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Questions and Answers: Fulwell leasehold conveyancing

Planning to sign contracts shortly on a studio apartment in Fulwell. Conveyancing lawyers assured me that they will have a report out to me within the next couple of days. Are there areas in the report that I should be focusing on?

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

  • The unexpired lease term You should be advised as what happens when the lease expires, and aware of the importance of not letting the lease term falling below eighty years
  • Details of the parties to the lease, for example these could be the leaseholder (you), head lessor, freeholder
  • Ground rent - how much and when you need to pay, and also know whether this will change in the future
  • Whether your lease has a provision for a sinking fund?
  • You should have a good understanding of the insurance provisions
  • Changes to the flat (alterations and additions)
  • 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 For details of the information to be contained in your report on your leasehold property in Fulwell please enquire of your conveyancer in advance of your conveyancing in Fulwell

  • I am tempted by the attractive purchase price for a two maisonettes in Fulwell both have about fifty years left on the leases. Will this present a problem?

    There are no two ways about it. A leasehold flat in Fulwell is a wasting asset as a result of the reducing lease term. The nearer the lease gets to zero years unexpired, the more it reduces the salability of the property. For most buyers and lenders, leases with less than 75 years become less and less marketable. On a more positive note, leaseholders can extend their leases by serving a Section 42 Notice. One stipulation is that they must have owned the property for two years (unlike a Section 13 notice for purchasing the freehold, when leaseholders can participate from day one of ownership). When successful, they will have the right to an extension of 90 years to the current term and ground rent is effectively reduced to zero. Before moving forward with a purchase of property with a short lease term remaining you should talk to a solicitor specialising in lease extensions and leasehold enfranchisement. We are are happy to put you in touch with Fulwell conveyancing experts who will explain the options available to you during an initial telephone conversation free of charge. A more straightforward and quicker method of extending would be to contact your landlord directly and sound him out on the prospect of extending the lease You may find he or she is happy to negotiate informally and willing to consider your offer straight off, without having to involve anyone else. This will save you time and money and it could help you reach a lower price on the lease. You need to ensure that any new terms represent good long-term value compared with the standard benefits of the Section 42 Notice and that onerous clauses are not inserted into any redrafting of the lease.

    Can you offer any advice when it comes to finding a Fulwell conveyancing practice to carry out our lease extension conveyancing?

    If you are instructing a solicitor for your lease extension (regardless if they are a Fulwell conveyancing firm) it is imperative that they be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of conveyancing. We recommend that you speak with two or three firms including non Fulwell conveyancing practices before you instructing a firm. Where the conveyancing practice is ALEP accredited then so much the better. Some following of questions might be helpful:

    • How familiar is the firm with lease extension legislation?
  • How many lease extensions have they carried out in Fulwell in the last twenty four months?

  • Can you provide any top tips for leasehold conveyancing in Fulwell from the point of view of saving time on the sale process?

    • A significant proportion of the frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Fulwell can be reduced where you get in touch lawyers as soon as you market your property and request that they start to collate the leasehold information needed by the purchasers’ solicitors.
    • In the event that you altered the property did you need the Landlord’s approval? Have you, for example laid down wooden flooring? Fulwell leases often stipulate that internal structural alterations or installing wooden flooring calls for a licence from the Landlord approving such changes. If you fail to have the consents in place do not communicate with the landlord without checking with your conveyancer in advance.
  • A minority of Fulwell leases require Landlord’s consent to the sale and approval of the buyers. If this applies to your lease, you should notify your estate agents to make sure that the purchasers obtain financial (bank) and professional references. The bank reference will need to confirm that the buyers are able to meet 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 service charge figures so that they can pass this information on to the purchasers or their solicitors.
  • If you have had conflict with your landlord or managing agents it is essential that these are settled before the property is marketed. The buyers and their solicitors will be reluctant to purchase a property where there is an ongoing dispute. You may need to swallow your pride and pay any arrears of service charge or settle the dispute prior to completion of the sale. It is therefore preferable to have any dispute settled ahead of the contract papers being issued to the buyers’ solicitors. You will still have to reveal details of the dispute to the purchasers, but it is clearly preferable to reveal the dispute as historic as opposed to ongoing.
  • You may think that you are aware of the number of years remaining on your lease but you should verify this by asking your lawyers. A purchaser's lawyer will be unlikely to recommend their client to proceed with the purchase of a leasehold property the lease term is below 80 years. In the circumstances it is essential at an early stage that you identify whether the lease term requires a lease extension. If it does, contact your solicitors before you put your home on the market for sale.

  • I have had difficulty in trying to purchase the freehold in Fulwell. Can the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal adjudicate on premiums?

    in cases where there is a missing freeholder or where there is dispute about the premium for a lease extension, under the relevant statutes it is possible to make an application to the First-tier Tribunal (Property Chamber) to determine the price payable.

    An example of a Lease Extension matter before the tribunal for a Fulwell residence is Ground Floor Flat 91 Bath Road in May 2009. in a case where the freeholder could not be traced, the Brentford County Court ordered that the Lease be surrendered in return for the grant of a new lease of the Premises at a premium determined by the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal. The tribunal concluded that the price payable by the Applicant for the new lease of the premises be £15,900 This case was in relation to 1 flat. The remaining number of years on the lease was 60.45 years.

    Are there frequently found problems that you encounter in leases for Fulwell properties?

    There is nothing unique about leasehold conveyancing in Fulwell. Most leases are unique and drafting errors can sometimes mean that certain clauses are erroneous. The following missing provisions could result in a defective lease:

    • A provision to repair to or maintain parts of the premises
    • A duty to insure the building
    • 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

    A defective lease can cause issues when trying to sell a property primarily because it impacts on the ability to obtain a mortgage on the property. Halifax, The Mortgage Works, and Platform Home Loans Ltd all have very detailed conveyancing instructions when it comes to what is expected in a lease. If a mortgage lender believes that the lease is defective they may refuse to grant the mortgage, obliging the buyer to pull out.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Fulwell