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Frequently asked questions relating to Leigh leasehold conveyancing

There are only Sixty One years remaining on my lease in Leigh. I am keen to extend my lease but my landlord is missing. What are my options?

If 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 enable the lease to be extended by the magistrate. However, you will be required to prove that you or your lawyers have made all reasonable attempts to locate the freeholder. For most situations an enquiry agent would be useful to carry out a search and to produce a report which can be used as proof that the freeholder is indeed missing. It is advisable to get professional help from a conveyancer both on proving the landlord’s absence and the vesting order request to the County Court overseeing Leigh.

I've found a house that appears to meet my requirements, at a reasonable figure which is making it all the more appealing. I have since been informed that the title is leasehold as opposed to freehold. I would have thought that there are particular concerns purchasing a house with a leasehold title in Leigh. Conveyancing advisers have are soon to be appointed. Will they explain the issues?

Most houses in Leigh are freehold and not leasehold. In this scenario it’s worth having a local solicitor who is familiar with the area can assist with the conveyancing process. it is apparent that you are buying in Leigh so you should seriously consider looking for a Leigh conveyancing practitioner and be sure that they are used to advising on leasehold houses. As a matter of priority you will need to check the number of years remaining. As a leaseholder you will not be entirely free to do whatever you want with the house. The lease comes with conditions such as obtaining the landlord’sconsent to carry out alterations. You may also be required to pay a maintenance charge towards the upkeep of the estate where the property is part of an estate. Your lawyer should advise you fully on all the issues.

My wife and I purchased a leasehold flat in Leigh. Conveyancing and Barnsley Building Society mortgage went though with no issue. I have received a letter from someone saying they have taken over the reversionary interest in the property. It included a ground rent demand for rent dating back to 1994. The conveyancing solicitor in Leigh who acted for me is not around.Do I pay?

First contact HMLR to be sure that the individual purporting to own the freehold is in fact the new freeholder. It is not necessary to instruct a Leigh conveyancing lawyer to do this as you can do this on the Land Registry website for £3. Rest assured that in any event, even if this is the rightful freeholder, under the Limitation Act 1980 no more than 6 years of rent can be collected.

I am employed by a reputable estate agency in Leigh where we have experienced a few leasehold sales put at risk as a result of leases having less than 80 years remaining. I have been given inconsistent advice from local Leigh conveyancing solicitors. Can you confirm whether the owner of a flat can commence the lease extension process for the purchaser on completion of the sale?

Provided that the seller has been the owner for at least 2 years it is possible, to serve a Section 42 notice to kick-start the lease extension process and assign the benefit of the notice to the purchaser. This means that the proposed purchaser need not have to wait 2 years for a lease extension. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment has to be done before, or simultaneously with completion of the sale.

An alternative approach is 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 purchaser.

Can you provide any top tips for leasehold conveyancing in Leigh with the aim of expediting the sale process?

  • A significant proportion of the frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Leigh can be avoided where you instruct lawyers the minute you market your property and ask them to collate the leasehold documentation which will be required by the buyers lawyers.
  • If you have carried out any alterations to the premises would they have required Landlord’s approval? Have you, for example installed wooden flooring? Most leases in Leigh state that internal structural alterations or laying down wooden flooring necessitate a licence issued by the Landlord approving such alterations. Where you dont have the consents in place do not communicate with the landlord without contacting your solicitor first.
  • Some Leigh leases require Licence to Assign from the landlord. If this is the case, it would be prudent to notify your estate agents to make sure that the purchasers put in hand financial (bank) and professional references. The bank reference should make it clear that the buyer is able to meet the annual 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 buyers or their lawyers.
  • If you are supposed to have a share in the freehold, you should ensure that you are holding the original share certificate. Arranging a new share certificate is often a time consuming process and slows down many a Leigh conveyancing deal. Where a new share is required, do contact the company officers or managing agents (where applicable) for this at the earliest opportunity.
  • You believe that you know the number of years remaining on your lease but it would be wise to verify this via your conveyancers. A buyer’s lawyer will be unlikely to recommend their client to where the lease term is below 80 years. In the circumstances it is important at an as soon as possible that you identify whether the lease term requires a lease extension. If it does, contact your solicitors before you put your premises on the market for sale.

  • Leigh Conveyancing for Leasehold Flats - Examples of Queries before Purchasing

      You will want to find out as much as you can about the company managing the block as they can either make your living at the property much easier or a lot more difficult. Being a leasehold owner you will be in the clutches of the managing agents both financially and when it comes to day to day issues such as the tidiness of the common parts. Ask prospective neighbours whether they are happy with their service. In conclusion, find out the dates that you are obliged pay the service charge to the managing agents and precisely what it includes. How many of the leaseholders are in arrears for their service charge payments? How long is the Lease?

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Leigh