Questions and Answers: Houghton Regis leasehold conveyancing
Having had my offer accepted I require leasehold conveyancing in Houghton Regis. Before I set the wheels in motion I would like to find out the number of years remaining on the lease.
Assuming the lease is recorded at the land registry - and most are in Houghton Regis - then the leasehold title will always include the short particulars 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've found a house that appears to be perfect, at a reasonable figure which is making it more attractive. I have just been informed that it's a leasehold rather than freehold. I would have thought that there are particular concerns purchasing a leasehold house in Houghton Regis. Conveyancing advisers have are about to be appointed. Will my lawyers set out the implications of buying a leasehold house in Houghton Regis ?
The majority of houses in Houghton Regis are freehold and not leasehold. This is one of the situations where having a local conveyancer used to dealing with such properties who can assist with the conveyancing process. We note that you are buying in Houghton Regis so you should seriously consider shopping around for a Houghton Regis conveyancing solicitor and check that they are used to advising on leasehold houses. First you will need to check the number of years remaining. As a tenant you will not be entirely free to do whatever you want with the house. The lease comes with conditions such as requiring the freeholder’spermission to carry out changes to the property. You may also be required to pay a maintenance charge towards the maintenance of the communal areas where the house is part of an estate. Your conveyancer should report to you on the legal implications.
I am attracted to a couple of maisonettes in Houghton Regis which have about 50 years left on the lease term. Will this present a problem?
There is no doubt about it. A leasehold apartment in Houghton Regis is a wasting asset as a result of the reducing lease term. The closer the lease gets to its expiry date, the more it adversely affects the salability of the premises. For most buyers and mortgage companies, leases with less than 75 years become less and less marketable. On a more positive note, leaseholders can extend their leases by serving a Section 42 Notice. One stipulation is that they must have owned the premises for two years (unlike a Section 13 notice for purchasing the freehold, when leaseholders can participate from day one of ownership). When successful, they will have the right to an extension of 90 years to the current term and ground rent is effectively reduced to zero. Before moving forward with a purchase of premises with a short lease term remaining you should talk to a solicitor specialising in lease extensions and leasehold enfranchisement. We are are happy to put you in touch with Houghton Regis conveyancing experts who will explain the options available to you during an initial telephone conversation free of charge. More often than not it is possible to negotiate informally with the freeholder to extend the lease They may agree to a smaller lump sum and an increase in the ground rent, but to shorter extension terms in return. You need to ensure that the agreed terms represent good long-term value compared with the standard benefits of the Section 42 Notice and that onerous clauses are not inserted into any redrafting of the lease.
What advice can you give us when it comes to appointing a Houghton Regis conveyancing practice to carry out our lease extension conveyancing?
When appointing a solicitor for your lease extension (regardless if they are a Houghton Regis conveyancing firm) it is essential that they be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of work. We suggested that you make enquires with several firms including non Houghton Regis conveyancing practices prior to instructing a firm. If the firm is ALEP accredited then so much the better. Some following of questions might be of use:
- If they are not ALEP accredited then why not?
In relation to leasehold conveyancing in Houghton Regis what are the most frequent lease defects?
Leasehold conveyancing in Houghton Regis is not unique. All leases are individual and drafting errors can result in certain provisions are erroneous. The following missing provisions could result in a defective lease:
- Repairing obligations to or maintain parts of the premises
- A duty to insure the building
- 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 primarily because it impacts on the ability to obtain a mortgage on the property. Yorkshire Building Society, Barnsley Building Society, and Nottingham Building Society all have express conveyancing instructions when it comes to what is expected in a lease. If a mortgage lender believes that the lease does not cover certain provisions they may refuse to grant the mortgage, forcing the purchaser to pull out.
I inherited a basement flat in Houghton Regis, conveyancing having been completed 10 years ago. Can you give me give me an indication of the likely cost of a lease extension? Corresponding flats in Houghton Regis with a long lease are worth £209,000. The average or mid-range amount of ground rent is £50 charged once a year. The lease expires on 21st October 2091
With 68 years left to run we estimate the premium for your lease extension to range between £10,500 and £12,000 plus costs.
The suggested premium range above a general guide to costs for renewing a lease, but we are not able to supply the actual costs in the absence of detailed due diligence. Do not use this information in tribunal or court proceedings. There are no doubt other concerns that need to be taken into account and clearly you should be as accurate as possible in your negotiations. Please do not take any other action placing reliance on this information without first getting professional advice.