Fixed-fee leasehold conveyancing in Hartlepool:

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Top Five Questions relating to Hartlepool leasehold conveyancing

Having checked my lease I have discovered that there are only Seventy years remaining on my flat in Hartlepool. I now wish to extend my lease but my landlord is absent. What are my options?

On the basis that 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 lengthened by the Court. You will be obliged to prove that you or your lawyers have used your best endeavours to locate the lessor. For most situations a specialist should be helpful to carry out a search and prepare an expert document which can be accepted by the court as evidence that the landlord can not be located. It is wise to seek advice from a property lawyer both on devolving into the landlord’s absence and the application to the County Court overseeing Hartlepool.

I've found a house that seems to tick a lot of boxes, at a reasonable price which is making it all the more appealing. I have subsequently found out that it's a leasehold rather than freehold. I am assuming that there are particular concerns purchasing a leasehold house in Hartlepool. Conveyancing advisers have are soon to be appointed. Will my lawyers set out the risks of buying a leasehold house in Hartlepool ?

The majority of houses in Hartlepool are freehold rather than leasehold. In this scenario it’s worth having a local conveyancer used to dealing with such properties who can assist with the conveyancing process. It is clear that you are buying in Hartlepool in which case you should be looking for a Hartlepool 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 unexpired lease term. As a leaseholder you will not be at liberty to do whatever you want with the house. The lease comes with conditions for example obtaining the freeholder’spermission to carry out changes to the property. It may be necessary to pay a contribution towards the maintenance of the communal areas where the house is located on an estate. Your solicitor will report to you on the legal implications.

Last month I purchased a leasehold house in Hartlepool. Am I liable to pay service charges for periods before completion of my purchase?

Where the service charge has already been demanded from the previous lessee 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).

Our conveyancer has advised that he intends to complete and exchange simultaneously on the disposal of our £200000 maisonette in Hartlepool in seven days. The landlords agents has quoted £396 for Certificate of Compliance, insurance certificate and 3 years service charge statements. Is the landlord entitled to charge such fees for a flat conveyance in Hartlepool?

Hartlepool conveyancing on leasehold maisonettes more often than not requires the buyer’s lawyer sending enquiries for the landlord to answer. Although the landlord is not legally bound to address these enquiries most will be content to assist. They may levy a reasonable charge for answering enquiries or supplying documentation. There is no set fee. The average costs for the information that you are referring to is £350, in some transactions it is above £800. The administration charge invoiced by the landlord must be sent together with a synopsis of entitlements and obligations in respect of administration fees, without which the invoice is not strictly payable. In reality one has little choice but to pay whatever is requested of you if you want to sell the property.

What makes a Hartlepool lease problematic?

Leasehold conveyancing in Hartlepool is not unique. All leases are individual and legal mistakes in the legal wording can result in certain sections are not included. For example, if your lease is missing any of the following, it could be defective:

  • Repairing obligations to or maintain parts of the building
  • Insurance obligations
  • Clauses dealing with recovering service charges for expenditure on the building or common parts.
  • Maintenance charge proportions which don’t add up to the correct percentage

A defective lease will likely cause issues when trying to sell a property as they can affect a potential buyer’s ability to obtain a mortgage. Accord Mortgages Ltd, Virgin Money, and Godiva Mortgages Ltd all have express requirements when it comes to what is expected in a lease. If a mortgage lender believes that the lease is defective they may refuse to grant the mortgage, obliging the purchaser to pull out.

I bought a studio flat in Hartlepool, conveyancing having been completed half a dozen years ago. Can you let me have an estimate of the premium that my landlord can legally expect in return for granting a renewal of my lease? Equivalent properties in Hartlepool with over 90 years remaining are worth £197,000. The average or mid-range amount of ground rent is £65 levied per year. The lease comes to an end on 21st October 2092

With 71 years left to run we estimate the price of your lease extension to be between £10,500 and £12,000 plus costs.

The figure that we have given is a general guide to costs for renewing a lease, but we cannot give you the actual costs without more comprehensive investigations. Do not use this information in a Notice of Claim or as an informal offer. There may be other issues that need to be taken into account and clearly you should be as accurate as possible in your negotiations. Neither should you move forward placing reliance on this information without first getting professional advice.

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Lease Extensions in Hartlepool