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Questions and Answers: Haddenham leasehold conveyancing

I want to let out my leasehold apartment in Haddenham. Conveyancing solicitor who did the purchase is retired - so can't ask her. Is permission from the freeholder required?

A lease dictates the relationship between the freeholder and you the flat owner; specifically, it will set out if subletting is banned, or permitted but only subject to certain caveats. The rule is that if the lease contains no expres ban or restriction, subletting is permitted. The majority of leases in Haddenham do not prevent subletting altogether – such a clause would adversely affect the market value the flat. Instead, there is usually a basic requirement that the owner notifies the freeholder, possibly sending a duplicate of the sublease.

Planning to sign contracts shortly on a ground floor flat in Haddenham. Conveyancing lawyers have said that they report fully within the next couple of days. Are there areas in the report that I should be focusing on?

Your report on title for your leasehold conveyancing in Haddenham should include some of the following:

  • How long the lease is You should be advised as what happens when the lease expires, and aware of the importance of the 80 year mark
  • The physical extent of the premises. This will be the flat itself but may incorporate a loft or cellar if appropriate.
  • Whether the lease restricts you from letting out the property, or having a home office for business
  • You must be told what constitutes a Nuisance in the lease
  • Whether your lease has a provision for a reserve fund?
  • Changes to the flat (alterations and additions)
  • 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. For a comprehensive list of information to be contained in your report on your leasehold property in Haddenham please enquire of your lawyer in ahead of your conveyancing in Haddenham

  • Last month I purchased a leasehold house in Haddenham. Do I have any liability for service charges for periods before completion of my purchase?

    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 ensure 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).

    Do you have any advice for leasehold conveyancing in Haddenham from the point of view of expediting the sale process?

    • A significant proportion of the delay in leasehold conveyancing in Haddenham can be avoided if you get in touch lawyers the minute you market your property and request that they start to collate the leasehold information needed by the buyers solicitors.
    • If you have carried out any alterations to the property would they have required Landlord’s permission? Have you, for example laid down wooden flooring? Haddenham leases often stipulate that internal structural alterations or installing wooden flooring calls for a licence issued by the Landlord acquiescing to such alterations. Where you fail to have the consents in place do not communicate with the landlord without contacting your solicitor first.
  • A minority of Haddenham leases require Licence to Assign from the landlord. If this is the case, you should notify your estate agents to make sure that the purchasers obtain financial (bank) and professional references. The bank reference should make it clear that the buyer is financially capable of paying 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 service charge figures so that they can pass this information on to the purchasers or their lawyers.
  • If you have the benefit of shareholding in the freehold, you should ensure that you are holding the original share certificate. Organising a new share certificate is often a time consuming process and frustrates many a Haddenham home move. If a new share is necessary, you should approach the company officers or managing agents (if applicable) for this as soon as possible.
  • You believe that you know the number of years left on your lease but you should verify this by asking your solicitors. A purchaser's conveyancer will not be happy to advise their client to proceed with the purchase of a leasehold property the lease term is under 80 years. It is therefore essential at an early stage that you consider whether the lease requires a lease extension. If it does, contact your solicitors before you put your home on the market for sale.

  • What are the common problems that you see in leases for Haddenham properties?

    There is nothing unique about leasehold conveyancing in Haddenham. All leases are unique and drafting errors can sometimes mean that certain sections are wrong. The following missing provisions could result in a defective lease:

    • A provision to repair to or maintain elements of the property
    • Insurance obligations
    • A provision for the recovery of money spent for the benefit of another party.
    • Service charge per centages that don't add up correctly leaving a shortfall

    A defective lease will likely cause problems when trying to sell a property as they can affect a potential buyer’s ability to obtain a mortgage. Nationwide Building Society, Chelsea Building Society, and Clydesdale all have very detailed requirements when it comes to what is expected in a lease. Where a lender has been advised by their lawyers that the lease is defective they may refuse to provide security, obliging the buyer to withdraw.

    I invested in buying a 1st floor flat in Haddenham, conveyancing having been completed in 2009. Can you give me give me an indication of the likely cost of a lease extension? Corresponding flats in Haddenham with a long lease are worth £243,000. The ground rent is £45 invoiced every year. The lease ceases on 21st October 2082

    You have 58 years remaining on your lease we estimate the premium for your lease extension to range between £24,700 and £28,600 as well as professional fees.

    The suggested premium range above a general guide to costs for renewing a lease, but we are not able to supply a more accurate figure in the absence of comprehensive due diligence. You should not use the figures in a Notice of Claim or as an informal offer. There are no doubt additional concerns that need to be considered and clearly you want to be as accurate as possible in your negotiations. You should not take any other action based on this information before getting professional advice.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Haddenham