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Sample questions relating to Frodsham leasehold conveyancing

Frank (my husband) and I may need to let out our Frodsham ground floor flat temporarily due to a new job. We instructed a Frodsham conveyancing practice in 2001 but they have since shut and we did not have the foresight to seek any guidance as to whether the lease prohibits the subletting of the flat. How do we find out?

A lease governs the relationship between the freeholder and you the flat owner; in particular, it will set out if subletting is banned, or permitted but only subject to certain conditions. The accepted inference is that if the lease contains no specific ban or restriction, subletting is permitted. Most leases in Frodsham do not prevent an absolute prevention of subletting – such a provision would undoubtedly devalue the property. Instead, there is usually a basic requirement that the owner notifies the freeholder, possibly supplying a duplicate of the sublease.

I have recently realised that I have Fifty years remaining on my flat in Frodsham. I now wish to get lease extension but my landlord is can not be found. What should I do?

If you meet the appropriate requirements, under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 you can apply to the County Court for an order 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 prove that you or your lawyers have used your best endeavours to locate the freeholder. In some cases an enquiry agent may be useful to carry out a search and to produce an expert document to be accepted by the court as proof that the landlord can not be located. It is wise to seek advice from a solicitor in relation to investigating the landlord’s disappearance and the application to the County Court covering Frodsham.

I own a leasehold flat in Frodsham. Conveyancing and The Royal Bank of Scotland mortgage went though with no issue. I have received a letter from someone saying they have taken over the reversionary interest in the property. It included a demand for arrears of ground rent dating back to 1997. The conveyancing practitioner in Frodsham who acted for me is not around.What should I do?

First contact HMLR to make sure that the individual claiming to own the freehold is indeed the new freeholder. There is no need to instruct a Frodsham conveyancing lawyer to do this as you can do this on the Land Registry website for less than a fiver. You should note that in any event, even if this is the rightful freeholder, under the Limitation Act 1980 no more than 6 years of rent can be collected.

Can you offer any advice when it comes to choosing a Frodsham conveyancing practice to carry out our lease extension conveyancing?

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

  • How familiar is the practice with lease extension legislation?
  • What are the legal fees for lease extension conveyancing?

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

    • Much of the frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Frodsham can be bypassed where you appoint lawyers the minute your agents start marketing the property and request that they start to put together the leasehold documentation which will be required by the purchasers’ representatives.
    • Some Frodsham leases require Licence to Assign from the landlord. If this applies to your lease, you should place the estate agents on notice to make sure that the purchasers obtain bank and professional references. Any bank reference should make it clear that the buyer is able to meet 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 actual amount of the service charge so that they can pass this information on to the buyers or their lawyers.
  • If you have had any disputes with your freeholder or managing agents it is very important that these are settled prior to the flat being marketed. The purchasers and their solicitors will be concerned about purchasing a flat where a dispute is unsettled. 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 prior to the contract papers being issued to the buyers’ solicitors. You are still duty bound to disclose particulars of the dispute to the buyers, but it is better to reveal the dispute as historic rather than unsettled.
  • If you hold a share in a the Management Company, you should make sure that you have the original share document. Obtaining a replacement share certificate is often a time consuming formality and delays many a Frodsham conveyancing deal. Where a duplicate share is necessary, do contact the company officers or managing agents (where applicable) for this sooner rather than later.
  • You believe that you know the number of years remaining on your lease but it would be advisable double-check via your lawyers. A buyer’s lawyer will not be happy to advise their client to to exchange contracts if the remaining number of years is under 80 years. In the circumstances it is important at an early stage that you identify whether the lease for your property needs extending. If it does, contact your solicitors before you put your home on the market for sale.

  • I purchased a 2 bed flat in Frodsham, conveyancing formalities finalised 5 years ago. How much will my lease extension cost? Similar properties in Frodsham with a long lease are worth £203,000. The average or mid-range amount of ground rent is £65 yearly. The lease expires on 21st October 2085

    With only 64 years remaining on your lease we estimate the premium for your lease extension to range between £15,200 and £17,600 as well as legals.

    The figure above a general guide to costs for extending a lease, but we cannot give you the actual costs in the absence of comprehensive investigations. Do not use this information in tribunal or court proceedings. There are no doubt additional concerns that need to be taken into account and you obviously should be as accurate as possible in your negotiations. Please do not move forward placing reliance on this information without first getting professional advice.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Frodsham