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Questions and Answers: Bulls Cross leasehold conveyancing

My wife and I may need to let out our Bulls Cross ground floor flat temporarily due to a career opportunity. We used a Bulls Cross conveyancing practice in 2003 but they have closed and we did not have the foresight to get any advice as to whether the lease permits subletting. How do we find out?

Some leases for properties in Bulls Cross do contain a provision to say that subletting is only allowed with permission. The landlord is not entitled to unreasonably refuse but, in such cases, they would need to see references. Experience suggests that problems are usually caused by unsatisfactory tenants rather than owner-occupiers and for that reason you can expect the freeholder to take up the references and consider them carefully before granting consent.

I have recently realised that I have Fifty years unexpired on my lease in Bulls Cross. I now want to get lease extension but my freeholder is absent. What should I do?

If you qualify, under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 you can apply to the County Court for an order to dispense with the service of the initial notice. This will mean that your lease can be extended by the Court. However, you will be required to prove that you or your lawyers have done all that could be expected to locate the landlord. For most situations an enquiry agent should be useful to conduct investigations and to produce a report which can be used as proof that the freeholder can not be located. It is wise to seek advice from a solicitor both on investigating the landlord’s disappearance and the vesting order request to the County Court covering Bulls Cross.

Planning to sign contracts shortly on a studio apartment in Bulls Cross. Conveyancing solicitors inform me that they report fully within the next couple of days. What should I be looking out for?

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

  • The length of the lease term You should be advised as what happens when the lease expires, and aware of the importance of the 80 year mark
  • Details of the parties to the lease, for example these could be the leaseholder (you), head lessor, freeholder
  • Are pets allowed in the flat?
  • 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
  • Repair and maintenance of the flat
  • The landlord’s rights to access the flat you be made aware that your landlord has rights of access and I know how much notice s/he must provide.
  • Whether the landlord has obligations to ensure rights of quiet enjoyment over your property and do you know what it means in practice? For a comprehensive list of information to be included in your report on your leasehold property in Bulls Cross please ask your solicitor in ahead of your conveyancing in Bulls Cross

  • I am hoping to put an offer on a small detached house that seems to meet my requirements, at a great figure which is making it more attractive. I have just discovered that it's a leasehold as opposed to freehold. I would have thought that there are particular concerns buying a leasehold house in Bulls Cross. Conveyancing advisers have are soon to be appointed. Will they explain the issues?

    Most houses in Bulls Cross are freehold rather than leasehold. This is one of the situations where having a local solicitor who is familiar with the area can help the conveyancing process. We note that you are purchasing in Bulls Cross in which case you should be shopping around for a Bulls Cross conveyancing solicitor and check 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 lessee you will not be entirely free to do whatever you want to the property. 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 maintenance charge towards the maintenance of the communal areas where the house is located on an estate. Your lawyer will report to you on the legal implications.

    I've recently bought a leasehold house in Bulls Cross. Am I liable to pay service charges relating to a period prior to my ownership?

    In a situation 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. Strange as it may seem, 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).

    I have given up trying to purchase the freehold in Bulls Cross. Can the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal adjudicate on premiums?

    in cases where there is a absentee 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 Leasehold Valuation Tribunal to make a decision on the price payable.

    An example of a Lease Extension case for a Bulls Cross flat is First Floor Flat 109 Lyndhurst Road in May 2010. Following a vesting order by Edmonton County Court on 29th October 2009 the Tribunal decided on a figure of £5,012 for a lease extension. This case was in relation to 1 flat. The unexpired term was 81.79 years.