Fixed-fee leasehold conveyancing in Hungerford:

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Questions and Answers: Hungerford leasehold conveyancing

I am on look out for some leasehold conveyancing in Hungerford. Before I set the wheels in motion I require certainty as to the unexpired term of the lease.

Assuming the lease is recorded at the land registry - and most are in Hungerford - 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 am hoping to put an offer on a small detached house that seems to tick a lot of boxes, at a reasonable price which is making it more attractive. I have just been informed that it's a leasehold rather than freehold. I am assuming that there are issues purchasing a house with a leasehold title in Hungerford. Conveyancing advisers have not yet been instructed. Will my lawyers set out the implications of buying a leasehold house in Hungerford ?

Most houses in Hungerford are freehold rather than leasehold. This is one of the situations where having a local conveyancer who is familiar with the area can assist with the conveyancing process. it is apparent that you are purchasing in Hungerford so you should seriously consider shopping around for a Hungerford conveyancing solicitor and check that they have experience in dealing with leasehold houses. First you will need to check the number of years remaining. As a leaseholder you will not be at liberty to do whatever you want with the house. The lease will likely included provisions such as obtaining the landlord’sconsent to carry out alterations. It may be necessary to pay a service charge towards the upkeep of the estate where the house is located on an estate. Your lawyer will report to you on the legal implications.

My wife and I purchased a leasehold house in Hungerford. Conveyancing and Platform Home Loans Ltd mortgage went though with no issue. A letter has just been received from someone claiming to own the reversionary interest in the property. It included a demand for arrears of ground rent dating back to 1991. The conveyancing practitioner in Hungerford who acted for me is not around.What should I do?

First make enquiries of HMLR to make sure that this person is in fact the new freeholder. There is no need to instruct a Hungerford conveyancing practitioner to do this as it can be done on-line for less than a fiver. You should note that regardless, even if this is the rightful landlord, under the Limitation Act 1980 the limitation period for recovery of ground rent is six years.

I am tempted by the attractive purchase price for a two maisonettes in Hungerford which have about fifty years unexpired on the lease term. Will this present a problem?

There is no doubt about it. A leasehold flat in Hungerford is a wasting asset as a result of the shortening lease. The nearer the lease gets to its expiry date, the more it adversely affects the salability of the premises. For most purchasers and lenders, leases with less than eighty years become less and less attractive. 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 Hungerford 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 any new 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.

Do you have any advice for leasehold conveyancing in Hungerford with the intention of expediting the sale process?

  • Much of the delay in leasehold conveyancing in Hungerford can be reduced where you appoint lawyers the minute your agents start marketing the property and request that they start to collate the leasehold documentation needed by the buyers conveyancers.
  • Some Hungerford leases require Landlord’s consent to the sale and approval of the buyers. If this applies to your lease, you should 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 financially capable of paying 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 purchasers or their lawyers.
  • If you have had conflict with your landlord or managing agents it is essential that these are settled prior to the flat being marketed. The purchasers and their solicitors will be reluctant to purchase a flat where a dispute is unsettled. You will have to accept that you will have to discharge any arrears of service charge or resolve 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 are still duty bound to disclose details of the dispute to the purchasers, but it is better to present the dispute as over rather than unsettled.
  • If you have the benefit of shareholding in the Management Company, you should make sure that you hold the original share document. Obtaining a re-issued share certificate can be a lengthy process and slows down many a Hungerford conveyancing transaction. Where a reissued share is needed, do contact the company director and secretary or managing agents (if relevant) for this sooner rather than later.
  • You believe that you know the number of years left on your lease but it would be wise to double-check via your solicitors. A buyer’s lawyer will be unlikely to recommend their client to to exchange contracts if the remaining number of years is below 75 years. In the circumstances it is essential at an as soon as possible that you identify whether the lease requires a lease extension. If it does, contact your solicitors before you put your property on the market for sale.

  • Hungerford Leasehold Conveyancing - Examples of Queries Prior to buying

      What is the length of the lease? Please note that where the lease has no more than 80 years it will have adverse implications on the marketability of the flat. Check with your bank that they are happy with the length of the lease. Leases with fewer than 80 years remaining means that you will almost definitely have to extend the lease at some point and it is worth finding out how much this would cost. Remember, in most cases you would need to own the premises for 24 months in order to be eligible to extend the lease. Is anyone aware of any major works in the planning that could increase the maintenance fees?

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Hungerford