Experts for Leasehold Conveyancing in Houghton Regis

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Common questions relating to Houghton Regis leasehold conveyancing

I’m about to sell my ground floor flat in Houghton Regis.Conveyancing lawyers have not yet been instructed but I have just had a half-yearly maintenance charge invoice – Do I pay up?

It best that you discharge the service charge as normal because all ground rent and service charges will be apportioned on completion, so you will be reimbursed by the buyer for the period running from after the completion date to the next payment date. Most management companies will not acknowledge the buyer until the service charges have been paid and are up to date so it is important for both buyer and seller for the seller to show that they are up to date. This will smooth the conveyancing process.

I am attracted to a couple of apartments in Houghton Regis which have approximately fifty years unexpired on the leases. Do I need to be concerned?

A lease is a right to use the property for a prescribed time frame. As a lease gets shorter the value of the lease deteriorate and results in it becoming more expensive to acquire a lease extension. For this reason it is advisable to extend the lease term. More often than not it is difficult to sell a property with a short lease because mortgage lenders less inclined to grant a loan on properties of this type. Lease extension can be a difficult process. We recommend you seek professional assistance from a conveyancer and surveyor with experience in this area

I've recently bought a leasehold house in Houghton Regis. Do I have any liability for service charges relating to a period prior to completion of my purchase?

In a situation 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 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 Houghton Regis with the purpose of expediting the sale process?

  • A significant proportion of the frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Houghton Regis can be avoided where you instruct lawyers as soon as your agents start advertising the property and request that they start to put together the leasehold information needed by the buyers lawyers.
  • Many landlords or Management Companies in Houghton Regis charge for providing management packs for a leasehold property. You or your lawyers should enquire as to the actual amount of the charges. The management pack sought on or before finding a buyer, thus accelerating the process. The typical amount of time it takes to receive management information is three weeks. It is the most frequent cause of delay in leasehold conveyancing in Houghton Regis.
  • A minority of Houghton Regis 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 put in hand bank and professional references. Any bank reference will need to confirm that the buyers are 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 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 Management Company, you should ensure that you have the original share document. Organising a new share certificate is often a time consuming formality and frustrates many a Houghton Regis home move. Where a duplicate share is required, you should approach the company director and secretary or managing agents (where relevant) for this sooner rather than later.
  • You may think that you are aware of the number of years remaining on your lease but you should verify this by asking your solicitors. A buyer’s conveyancer will be unlikely to recommend their client to proceed with the purchase of a leasehold property the lease term is under 80 years. In the circumstances it is important at an as soon as possible that you identify whether the lease for your property needs extending. If it does, contact your solicitors before you put your property on the market for sale.

  • When it comes to leasehold conveyancing in Houghton Regis what are the most common lease defects?

    There is nothing unique about leasehold conveyancing in Houghton Regis. All leases are unique and legal mistakes in the legal wording can result in certain clauses are missing. For example, if your lease is missing any of the following, it could be defective:

    • A provision to repair to or maintain elements of the premises
    • Insurance obligations
    • A provision for the recovery of money spent for the benefit of another party.
    • 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. HSBC Bank, Virgin Money, and TSB all have express 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 grant the mortgage, forcing the buyer to withdraw.

    I invested in buying a leasehold flat in Houghton Regis, conveyancing was carried out half a dozen years ago. Can you shed any light on how much the price could be for a 90 year extension to my lease? Equivalent flats in Houghton Regis with an extended lease are worth £167,000. The ground rent is £55 charged once a year. The lease expires on 21st October 2090

    With only 70 years unexpired we estimate the price of your lease extension to range between £10,500 and £12,000 as well as plus your own and the landlord's "reasonable" professional fees.

    The figure 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 investigations. Do not use this information in a Notice of Claim or as an informal offer. There are no doubt other issues that need to be taken into account and you obviously want to be as accurate as possible in your negotiations. Neither should you take any other action placing reliance on this information before seeking the advice of a professional.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Houghton Regis