission via your landlord or other appropriate person prior to subletting. The net result is you not allowed to sublet without first obtaining consent. Such consent must not not be unreasonably refused ore delayed. If the lease does not allow you to sublet you will need to ask your landlord if they are willing to waive this restriction.

There are only 62 years unexpired on my flat in Forest Row. I need to extend my lease but my landlord is missing. What should I do?

If you qualify, under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 you can apply to the County Court for for permission to dispense with the service of the initial notice. This will mean that your lease can be extended by the magistrate. However, you will be required to demonstrate that you have made all reasonable attempts to locate the freeholder. For most situations a specialist should be helpful to try and locate and to produce an expert document to be accepted by the court as proof that the landlord is indeed missing. It is advisable to get professional help from a conveyancer in relation to proving the landlord’s absence and the vesting order request to the County Court covering Forest Row.

I've recently bought a leasehold property in Forest Row. Do I have any liability for service charges relating to a period prior to my ownership?

In a situation where the service charge has already been demanded from the previous owner and they have not paid you would not usually be personally liable for the arrears. However, your landlord may still be able to take action to forfeit the lease. A critical element of leasehold conveyancing for your conveyancer to be sure 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).

I work for a busy estate agency in Forest Row where we have experienced a few flat sales derailed as a result of short leases. I have received inconsistent advice from local Forest Row conveyancing solicitors. Can you shed some light as to whether the vendor of a flat can initiate the lease extension process for the buyer?

Provided that 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 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.

Completion in due on the sale of our £375000 flat in Forest Row in 5 days. The managing agents has quoted £372 for Certificate of Compliance, building insurance schedule and previous years statements of service charge. Is it legal for a freeholder to charge an administration fee for a flat conveyance in Forest Row?

Forest Row conveyancing on leasehold flats ordinarily results in fees being invoiced by management companies :

  • Answering pre-exchange enquiries
  • Where consent is required before sale in Forest Row
  • Copies of the building insurance and schedule
  • Deeds of covenant upon sale
  • Registering of the assignment of the change of lessee after a sale
Your solicitor will have no control over the level of the charges for this information but the average costs for the information for Forest Row leasehold property is £350. For Forest Row conveyancing transactions it is customary for the seller to pay for these costs. The landlord or their agents are under no legal obligation to answer such questions most will be willing to do so - albeit often at exorbitant prices where the fees bear little relation to the work involved. Unfortunately there is no law that requires fixed charges for administrative tasks. Neither is there any legal time frame by which they are required to supply answers.

Leasehold Conveyancing in Forest Row - Sample of Questions you should ask before Purchasing

    What is the name of the managing agents? The answer will be useful as a) areas could result in problems for the building as the common areas may start to deteriorate where repairs remain unpaid b) if the tenants have a dispute with the managing agents you will need to have full disclosure Are any of leasehold owners in dispute over their service charge liability?

Other Topics

Lease Extensions in Forest Row