Fixed-fee leasehold conveyancing in Belmont:

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Frequently asked questions relating to Belmont leasehold conveyancing

I’m about to sell my 2 bed flat in Belmont.Conveyancing solicitors are to be appointed soon but I have just received a yearly maintenance charge invoice – Do I pay up?

It best that you pay the invoice 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 managing agents 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. Having a clear account will assist your cause and will leave you no worse off financially.

I am hoping to put an offer on a small detached house that seems to be perfect, at a great figure which is making it all the more appealing. I have subsequently been informed that it's a leasehold rather than freehold. I would have thought that there are particular concerns purchasing a leasehold house in Belmont. Conveyancing lawyers have not yet been instructed. Will my lawyers set out the implications of buying a leasehold house in Belmont ?

Most houses in Belmont are freehold and not leasehold. In this scenario it’s worth having a local conveyancer used to dealing with such properties who can help the conveyancing process. We note that you are buying in Belmont so you should seriously consider shopping around for a Belmont conveyancing solicitor and be sure that they are used to transacting on leasehold houses. As a matter of priority you will need to check the number of years remaining. Being a leaseholder you will not be entirely free to do whatever you want with the house. The lease will likely included provisions for example requiring the landlord’sconsent to carry out 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 part of an estate. Your lawyer should report to you on the legal implications.

I am attracted to a two maisonettes in Belmont which have in the region of fifty years left on the lease term. Do I need to be concerned?

There is no doubt about it. A leasehold flat in Belmont is a deteriorating asset as a result of the shortening lease. The closer the lease gets to its expiry date, the more it reduces the value of the premises. The majority of purchasers and banks, leases with under eighty years become less and less marketable. On a more upbeat note, leaseholders can extend their leases by serving a Section 42 Notice. One stipulation is that they must have owned the premises for two years (unlike a Section 13 notice for purchasing the freehold, when leaseholders can participate from day one of ownership). When successful, they will have the right to an extension of 90 years to the current term and ground rent is effectively reduced to zero. Before moving forward with a purchase of a residence with a short lease term remaining you should talk to a solicitor specialising in lease extensions and leasehold enfranchisement. We are are happy to put you in touch with Belmont conveyancing experts who will explain the options available to you during an initial telephone conversation free of charge. More often than not it is possible to negotiate informally with the freeholder to extend the lease You may find he or she is happy to negotiate informally and willing to consider your offer straight off, without having to involve anyone else. This will save you time and money and it could help you reach a lower price on the lease. You need to ensure that any new terms represent good long-term value compared with the standard benefits of the Section 42 Notice and that onerous clauses are not inserted into any redrafting of the lease.

I work for a reputable estate agency in Belmont where we see a number of flat sales jeopardised due to leases having less than 80 years remaining. I have been given contradictory information from local Belmont conveyancing solicitors. Can you confirm whether the owner of a flat can initiate the lease extension formalities for the buyer?

Provided that the seller has owned the lease 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 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 before, or simultaneously with completion of the sale.

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 purchaser.

What are your top tips when it comes to finding a Belmont conveyancing practice to deal with our lease extension?

If you are instructing a solicitor for your lease extension (regardless if they are a Belmont conveyancing practice) it is essential that they be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of conveyancing. We recommend that you make enquires with two or three firms including non Belmont conveyancing practices before you instructing a firm. If the firm is ALEP accredited then that’s a bonus. Some following of questions could be helpful:

  • How familiar is the practice with lease extension legislation?
  • What volume of lease extensions has the firm conducted in Belmont in the last 12 months?

  • I have attempted and failed to negotiate with my landlord to extend my lease without getting anywhere. Can a leaseholder apply to the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal? Can you recommend a Belmont conveyancing firm to assist?

    if there is a missing landlord or where there is disagreement about the premium for a lease extension, under the relevant legislation it is possible to make an application to the LVT to assess the price.

    An example of a Lease Extension decision for a Belmont property is 33 The Maisonettes Alberta Avenue in June 2014. the Tribunal decided that the premium payable for the grant of a new lease be the sum of £20,680 (Twenty Thousand six hundred and eighty pounds). This case affected 1 flat. The unexpired lease term was 60.43 years.