Fixed-fee leasehold conveyancing in Blackfen:

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Frequently asked questions relating to Blackfen leasehold conveyancing

Harry (my fiance) and I may need to rent out our Blackfen basement flat for a while due to a career opportunity. We used a Blackfen conveyancing practice in 2004 but they have since shut and we did not think at the time get any advice as to whether the lease permits subletting. How do we find out?

Your lease governs relations between the freeholder and you the leaseholder; specifically, it will indicate if subletting is prohibited, or permitted but only subject to certain caveats. The rule is that if the lease contains no specific ban or restriction, subletting is allowed. Most leases in Blackfen do not prevent strict prohibition on subletting – such a clause would undoubtedly devalue the flat. Instead, there is usually a basic requirement that the owner notifies the freeholder, possibly supplying a copy of the sublease.

I today plan to offer on a house that seems to tick a lot of boxes, at a reasonable figure which is making it all the more appealing. I have since found out that it's a leasehold as opposed to freehold. I am assuming that there are issues buying a house with a leasehold title in Blackfen. Conveyancing solicitors have are about to be appointed. Will they explain the issues?

Most houses in Blackfen are freehold and not leasehold. In this scenario it’s worth having a local conveyancer used to dealing with such properties who can assist with the conveyancing process. it is apparent that you are buying in Blackfen in which case you should be shopping around for a Blackfen conveyancing solicitor and check that they have experience in dealing with leasehold houses. First 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 for example obtaining the landlord’sconsent to conduct changes to the property. It may be necessary to pay a contribution towards the upkeep of the communal areas where the house is part of an estate. Your lawyer will appraise you on the various issues.

My wife and I purchased a leasehold house in Blackfen. Conveyancing and Alliance & Leicester mortgage are in place. A letter has just been received from someone claiming to own the reversionary interest in the property. Attached was a demand for arrears of ground rent dating back to 1997. The conveyancing practitioner in Blackfen who previously acted has now retired.Any advice?

First make enquiries of the Land Registry to make sure that the individual claiming to own the freehold is indeed the new freeholder. It is not necessary to incur the fees of a Blackfen conveyancing firm to do this as you can do this on the Land Registry website for less than a fiver. You should note that in any event, even if this is the legitimate freeholder, under the Limitation Act 1980 the limitation period for recovery of ground rent is six years.

I've recently bought a leasehold house in Blackfen. Am I liable to pay service charges for periods before my ownership?

Where the service charge has already been demanded from the previous owner 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 provide any advice for leasehold conveyancing in Blackfen with the intention of speeding up the sale process?

  • Much of the frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Blackfen can be reduced if you get in touch lawyers as soon as you market your property and ask them to collate the leasehold documentation needed by the buyers lawyers.
  • The majority freeholders or managing agents in Blackfen levy fees for supplying management packs for a leasehold property. You or your lawyers should enquire as to the fee that they propose to charge. The management pack sought as soon as you have a buyer, thus reducing delays. The average time it takes to receive management information is three weeks. It is the most usual reason for frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Blackfen.
  • If you have carried out any alterations to the premises would they have required Landlord’s permission? In particular have you installed wooden flooring? Most leases in Blackfen state that internal structural alterations or installing wooden flooring calls for a licence from the Landlord consenting to such changes. Should you fail to have the paperwork in place do not contact the landlord without contacting your lawyer before hand.
  • A minority of Blackfen 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 obtain bank and professional references. Any 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 service charge figures so that they can pass this information on to the purchasers or their solicitors.
  • If you have the benefit of shareholding in the freehold, you should ensure that you are holding the original share document. Organising a duplicate share certificate can be a time consuming process and frustrates many a Blackfen home move. If a duplicate share certificate is needed, do contact the company officers or managing agents (where relevant) for this sooner rather than later.

  • I am the registered owner of a second floor flat in Blackfen. In the absence of agreement between myself and the landlord, can the Leasehold valuation Tribunal make a decision on the sum payable for a lease extension?

    if there is a missing freeholder or if there is disagreement about what the lease extension should cost, under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 it is possible to make an application to the LVT to arrive at the price payable.

    An example of a Lease Extension matter before the tribunal for a Blackfen premises is 103a Footscray Road in January 2014. The tribunal determines that the premium payable for the extended lease should be £34,500 according to the expert witness valuation calculation This case affected 1 flat.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Blackfen