Fixed-fee leasehold conveyancing in Crook Log:

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Sample questions relating to Crook Log leasehold conveyancing

I only have Sixty One years remaining on my flat in Crook Log. I now want to extend my lease but my freeholder is absent. What are my options?

If you meet the appropriate requirements, 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. You will be obliged to demonstrate that you have used your best endeavours to find the freeholder. On the whole an enquiry agent may be useful to carry out a search and to produce an expert document to be accepted by the court as evidence that the freeholder can not be located. It is wise to seek advice from a solicitor in relation to investigating the landlord’s disappearance and the vesting order request to the County Court overseeing Crook Log.

Estate agents have just been given the go-ahead to market my basement apartment in Crook Log.Conveyancing solicitors are to be appointed soon but I have just received a yearly service charge invoice – Do I pay up?

Your conveyancing lawyer is likely to suggest that you should discharge 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 until 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. This will smooth the conveyancing process.

I've recently bought a leasehold house in Crook Log. 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 am employed by a busy estate agent office in Crook Log where we have experienced a few flat sales derailed as a result of leases having less than 80 years remaining. I have received conflicting advice from local Crook Log conveyancing firms. Please can you confirm whether the seller of a flat can instigate the lease extension process for the buyer?

As long as 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. This means that the buyer can avoid having to sit tight for 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 simultaneously with completion of the sale.

Alternatively, it may be possible to agree the lease extension with the freeholder 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.

Do you have any advice for leasehold conveyancing in Crook Log with the intention of saving time on the sale process?

  • Much of the delay in leasehold conveyancing in Crook Log can be reduced where you get in touch lawyers as soon as you market your property and ask them to put together the leasehold documentation needed by the buyers lawyers.
  • If you have carried out any alterations to the property would they have required Landlord’s permission? In particular have you installed wooden flooring? Crook Log leases often stipulate that internal structural changes or installing wooden flooring necessitate a licence issued by the Landlord acquiescing to such alterations. If you fail to have the approvals in place do not communicate with the landlord without checking with your solicitor before hand.
  • A minority of Crook Log leases require Landlord’s consent to the sale and approval of the buyers. If this applies to your lease, 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 financially capable of paying the yearly 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 actual amount of the service charge so that they can pass this information on to the purchasers or their solicitors.
  • If you have had conflict with your freeholder or managing agents it is very important that these are settled prior to the flat being put on the market. The buyers and their solicitors will be concerned about purchasing a flat where a dispute is unsettled. You may need to swallow your pride and pay any arrears of service charge or resolve the dispute prior to completion of the sale. It is therefore preferable to have any dispute settled prior to the contract papers being issued to the buyers’ solicitors. You will still have to reveal particulars of the dispute to the buyers, but it is clearly preferable to reveal the dispute as historic rather than unresolved.
  • If you are supposed to have a share in the freehold, you should make sure that you have the original share certificate. Organising a duplicate share certificate is often a time consuming formality and slows down many a Crook Log home move. Where a duplicate share is needed, you should approach the company director and secretary or managing agents (where relevant) for this at the earliest opportunity.

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

    You certainly can. We are happy to put you in touch with a Crook Log conveyancing firm who can help.

    An example of a Lease Extension case for a Crook Log residence is Various @ Colombus Square in January 2012. the Tribunal calculated the premiums to be paid for new leases for each of the flats in Mariners Walk to be £3822 and the premium to be paid for the new lease of 2 Knights Court to be £4439. This case was in relation to 13 flats. The the unexpired residue of the current lease was 76 years.