Experts for Leasehold Conveyancing in Hurst Green

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Questions and Answers: Hurst Green leasehold conveyancing

Having checked my lease I have discovered that there are only Fifty years left on my flat in Hurst Green. I now wish to get lease extension but my freeholder is missing. What are my options?

On the basis that you meet the appropriate requirements, under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 you can apply to the County Court for for permission to dispense with the service of the initial notice. This will mean that your lease can be granted an extra 90 years by the Court. However, you will be required to demonstrate that you or your lawyers have used your best endeavours to find the landlord. In some cases an enquiry agent should be useful to try and locate and to produce an expert document which can be accepted by the court as proof that the freeholder is indeed missing. It is advisable to get professional help from a property lawyer both on proving the landlord’s disappearance and the application to the County Court covering Hurst Green.

I am looking at a two flats in Hurst Green which have about fifty years left on the lease term. Will this present a problem?

There are plenty of short leases in Hurst Green. The lease is a legal document that entitles you to use the property for a period of time. As the lease shortens the value of the lease decreases and it becomes more expensive to extend the lease. For this reason it is generally wise to increase the term of the lease. It is often difficulties arise selling premises with a short lease as mortgage lenders less inclined to grant a loan on properties of this type. Lease enfranchisement can be a protracted process. We advise that you seek professional help from a solicitor and surveyor with experience in this area

I am employed by a long established estate agent office in Hurst Green where we have experienced a number of leasehold sales derailed due to short leases. I have been given conflicting advice from local Hurst Green conveyancing firms. Can you shed some light as to whether the vendor of a flat can start the lease extension formalities for the buyer?

As long as the seller has been the owner 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 buyer can avoid having to sit tight for 2 years to extend their lease. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment has to be done before, or at the same time as completion of the disposal of the property.

Alternatively, it may be possible to extend the lease informally by agreement with the landlord 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 purchaser.

What are your top tips when it comes to finding a Hurst Green conveyancing practice to carry out our lease extension conveyancing?

When appointing a property lawyer for lease extension works (regardless if they are a Hurst Green conveyancing firm) it is imperative that they be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of work. We advise that you make enquires with two or three firms including non Hurst Green 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:

  • How familiar is the practice with lease extension legislation?
  • What are the charges for lease extension work?

  • Can you provide any advice for leasehold conveyancing in Hurst Green with the purpose of expediting the sale process?

    • Much of the delay in leasehold conveyancing in Hurst Green can be reduced if you get in touch lawyers the minute your agents start advertising the property and request that they start to put together the leasehold documentation which will be required by the purchasers’ solicitors.
    • The majority landlords or Management Companies in Hurst Green charge for providing management packs for a leasehold premises. You or your lawyers should find out the fee that they propose to charge. The management pack sought on or before finding a buyer, thus accelerating the process. The average time it takes to receive management information is three weeks. It is the most common reason for frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Hurst Green.
  • If you have carried out any alterations to the residence would they have required Landlord’s permission? Have you, for example installed wooden flooring? Most leases in Hurst Green state that internal structural changes or installing wooden flooring require a licence issued by the Landlord acquiescing to such changes. If you fail to have the approvals to hand do not communicate with the landlord without checking with your lawyer before hand.
  • Some Hurst Green leases require Landlord’s consent to the sale and approval of the buyers. If this is the case, it would be prudent to place the estate agents on notice to make sure that the purchasers obtain bank and professional references. Any bank reference should make it clear that the buyer is 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 purchasers or their solicitors.
  • If there is a history of conflict with your freeholder or managing agents it is very important that these are settled before the property is put on the market. The purchasers and their solicitors will be warry about purchasing a flat where a dispute is unresolved. You may have to bite the bullet and pay any arrears of service charge or settle the dispute prior to completion of the sale. 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 historic rather than ongoing.

  • Hurst Green Leasehold Conveyancing - A selection of Queries Prior to buying

      The answer will be helpful as a) areas can result in problems in the block as the communal areas may begin to deteriorate where services remain unpaid b) if the tenants have an issue with the running of the building you will wish to have complete disclosure How many of the leaseholders are in arrears for their maintenance charge payments? How much is the maintenance charge and ground rent on the flat?

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Hurst Green