Quality lawyers for Leasehold Conveyancing in Forest Row

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Common questions relating to Forest Row leasehold conveyancing

I am hoping to complete next month on a garden flat in Forest Row. Conveyancing lawyers inform me that they are sending me a report next week. What should I be looking out for?

The report on title for your leasehold conveyancing in Forest Row should include some of the following:

  • Details of the parties to the lease, for example these could be the leaseholder (you), head lessor, landlord
  • You should have a good understanding of the insurance provisions
  • Repair and maintenance of the flat
  • I don't know whether the lease allows me to alter or improve anything in the flat - you should know whether it applies to all alterations or just structural alteration, and whether consent is required
  • The landlord’s rights to access the flat you be made aware that your landlord has rights of access and I know how much notice s/he must provide.
  • The landlord’s obligations to repair and maintain the building. It is important that you know who is responsible for the repair and maintenance of every part of the building
  • What the implications are if you breach a clause of your lease? For a comprehensive list of information to be included in your report on your leasehold property in Forest Row please ask your conveyancer in advance of your conveyancing in Forest Row

  • I've found a house that seems to tick a lot of boxes, at a great price which is making it more attractive. I have subsequently been informed 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 Forest Row. Conveyancing solicitors have are about to be appointed. Will they explain the issues?

    Most houses in Forest Row are freehold and not leasehold. This is one of the situations where having a local solicitor who is familiar with the area can help the conveyancing process. We note that you are purchasing in Forest Row so you should seriously consider looking for a Forest Row conveyancing practitioner and be sure that they are used to dealing with leasehold houses. As a matter of priority you will need to check the number of years remaining. Being a tenant you will not be entirely free to do whatever you want to the property. The lease will likely included provisions for example requiring the freeholder’spermission to carry out changes to the property. You may also be required to pay a contribution towards the maintenance of the communal areas where the property is part of an estate. Your conveyancer should appraise you on the various issues.

    I am tempted by the attractive purchase price for a couple of apartments in Forest Row which have in the region of fifty years left on the leases. Will this present a problem?

    There is no doubt about it. A leasehold flat in Forest Row is a deteriorating asset as a result of the reducing lease term. The nearer the lease gets to its expiry date, the more it reduces the marketability of the premises. For most buyers and mortgage companies, leases with less than eighty years become less and less attractive. On a more positive 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 property 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 Forest Row conveyancing experts who will explain the options available to you during an initial telephone conversation free of charge. More often than not it is possible to negotiate informally with the freeholder to extend 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 employed by a long established estate agency in Forest Row where we have witnessed a few flat sales jeopardised as a result of leases having less than 80 years remaining. I have received conflicting advice from local Forest Row conveyancing solicitors. Please can you shed some light as to whether the owner of a flat can start the lease extension formalities for the purchaser on completion of the sale?

    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. This means that the proposed purchaser need not have to wait 2 years for a lease extension. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment has to be done prior to, or simultaneously with completion of the disposal of the property.

    An alternative approach is 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.

    Do you have any top tips for leasehold conveyancing in Forest Row from the perspective of expediting the sale process?

    • Much of the delay in leasehold conveyancing in Forest Row can be reduced where you get in touch lawyers as soon as you market your property and request that they start to put together the leasehold documentation which will be required by the buyers lawyers.
    • The majority freeholders or Management Companies in Forest Row levy fees for providing management packs for a leasehold homes. You or your lawyers should discover the actual amount of the charges. The management pack sought as soon as you have a buyer, thus accelerating the process. The average time it takes to receive management information is three weeks. It is the most usual cause of frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Forest Row.
  • If you have carried out any alterations to the property would they have required Landlord’s consent? Have you, for example installed wooden flooring? Forest Row leases often stipulate that internal structural changes or laying down wooden flooring require a licence from the Landlord consenting to such changes. Where you dont have the consents in place do not communicate with the landlord without checking with your lawyer before hand.
  • If you have had conflict with your freeholder or managing agents it is essential that these are settled prior to the flat being put on the market. The purchasers and their solicitors will be concerned about purchasing a flat where a dispute is unsettled. You may have to bite the bullet and discharge any arrears of service charge or settle the dispute prior to the buyers completing the purchase. It is therefore preferable to have any dispute settled ahead of the contract papers being issued to the buyers’ solicitors. You will still have to reveal details of the dispute to the purchasers, but it is better to present the dispute as historic rather than ongoing.
  • If you hold a share in a the Management Company, you should ensure that you are holding the original share document. Arranging a re-issued share certificate can be a time consuming formality and delays many a Forest Row home move. If a duplicate share is required, do contact the company director and secretary or managing agents (if relevant) for this at the earliest opportunity.

  • I own a 1st floor flat in Forest Row, conveyancing having been completed in 1999. Can you let me have an estimated range of the fair premium for a lease extension? Equivalent properties in Forest Row with an extended lease are worth £169,000. The average or mid-range amount of ground rent is £65 yearly. The lease comes to an end on 21st October 2088

    With only 66 years left to run we estimate the premium for your lease extension to be between £14,300 and £16,400 plus costs.

    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 comprehensive due diligence. Do not use this information in tribunal or court proceedings. There are no doubt additional issues that need to be taken into account and clearly you want to be as accurate as possible in your negotiations. Neither should you take any other action based on this information before seeking the advice of a professional.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Forest Row