Fixed-fee leasehold conveyancing in Northumberland Heath:

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Top Five Questions relating to Northumberland Heath leasehold conveyancing

Having had my offer accepted I require leasehold conveyancing in Northumberland Heath. Before I set the wheels in motion I want to be sure as to the unexpired term of the lease.

Assuming the lease is recorded at the land registry - and 99.9% are in Northumberland Heath - then the leasehold title will always include the basic details of the lease, namely the date; the term; and the original parties. From a conveyancing perspective such details then enable any prospective buyer and lender to confirm that any lease they are looking at is the one relevant to that title.For any other purpose, such as confirming how long the term was granted for and calculating what is left, then the register should be sufficient on it's own.

I own a leasehold house in Northumberland Heath. Conveyancing and Santander mortgage organised. I have received a letter from someone saying they have taken over the freehold. Attached was a demand for arrears of ground rent dating back to 1997. The conveyancing solicitor in Northumberland Heath who previously acted has long since retired.Do I pay?

The first thing you should do is contact the Land Registry to make sure that the individual purporting to own the freehold is in fact the new freeholder. It is not necessary to instruct a Northumberland Heath conveyancing firm to do this as it can be done on-line for £3. Rest assured that in any event, even if this is the legitimate freeholder, under the Limitation Act 1980 no more than 6 years of rent can be collected.

Last month I purchased a leasehold flat in Northumberland Heath. Am I liable to pay service charges for periods before completion of my purchase?

In a situation 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. However, your landlord may still be able to take action to forfeit the lease. A critical element of leasehold conveyancing for your conveyancer to ensure 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).

What advice can you give us when it comes to appointing a Northumberland Heath conveyancing firm to carry out our lease extension conveyancing?

If you are instructing a property lawyer for lease extension works (regardless if they are a Northumberland Heath conveyancing firm) it is essential that he or she should be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of work. We suggested that you talk with two or three firms including non Northumberland Heath 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 experienced is the practice with lease extension legislation?
  • If the firm is not ALEP accredited then what is the reason?

  • Do you have any top tips for leasehold conveyancing in Northumberland Heath from the perspective of saving time on the sale process?

    • Much of the frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Northumberland Heath can be avoided if you get in touch lawyers the minute you market your property and ask them to collate the leasehold documentation needed by the buyers conveyancers.
    • In the event that you altered the property did you need the Landlord’s permission? In particular have you installed wooden flooring? Most leases in Northumberland Heath state that internal structural alterations or laying down wooden flooring require a licence issued by the Landlord acquiescing to such changes. Where you dont have the approvals in place you should not contact the landlord without checking with your lawyer first.
  • Some Northumberland Heath leases require Landlord’s consent to the sale and approval of the buyers. If this applies to your lease, it would be prudent to notify your estate agents to make sure that the purchasers obtain bank and professional references. The 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 service charge figures so that they can pass this information on to the buyers or their solicitors.
  • If you are supposed to have a share in the freehold, you should ensure that you hold the original share document. Arranging a re-issued share certificate is often a time consuming process and delays many a Northumberland Heath conveyancing transaction. Where a duplicate share certificate is necessary, you should approach the company director and secretary or managing agents (where relevant) for this as soon as possible.
  • You believe that you know the number of years left on your lease but it would be advisable verify this by asking your conveyancers. A buyer’s lawyer will not be happy to advise their client to where the lease term is under 80 years. It is therefore important 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.

  • Having spent years of dialogue we cannot agree with our landlord on how much the lease extension should cost for our flat in Northumberland Heath. Can we issue an application to the Residential Property Tribunal Service?

    if there is a missing freeholder or if there is disagreement about the premium for a lease extension, under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 it is possible to make an application to the LVT to calculate the price.

    An example of a Lease Extension case for a Northumberland Heath 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 related to 13 flats. The unexpired lease term was 76 years.