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Frequently asked questions relating to Forestdale leasehold conveyancing

I only have Fifty years remaining on my lease in Forestdale. I am keen to extend my lease but my landlord is absent. What are my options?

On the basis that you meet the appropriate requirements, under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 you can submit an application 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 prove that you or your lawyers have made all reasonable attempts to locate the lessor. For most situations a specialist would be useful to carry out a search and prepare a report to be used as evidence that the freeholder is indeed missing. It is advisable to get professional help from a conveyancer in relation to devolving into the landlord’s absence and the application to the County Court covering Forestdale.

Due to sign contracts shortly on a studio apartment in Forestdale. Conveyancing solicitors inform me that they will have a report out to me within the next couple of days. What should I be looking out for?

The report on title for your leasehold conveyancing in Forestdale should include some of the following:

  • The physical extent of the property. This will be the apartment itself but could also incorporate a roof space or basement if appropriate.
  • You must be told what constitutes a Nuisance in the lease
  • Ground rent - how much and when you need to pay, and also know whether this will change in the future
  • I don't know whether the lease allows me to alter or improve anything in the flat - you should know whether it applies to all alterations or just structural alteration, and whether consent is required
  • Whether the landlord has obligations to ensure rights of quiet enjoyment over your premises and do you know what it means in practice?
  • The landlord’s obligations to repair and maintain the building. It is important that you know who is responsible for the repair and maintenance of every part of the building
  • What you can do if a neighbour is in violation of a provision in their lease? For a comprehensive list of information to be contained in your report on your leasehold property in Forestdale please ask your conveyancer in ahead of your conveyancing in Forestdale

  • Can you offer any advice when it comes to choosing a Forestdale conveyancing practice to carry out our lease extension conveyancing?

    When appointing a solicitor for your lease extension (regardless if they are a Forestdale conveyancing practice) it is imperative that they be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of conveyancing. We advise that you speak with several firms including non Forestdale conveyancing practices prior to instructing a firm. If the firm is ALEP accredited then that’s a bonus. Some following of questions might be helpful:

    • How familiar is the firm with lease extension legislation?
  • How many lease extensions have they completed in Forestdale in the last 12 months?

  • Can you provide any top tips for leasehold conveyancing in Forestdale with the aim of expediting the sale process?

    • A significant proportion of the delay in leasehold conveyancing in Forestdale can be reduced if you instruct lawyers the minute your agents start advertising the property and ask them to collate the leasehold documentation needed by the buyers solicitors.
    • In the event that you altered the property did you need the Landlord’s permission? Have you, for example laid down wooden flooring? Most leases in Forestdale state that internal structural alterations or addition of wooden flooring require a licence from the Landlord acquiescing to such changes. Where you dont have the approvals in place do not contact the landlord without contacting your solicitor in the first instance.
  • A minority of Forestdale leases require Licence to Assign from the landlord. If this applies to your lease, it would be prudent to place the estate agents on notice to make sure that the purchasers put in hand bank and professional references. Any bank reference should make it clear that the buyer is financially capable of paying 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 buyers or their lawyers.
  • If you have the benefit of shareholding in the freehold, you should ensure that you hold the original share certificate. Organising a new share certificate is often a lengthy process and frustrates many a Forestdale conveyancing transaction. If a duplicate share is necessary, you should approach the company officers or managing agents (where relevant) for this sooner rather than later.
  • You may think that you are aware of the number of years remaining on your lease but it would be advisable verify this by asking your lawyers. A purchaser's lawyer will not be happy to advise their client to to exchange contracts if the remaining number of years is under 80 years. In the circumstances it is essential at an as soon as possible that you consider whether the lease term requires a lease extension. If it does, contact your solicitors before you put your property on the market for sale.

  • Our conveyancer has advised that he intends to complete and exchange simultaneously on our sale of a £325000 apartment in Forestdale in just under a week. The freeholder has quoted £384 for Certificate of Compliance, insurance certificate and 3 years service charge statements. Is the landlord entitled to charge exorbitant fees for a flat conveyance in Forestdale?

    Forestdale conveyancing on leasehold apartments usually involves the purchaser’s solicitor sending questions for the landlord to address. Although the landlord is under no legal obligation to answer these enquiries the majority will be willing to assist. They may levy a reasonable administration fee for answering enquiries or supplying documentation. There is no upper cap for such fees. The average fee for the information that you are referring to is £350, in some situations it is in excess of £800. The administration charge levied by the landlord must be accompanied by a synopsis of entitlements and obligations in relation to administration fees, otherwise the invoice is technically not due. Reality however dictates that one has no option but to pay whatever is demanded if you want to exchange contracts with the buyer.

    I am the proprietor of a ground flat in Forestdale. Given that I can not reach agreement with the freeholder, can the Leasehold valuation Tribunal determine the sum payable for the purchase of the freehold?

    Absolutely. We are happy to put you in touch with a Forestdale conveyancing firm who can help.

    An example of a Freehold Enfranchisement decision for a Forestdale property is The Woodlands 95 Purley Park Road in April 2009. The Tribunals own valuation produced the figure of £37,912. This case was in relation to 6 flats. The unexpired lease term was 78.32 years.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Forestdale