Fixed-fee leasehold conveyancing in Downham:

While any conveyancing practice can theoretically deal with your leasehold conveyancing in Downham, your mortgage provider may not be willing to work with them if the firm are not on their list of approved solicitors for conveyancing

Recently asked questions relating to Downham leasehold conveyancing

I am hoping to put an offer on a small detached house that seems to tick a lot of boxes, at a great price which is making it all the more appealing. I have just discovered that the title is leasehold rather than freehold. I am assuming that there are particular concerns purchasing a house with a leasehold title in Downham. Conveyancing advisers have are soon to be instructed. Will my lawyers set out the risks of buying a leasehold house in Downham ?

The majority of houses in Downham are freehold and not 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 buying in Downham in which case you should be shopping around for a Downham conveyancing solicitor and be sure that they are used to advising on leasehold houses. As a matter of priority you will need to check the unexpired lease term. Being a lessee you will not be entirely free to do whatever you want to the property. The lease will likely included provisions such as requiring the landlord’sconsent to carry out changes to the property. It may be necessary to pay a service charge towards the maintenance of the estate where the house is located on an estate. Your solicitor should advise you fully on all the issues.

Last month I purchased a leasehold house in Downham. Do I have any liability for service charges relating to a period prior to my ownership?

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. 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 Downham where we see a number of leasehold sales derailed as a result of short leases. I have received inconsistent advice from local Downham conveyancing solicitors. Could you shed some light as to whether the vendor of a flat can initiate 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 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 before, or at the same time as 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 buyer.

What are your top tips when it comes to finding a Downham conveyancing firm to carry out our lease extension conveyancing?

When appointing a solicitor for lease extension works (regardless if they are a Downham conveyancing practice) it is most important that they be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of work. We suggested that you make enquires with several firms including non Downham conveyancing practices prior to instructing a firm. If the firm is ALEP accredited then so much the better. Some following of questions could be of use:

  • How many lease extensions has the firm conducted in Downham in the last twenty four months?
  • What are the legal fees for lease extension work?

  • Following years of negotiations we cannot agree with our landlord on how much the lease extension should cost for our flat in Downham. Can we issue an application to the Residential Property Tribunal Service?

    You certainly can. We can put you in touch with a Downham conveyancing firm who can help.

    An example of a Freehold Enfranchisement decision for a Downham flat is Ravensbourne Lodge 4 Highland Road in February 2013. the Tribunal held that the amount payable for the freehold was £22,268

    When it comes to leasehold conveyancing in Downham what are the most common lease problems?

    Leasehold conveyancing in Downham is not unique. All leases is drafted differently and legal mistakes in the legal wording can result in certain clauses are erroneous. For example, if your lease is missing any of the following, it could be defective:

    • Repairing obligations to or maintain parts of the premises
    • Insurance obligations
    • A provision for the recovery of money spent for the benefit of another party.
    • Maintenance charge proportions which don’t add up to the correct percentage

    You could have 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. Accord Mortgages Ltd, The Royal Bank of Scotland, and Britannia all have express requirements when it comes to what is expected in a lease. Where a lender has been advised by their lawyers that the lease is defective they may refuse to provide security, obliging the buyer to withdraw.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Downham