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Bellingham leasehold conveyancing: Q and A’s

I am hoping to put an offer on a small detached house that appears to meet my requirements, at a great price which is making it more attractive. I have subsequently discovered that the title is leasehold as opposed to freehold. I am assuming that there are issues buying a leasehold house in Bellingham. Conveyancing solicitors have are soon to be instructed. Will my lawyers set out the implications of buying a leasehold house in Bellingham ?

Most houses in Bellingham are freehold rather than leasehold. In this scenario it’s worth having a local conveyancer used to dealing with such properties who can help the conveyancing process. it is apparent that you are purchasing in Bellingham in which case you should be shopping around for a Bellingham conveyancing solicitor and check that they are used to advising on leasehold houses. As a matter of priority you will need to check the unexpired lease term. As a lessee you will not be at liberty to do whatever you want to the property. The lease comes with conditions for example obtaining the freeholder’spermission to carry out changes to the property. You may also be required to pay a contribution towards the maintenance of the estate where the house is located on an estate. Your conveyancer will advise you fully on all the issues.

My wife and I purchased a leasehold flat in Bellingham. Conveyancing and Lloyds TSB Bank mortgage are in place. A letter has just been received from someone claiming to own the reversionary interest in the property. It included a demand for arrears of ground rent dating back to 1992. The conveyancing practitioner in Bellingham who previously acted has now retired.Do I pay?

First make enquiries of HMLR to make sure that the individual purporting to own the freehold is indeed the registered owner of the freehold reversion. There is no need to incur the fees of a Bellingham conveyancing practitioner to do this as it can be done on-line for a few pound. Rest assured that in any event, even if this is the rightful freeholder, under the Limitation Act 1980 the limitation period for recovery of ground rent is six years.

Last month I purchased a leasehold property in Bellingham. Am I liable to pay service charges for periods before my ownership?

In a situation where the service charge has already been demanded from the previous lessee and they have not paid you would not usually be personally liable for the arrears. However, your landlord may still be able to take action to forfeit the lease. It is an essential part of leasehold conveyancing for your conveyancer to be sure to have an up to date clear service charge receipt before completion of your purchase. If you have a mortgage this is likely to be a requirement of your lender.

If you purchase part way through an accounting year you may be liable for charges not yet demanded even if they relate to a period prior to your purchase. In such circumstances your conveyancer would normally arrange for the seller to set aside some money to cover their part of the period (usually called a service charge retention).

Can you offer any advice when it comes to choosing a Bellingham conveyancing practice to deal with our lease extension?

If you are instructing a property lawyer for lease extension works (regardless if they are a Bellingham conveyancing practice) it is essential that they be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of conveyancing. We recommend that you speak with two or three firms including non Bellingham conveyancing practices prior to instructing a firm. Where the conveyancing practice is ALEP accredited then so much the better. Some following of questions might be of use:

  • What volume of lease extensions has the firm carried out in Bellingham in the last year?
  • Can they put you in touch with client in Bellingham who can give a testimonial?

  • Following months of dialogue we cannot agree with our landlord on how much the lease extension should cost for our flat in Bellingham. Does the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal have jurisdiction to calculate the appropriate figures?

    Where there is a missing landlord or if there is dispute about what the lease extension should cost, under the relevant legislation you can apply to the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal to assess the premium.

    An example of a Freehold Enfranchisement decision 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 remaining number of years on the lease was 68.28 and 158.

    In relation to leasehold conveyancing in Bellingham what are the most common lease problems?

    There is nothing unique about leasehold conveyancing in Bellingham. All leases is drafted differently and legal mistakes in the legal wording can result in certain sections are missing. For example, if your lease is missing any of the following, it could be defective:

    • Repairing obligations to or maintain elements of the building
    • A duty to insure the building
    • Clauses dealing with recovering service charges for expenditure on the building or common parts.
    • Maintenance charge proportions which don’t add up to the correct percentage

    You will 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. Barclays , The Royal Bank of Scotland, and Britannia all have express conveyancing instructions when it comes to what is expected in a lease. Where a lender has been advised by their lawyers that the lease does not cover certain provisions they may refuse to grant the mortgage, forcing the purchaser to withdraw.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Bellingham