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Questions and Answers: Histon leasehold conveyancing

Having had my offer accepted I require leasehold conveyancing in Histon. Before I set the wheels in motion I require certainty as to the number of years remaining on the lease.

If the lease is registered - and most are in Histon - then the leasehold title will always include the basic details of the lease, namely the date; the term; and the original parties. From a conveyancing perspective such details then enable any prospective buyer and lender to confirm that any lease they are looking at is the one relevant to that title.For any other purpose, such as confirming how long the term was granted for and calculating what is left, then the register should be sufficient on it's own.

I own a leasehold house in Histon. Conveyancing and Godiva Mortgages Ltd mortgage are in place. A letter has just been received from someone claiming to own the freehold. It included a demand for arrears of ground rent dating back to 1993. The conveyancing practitioner in Histon who acted for me is not around.Do I pay?

First contact the Land Registry to be sure that this person is indeed the new freeholder. There is no need to instruct a Histon conveyancing lawyer to do this as you can do this on the Land Registry website for less than a fiver. Rest assured that in any event, even if this is the legitimate freeholder, under the Limitation Act 1980 no more than 6 years of rent can be collected.

I am looking at a two maisonettes in Histon which have about fifty years left on the lease term. Do I need to be concerned?

There are plenty of short leases in Histon. The lease is a legal document that entitles you to use the property for a prescribed time frame. As a lease shortens the saleability of the lease decreases and it becomes more expensive to extend the lease. For this reason it is often a good idea to extend the lease term. More often than not it is difficult to sell a property with a short lease because mortgage companies less inclined to grant a loan on such properties. Lease enfranchisement can be a protracted process. We advise that you seek professional assistance from a conveyancer and surveyor with experience in this field

Can you provide any advice for leasehold conveyancing in Histon from the perspective of expediting the sale process?

  • Much of the frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Histon can be reduced where you get in touch lawyers the minute you market your property and request that they start to collate the leasehold documentation needed by the purchasers’ solicitors.
  • Many landlords or Management Companies in Histon charge for supplying management packs for a leasehold homes. You or your lawyers should enquire as to the fee that they propose to charge. The management information sought as soon as you have a buyer, thus accelerating the process. The typical amount of time it takes to obtain the necessary information is three weeks. It is the most usual reason for frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Histon.
  • Some Histon leases require Landlord’s consent to the sale and approval of the buyers. If this is the case, it would be prudent to notify your estate agents to make sure that the purchasers put in hand bank and professional references. The bank reference will need to confirm that the buyers are able to meet the yearly 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 buyers or their lawyers.
  • If you have had any disputes with your landlord or managing agents it is essential that these are settled before the property is marketed. The buyers and their solicitors will be reluctant to purchase a property where there is a current dispute. You may need to swallow your pride 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 prior to the contract papers being issued to the buyers’ solicitors. You will still have to reveal particulars of the dispute to the buyers, but it is better to present the dispute as over rather than ongoing.
  • You believe that you know the number of years remaining on your lease but it would be advisable double-check via your conveyancers. A purchaser's lawyer will be unlikely to recommend their client to to exchange contracts if the remaining number of years is below 80 years. It is therefore important at an as soon as possible that you consider whether the lease term for your property needs extending. If it does, contact your solicitors before you put your premises on the market for sale.

  • Completion in due on our sale of a £375000 flat in Histon in 8 days. The freeholder has quoted £300 for Landlord’s certificate, building insurance schedule and previous years statements of service charge. Is the landlord entitled to charge an administration fee for a flat conveyance in Histon?

    For most leasehold sales in Histon conveyancing will involve, questions about the management of a building inevitably needing to be answered directly by the freeholder or its agent, this includes :

    • Addressing pre-contract enquiries
    • Where consent is required before sale in Histon
    • Supplying insurance information
    • Deeds of covenant upon sale
    • Registering of the assignment of the change of lessee after a sale
    Your conveyancer will have no control over the level of the charges for this information but the average costs for the information for Histon leasehold property is £350. For Histon conveyancing transactions it is customary for the seller to pay for these costs. The landlord or their agents are under no legal obligation to answer such questions most will be willing to do so - albeit often at exorbitant prices where the fees bear little relation to the work involved. Unfortunately there is no law that requires fixed charges for administrative tasks. Neither is there any legal time frame by which they are required to provide the information.

    I bought a studio flat in Histon, conveyancing having been completed 9 years ago. Can you shed any light on how much the price could be for a 90 year extension to my lease? Corresponding properties in Histon with an extended lease are worth £180,000. The average or mid-range amount of ground rent is £50 per annum. The lease ends on 21st October 2075

    With 51 years left to run the likely cost is going to span between £38,000 and £44,000 plus professional fees.

    The suggested premium range above a general guide to costs for renewing a lease, but we are not able to advice on a more accurate figure in the absence of comprehensive due diligence. Do not use the figures in a Notice of Claim or as an informal offer. There may be other issues that need to be considered and clearly you want to be as accurate as possible in your negotiations. You should not move forward placing reliance on this information before getting professional advice.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Histon