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Frequently asked questions relating to Leyland leasehold conveyancing

I only have Seventy years unexpired on my lease in Leyland. I now wish to extend my lease but my landlord is absent. What options are available to me?

If you meet the appropriate requirements, under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 you can submit an application to the County Court for for permission to dispense with the service of the initial notice. This will enable the lease to be lengthened by the Court. 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 an enquiry agent should be helpful to conduct investigations and prepare an expert document to be used as evidence that the freeholder is indeed missing. It is wise to seek advice from a conveyancer both on devolving into the landlord’s absence and the application to the County Court overseeing Leyland.

I am hoping to put an offer on a small detached house that seems to be perfect, at a great price which is making it all the more appealing. I have since found out that it's a leasehold rather than freehold. I would have thought that there are particular concerns purchasing a leasehold house in Leyland. Conveyancing advisers have are about to be instructed. Will my lawyers set out the implications of buying a leasehold house in Leyland ?

Most houses in Leyland are freehold rather than leasehold. In this scenario it’s worth having a local solicitor used to dealing with such properties who can help the conveyancing process. it is apparent that you are buying in Leyland so you should seriously consider shopping around for a Leyland conveyancing solicitor and be sure that they have experience in transacting on leasehold houses. As a matter of priority you will need to check the number of years remaining. Being a tenant you will not be at liberty to do whatever you want with the house. The lease comes with conditions such as obtaining the freeholder’sconsent to conduct changes to the property. You may also be required to pay a service charge towards the maintenance of the communal areas where the property is located on an estate. Your solicitor should advise you fully on all the issues.

My wife and I purchased a leasehold house in Leyland. Conveyancing and Leeds Building Society mortgage are in place. 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 1997. The conveyancing solicitor in Leyland who acted for me is not around.What should I do?

First contact the Land Registry to make sure that this person is in fact the new freeholder. You do not need to instruct a Leyland conveyancing solicitor to do this as it can be done on-line for a few pound. You should note that in any event, even if this is the legitimate landlord, under the Limitation Act 1980 no more than 6 years of rent can be collected.

I am employed by a long established estate agency in Leyland where we see a few flat sales jeopardised due to leases having less than 80 years remaining. I have been given inconsistent advice from local Leyland conveyancing firms. Could you shed some light as to whether the seller of a flat can commence the lease extension process for the buyer?

Provided that 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 proposed purchaser need not have 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.

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.

Do you have any top tips for leasehold conveyancing in Leyland from the perspective of expediting the sale process?

  • A significant proportion of the frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Leyland can be bypassed if you instruct lawyers as soon as your agents start advertising the property and request that they start to collate the leasehold information needed by the purchasers’ lawyers.
  • If you have carried out any alterations to the residence would they have required Landlord’s permission? In particular have you installed wooden flooring? Most leases in Leyland state that internal structural alterations or installing wooden flooring require a licence issued by the Landlord acquiescing to such changes. Where you fail to have the consents to hand do not contact the landlord without contacting your solicitor before hand.
  • A minority of Leyland leases require Licence to Assign from the landlord. If this is the case, you should notify your estate agents to make sure that the purchasers put in hand bank and professional references. Any 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 any disputes with your landlord or managing agents it is essential that these are resolved before the property is marketed. The purchasers and their solicitors will be nervous about purchasing a property where there is a current dispute. You may need to swallow your pride and 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 will still have to reveal particulars of the dispute to the purchasers, but it is clearly preferable to present the dispute as over rather than unresolved.
  • You may think that you are aware of the number of years left on your lease but it would be advisable double-check by asking your lawyers. A buyer’s lawyer will not be happy to advise their client to proceed with the purchase of a leasehold property the remaining number of years is below 75 years. In the circumstances it is important at an as soon as possible 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 bought a basement flat in Leyland, conveyancing formalities finalised 2004. How much will my lease extension cost? Corresponding flats in Leyland with a long lease are worth £269,000. The ground rent is £45 charged once a year. The lease comes to an end on 21st October 2078

    With 57 years unexpired we estimate the price of your lease extension to span between £27,600 and £31,800 as well as professional fees.

    The suggested premium range that we have given is a general guide to costs for renewing a lease, but we cannot give you the actual costs in the absence of comprehensive due diligence. You should not use the figures in a Notice of Claim or as an informal offer. There are no doubt additional concerns that need to be taken into account and clearly you should be as accurate as possible in your negotiations. You should not move forward based on this information without first seeking the advice of a professional.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Leyland