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Top Five Questions relating to Highcliffe leasehold conveyancing

I only have Seventy years remaining on my lease in Highcliffe. I need to extend my lease but my landlord is absent. What should I do?

On the basis that 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 enable the lease to be extended by the Court. However, you will be required to demonstrate that you have used your best endeavours to locate the freeholder. On the whole a specialist would be helpful to carry out a search and prepare an expert document which can be accepted by the court as evidence that the landlord is indeed missing. It is wise to seek advice from a conveyancer in relation to devolving into the landlord’s absence and the application to the County Court covering Highcliffe.

I today plan to offer on a house that appears to be perfect, at a reasonable price which is making it all the more appealing. I have since been informed that the title is leasehold as opposed to freehold. I am assuming that there are particular concerns purchasing a house with a leasehold title in Highcliffe. Conveyancing lawyers have not yet been instructed. Will they explain the issues?

Most houses in Highcliffe are freehold rather than leasehold. In this scenario it’s worth having a local solicitor who is familiar with the area can help the conveyancing process. it is apparent that you are buying in Highcliffe in which case you should be shopping around for a Highcliffe conveyancing solicitor and check that they have experience in advising on leasehold houses. First you will need to check the number of years remaining. Being a leaseholder you will not be entirely free to do whatever you want with the house. The lease comes with conditions such as obtaining the landlord’spermission to conduct alterations. It may be necessary to pay a contribution towards the upkeep of the communal areas where the house is part of an estate. Your conveyancer will report to you on the legal implications.

I am employed by a busy estate agent office in Highcliffe where we see a few leasehold sales derailed as a result of leases having less than 80 years remaining. I have been given conflicting advice from local Highcliffe conveyancing firms. Please can you shed some light as to whether the vendor of a flat can initiate the lease extension process for the buyer?

As long as the seller has been the owner for at least 2 years it is possible, to serve a Section 42 notice to kick-start the lease extension process and assign the benefit of the notice to the purchaser. The benefit of this is that the proposed purchaser can avoid having to sit tight for 2 years for a lease extension. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment needs to be completed prior to, or simultaneously with completion of the disposal of the property.

An alternative approach is to extend the lease informally by agreement with the landlord 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.

Can you offer any advice when it comes to appointing a Highcliffe conveyancing firm to carry out our lease extension conveyancing?

If you are instructing a property lawyer for lease extension works (regardless if they are a Highcliffe conveyancing firm) it is most important that he or she should be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of work. We suggested that you talk with several firms including non Highcliffe conveyancing practices prior to instructing a firm. Where the conveyancing practice is ALEP accredited then that’s a bonus. Some following of questions might be of use:

  • How many lease extensions has the firm completed in Highcliffe in the last twenty four months?
  • What are the charges for lease extension conveyancing?

  • In relation to leasehold conveyancing in Highcliffe what are the most frequent lease problems?

    There is nothing unique about leasehold conveyancing in Highcliffe. All leases are unique and legal mistakes in the legal wording can sometimes mean that certain sections are erroneous. For example, if your lease is missing any of the following, it could be defective:

    • Repairing obligations to or maintain elements of the property
    • 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 can cause problems when trying to sell a property as they can affect a potential buyer’s ability to obtain a mortgage. Nationwide Building Society, Bank of Scotland, and Aldermore 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 does not cover certain provisions they may refuse to grant the mortgage, forcing the purchaser to pull out.

    Highcliffe Conveyancing for Leasehold Flats - Sample of Queries before buying

      How many of the leaseholders are in arrears for their service charge payments? Many Highcliffe leasehold apartments will incur a service charge for maintenance of the building invoiced by the freeholder. Where you acquire the property you will have to pay this contribution, usually quarterly accross the year. This can vary from a couple of hundred pounds to thousands of pounds for buildings with lifts and large communal areas. In all likelihood there will be a ground rent to be met yearly, ordinarily this is not a large sum, say around £50-£100 but you should to enquire it because sometimes it can be prohibitively expensive. You will want to find out as much as you can regarding the company managing the block as they will impact your use and enjoyment of the property. As the owner of a leasehold property you are often at the mercy of the managing agents from a financial perspective and when it comes to daily matters like the tidiness of the communal areas. You should not be afraid to ask other people if they are happy with them. In conclusion, find out the dates that you are obliged pay the service charge to the managing agents and specifically how they are spending that money.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Highcliffe