Fixed-fee leasehold conveyancing in Bellingham:

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Questions and Answers: Bellingham leasehold conveyancing

I am hoping to sign contracts shortly on a basement flat in Bellingham. Conveyancing lawyers inform me that they are sending me a report on Monday. What should I be looking out for?

Your report on title for your leasehold conveyancing in Bellingham should include some of the following:

  • The unexpired lease term You should be advised as what happens when the lease expires, and informed of the importance of the 80 year mark
  • Does the lease prohibit wood flooring?
  • Ground rent - how much and when you need to pay, and also know whether this is subject to change
  • An explanation as to the provision in the lease to pay service charges - with regard to both the building, and the more general rights a leaseholder has
  • You should have a good understanding of the insurance provisions
  • I don't know whether the lease allows me to alter or improve anything in the flat - you should know whether it applies to all alterations or just structural alteration, and whether consent is required
  • What the implications are if you breach a clause of your lease? For a comprehensive list of information to be contained in your report on your leasehold property in Bellingham please ask your conveyancer in ahead of your conveyancing in Bellingham

  • I work for a long established estate agency in Bellingham where we have experienced a number of leasehold sales derailed as a result of short leases. I have received conflicting advice from local Bellingham conveyancing solicitors. Please can you clarify whether the owner of a flat can instigate 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. The benefit of this is that the buyer can avoid having to wait 2 years to extend their lease. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment has to be done prior to, 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 buyer.

    Can you offer any advice when it comes to finding a Bellingham conveyancing practice to carry out our lease extension conveyancing?

    If you are instructing a conveyancer for your lease extension (regardless if they are a Bellingham conveyancing firm) it is essential that they be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of work. We advise that you speak with two or three firms including non Bellingham conveyancing practices before you instructing a firm. Where the conveyancing practice is ALEP accredited then so much the better. Some following of questions could be useful:

    • If the firm is not ALEP accredited then why not?
  • What volume of lease extensions has the firm conducted in Bellingham in the last twenty four months?

  • Can you provide any top tips for leasehold conveyancing in Bellingham from the point of view of expediting the sale process?

    • Much of the frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Bellingham can be avoided if you appoint lawyers the minute you market your property and request that they start to collate the leasehold information which will be required by the buyers lawyers.
    • Many freeholders or Management Companies in Bellingham charge for providing management packs for a leasehold premises. You or your lawyers should discover the fee that they propose to charge. The management pack sought on or before finding a buyer, thus accelerating the process. The typical amount of time it takes to obtain the necessary information is three weeks. It is the most frequent cause of delay in leasehold conveyancing in Bellingham.
  • If you have carried out any alterations to the residence would they have required Landlord’s approval? In particular have you laid down wooden flooring? Bellingham leases often stipulate that internal structural changes or laying down wooden flooring necessitate a licence issued by the Landlord consenting to such alterations. Where you dont have the approvals to hand do not contact the landlord without contacting your conveyancer before hand.
  • Some Bellingham leases require Landlord’s consent to the sale and approval of the buyers. If this is the case, you should place the estate agents on notice to make sure that the purchasers put in hand financial (bank) and professional references. Any bank reference should make it clear that the buyer is financially capable of paying 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 service charge figures so that they can pass this information on to the purchasers or their lawyers.
  • You may think that you are aware of the number of years remaining on your lease but you should double-check by asking your conveyancers. A purchaser's lawyer will be unlikely to recommend their client to where the remaining number of years is less than 75 years. It is therefore essential at an early stage 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.

  • All being well we will complete the sale of our £500000 maisonette in Bellingham in seven days. The freeholder has quoted £300 for Certificate of Compliance, insurance certificate and 3 years statements of service charge. Is the landlord entitled to charge an administration fee for a leasehold conveyance in Bellingham?

    Bellingham conveyancing on leasehold maisonettes often involves the purchaser’s solicitor sending questions for the landlord to answer. Although the landlord is under no legal obligation to answer such questions most will be willing to do so. They are at liberty levy a reasonable administration fee for answering enquiries or supplying documentation. There is no upper cap for such fees. The average fee for the paperwork that you are referring to is over three hundred pounds, in some transactions it is in excess of £800. The management information fee required by the landlord must be sent together with a summary of rights and obligations in respect of administration charges, otherwise the charge is technically not due. In reality one has little choice but to pay whatever is requested of you if you want to sell the property.

    I have given up trying to purchase the freehold in Bellingham. Can this matter be resolved via the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal?

    in cases where there is a absentee freeholder or if there is disagreement about what the lease extension should cost, under the relevant legislation it is possible to make an application to the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal to make a decision on the premium.

    An example of a Freehold Enfranchisement matter before the tribunal for a Bellingham flat is 75 Woolstone Road in February 2012. the decision of the Tribunal was that the appropriate amount to be paid to purchase the freehold was the sum of £17,711 . This case affected 2 flats. The the unexpired residue of the current lease was 68.28 and 158.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Bellingham