Fixed-fee leasehold conveyancing in Houghton Regis:

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Top Five Questions relating to Houghton Regis leasehold conveyancing

I am intending to sublet my leasehold flat in Houghton Regis. Conveyancing solicitor who did the purchase is retired - so can't ask her. Do I need to ask my freeholder for their consent?

Notwithstanding that your last Houghton Regis conveyancing solicitor is no longer available you can review your lease to see if you are permitted to let out the premises. The accepted inference is that if the lease is non-specific, subletting is permitted. There may be a precondition that you must seek consent via your landlord or other appropriate person before subletting. The net result is that you cannot sublet in the absence of first obtaining permission. The consent should not be unreasonably refused ore delayed. If the lease does not allow you to sublet you should ask your landlord if they are willing to waive this restriction.

Due to complete next month on a basement flat in Houghton Regis. Conveyancing lawyers assured me that they will have a report out to me within the next couple of days. Are there areas in the report that I should be focusing on?

Your report on title for your leasehold conveyancing in Houghton Regis should include some of the following:

  • The physical extent of the property. This will be the property itself but might incorporate a roof space or cellar if appropriate.
  • Whether the lease restricts you from subletting the flat, or working from home
  • Ground rent - how much and when you need to pay, and also know whether this will change in the future
  • An explanation as to the provision in the lease to pay service charges - with regard to both the building, and the more general rights a leaseholder has
  • I don't know whether the lease allows me to alter or improve anything in the flat - you should know whether it applies to all alterations or just structural alteration, and whether consent is required
  • Whether the landlord has obligations to ensure rights of quiet enjoyment over your premises and do you know what it means in practice?
  • What the implications are if you breach a clause of your lease? For a comprehensive list of information to be included in your report on your leasehold property in Houghton Regis please ask your solicitor in ahead of your conveyancing in Houghton Regis

  • I work for a busy estate agent office in Houghton Regis where we have witnessed a number of leasehold sales put at risk as a result of short leases. I have been given inconsistent advice from local Houghton Regis conveyancing solicitors. Please can you shed some light as to whether the seller of a flat can start the lease extension formalities for the buyer?

    Provided that the seller has owned the lease for at least 2 years it is possible, to serve a Section 42 notice to commence the lease extension process and assign the benefit of the notice to the purchaser. The benefit of this is that the proposed purchaser need not have to wait 2 years to extend their lease. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment has to be done before, or simultaneously with completion of the disposal of the property.

    Alternatively, it may be possible to agree the lease extension with the freeholder 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 buyer.

    What advice can you give us when it comes to appointing a Houghton Regis conveyancing firm to deal with our lease extension?

    When appointing a property lawyer for lease extension works (regardless if they are a Houghton Regis conveyancing practice) it is imperative that he or she should be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of conveyancing. We recommend that you talk with several firms including non Houghton Regis conveyancing practices prior to instructing a firm. Where the conveyancing practice is ALEP accredited then so much the better. Some following of questions could be useful:

    • If they are not ALEP accredited then why not?
  • What are the costs for lease extension work?

  • Can you provide any top tips for leasehold conveyancing in Houghton Regis from the point of view of speeding up the sale process?

    • Much of the frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Houghton Regis can be avoided if you appoint lawyers as soon as your agents start advertising the property and request that they start to put together the leasehold documentation which will be required by the buyers representatives.
    • Many freeholders or managing agents in Houghton Regis levy fees for providing management packs for a leasehold homes. You or your lawyers should discover the actual amount of the charges. The management pack 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 frequent reason for frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Houghton Regis.
  • If you have carried out any alterations to the premises would they have required Landlord’s permission? In particular have you installed wooden flooring? Most leases in Houghton Regis state that internal structural alterations or addition of wooden flooring necessitate a licence issued by the Landlord consenting to such changes. Where you fail to have the paperwork to hand you should not communicate with the landlord without contacting your lawyer in the first instance.
  • If you have had any disputes with your freeholder or managing agents it is very important that these are resolved before the property is put on the market. The buyers and their solicitors will be reluctant to purchase a property where a dispute is ongoing. You will have to accept that you will have to 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 details of the dispute to the buyers, but it is clearly preferable to reveal the dispute as over rather than unsettled.
  • You believe that you know the number of years left on your lease but it would be wise to double-check via your conveyancers. A buyer’s lawyer will not be happy to advise their client to to exchange contracts if the remaining number of years is under 75 years. In the circumstances it is important at an early stage that you consider whether the lease requires a lease extension. If it does, contact your solicitors before you put your property on the market for sale.

  • I purchased a 1 bedroom flat in Houghton Regis, conveyancing having been completed 2005. 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? Comparable properties in Houghton Regis with an extended lease are worth £189,000. The ground rent is £50 invoiced every year. The lease runs out on 21st October 2095

    You have 74 years remaining on your lease we estimate the premium for your lease extension to be between £9,500 and £11,000 as well as professional fees.

    The suggested premium range above a general guide to costs for renewing a lease, but we cannot give you the actual costs without more comprehensive due diligence. You should not use this information in tribunal or court proceedings. There may be other concerns that need to be considered and clearly you want to be as accurate as possible in your negotiations. Neither should you move forward based on this information before getting professional advice.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Houghton Regis