Fixed-fee leasehold conveyancing in Kempston:

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Frequently asked questions relating to Kempston leasehold conveyancing

I would like to let out my leasehold apartment in Kempston. Conveyancing solicitor who did the purchase is retired - so can't ask him. Is permission from the freeholder required?

A small minority of properties in Kempston do contain a provision to say that subletting is only allowed with permission. The landlord cannot unreasonably withhold but, in such cases, they would need to review references. Experience dictates that problems are usually caused by unsatisfactory tenants rather than owner-occupiers and for that reason you can expect the freeholder to take up the references and consider them carefully before granting permission.

Having checked my lease I have discovered that there are only Seventy years left on my flat in Kempston. I now wish to extend my lease but my freeholder is absent. What are my options?

On the basis that you qualify, under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 you can apply to the County Court for an order to dispense with the service of the initial notice. This will enable the lease to be lengthened by the magistrate. However, you will be required to demonstrate that you or your lawyers have done all that could be expected to track down the landlord. On the whole a specialist should be useful to conduct investigations and to produce a report which can be accepted by the court as proof that the landlord can not be located. It is wise to seek advice from a property lawyer in relation to investigating the landlord’s disappearance and the application to the County Court covering Kempston.

I have just appointed agents to market my ground floor flat in Kempston.Conveyancing is yet to be initiated but I have just had a quarterly service charge demand – 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 unless 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.

Can you provide any advice for leasehold conveyancing in Kempston from the perspective of speeding up the sale process?

  • A significant proportion of the frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Kempston can be avoided if you get in touch lawyers as soon as your agents start advertising the property and ask them to collate the leasehold information which will be required by the buyers lawyers.
  • The majority freeholders or Management Companies in Kempston levy fees for supplying management packs for a leasehold premises. You or your lawyers should find out the actual amount of the charges. The management pack can be applied for 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 reason for delay in leasehold conveyancing in Kempston.
  • Some Kempston leases require Landlord’s consent to the sale and approval of the buyers. If this is the case, it would be prudent to notify your estate agents to make sure that the purchasers obtain financial (bank) and professional references. Any bank reference should make it clear that the buyer is 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 actual amount of the service charge so that they can pass this information on to the purchasers or their solicitors.
  • If there is a history of any disputes with your freeholder or managing agents it is essential that these are settled prior to the flat being put on the market. The purchasers and their solicitors will be warry about purchasing a flat where there is an ongoing dispute. You may need to swallow your pride and pay any arrears of service charge or resolve 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 are still duty bound to disclose details of the dispute to the purchasers, but it is clearly preferable to present the dispute as over as opposed to unresolved.
  • You believe that you know the number of years remaining on your lease but it would be wise to double-check by asking your solicitors. A purchaser's conveyancer will not be happy to advise their client to proceed with the purchase of a leasehold property the lease term is less than 80 years. It is therefore 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.

  • In relation to leasehold conveyancing in Kempston what are the most common lease defects?

    There is nothing unique about leasehold conveyancing in Kempston. All leases are individual and legal mistakes in the legal wording can result in certain sections are missing. The following missing provisions could result in a defective lease:

    • Repairing obligations to or maintain elements of the premises
    • Insurance obligations
    • Clauses dealing with recovering service charges for expenditure on the building or common parts.
    • Service charge per centages that don't add up correctly leaving a shortfall

    You could encounter a problem when selling your property if you have a defective lease primarily because it impacts on the ability to obtain a mortgage on the property. Santander, Barnsley Building Society, and Platform Home Loans Ltd all have express requirements when it comes to what is expected in a lease. If a mortgage lender believes that the lease is defective they may refuse to provide security, forcing the purchaser to withdraw.

    I invested in buying a basement flat in Kempston, conveyancing having been completed in 2004. How much will my lease extension cost? Corresponding properties in Kempston with over 90 years remaining are worth £199,000. The ground rent is £55 yearly. The lease finishes on 21st October 2097

    With just 76 years remaining on your lease the likely cost is going to be between £9,500 and £11,000 plus costs.

    The suggested premium range above a general guide to costs for renewing a lease, but we are not able to advice on a more accurate figure without more comprehensive due diligence. Do not use this information in a Notice of Claim or as an informal offer. There may be additional issues that need to be taken into account and you obviously want to be as accurate as possible in your negotiations. You should not take any other action based on this information without first seeking the advice of a professional.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Kempston