Guaranteed fixed fees for Leasehold Conveyancing in Northumberland Heath

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Frequently asked questions relating to Northumberland Heath leasehold conveyancing

Jane (my partner) and I may need to rent out our Northumberland Heath basement flat temporarily due to a new job. We instructed a Northumberland Heath conveyancing practice in 2002 but they have closed and we did not have the foresight to get any guidance as to whether the lease permits subletting. How do we find out?

Your lease governs relations between the landlord and you the leaseholder; specifically, it will set out if subletting is banned, or permitted but only subject to certain conditions. The rule is that if the lease contains no expres ban or restriction, subletting is allowed. The majority of leases in Northumberland Heath do not contain subletting altogether – such a provision would undoubtedly devalue the property. In most cases there is simply a requirement that the owner notifies the freeholder, possibly sending a copy of the tenancy agreement.

I own a leasehold flat in Northumberland Heath. Conveyancing and Bank of Ireland mortgage went though with no issue. A letter has just been received from someone claiming to own the freehold. It included a demand for arrears of ground rent dating back to 1994. The conveyancing practitioner in Northumberland Heath who acted for me is not around.Do I pay?

First make enquiries of the Land Registry to be sure that the individual claiming to own the freehold is indeed the registered owner of the freehold reversion. It is not necessary to instruct a Northumberland Heath conveyancing lawyer to do this as you can do this on the Land Registry website for a few pound. You should note that regardless, even if this is the legitimate freeholder, under the Limitation Act 1980 the limitation period for recovery of ground rent is six years.

I am attracted to a two apartments in Northumberland Heath which have in the region of forty five years remaining on the leases. Should I regard a short lease as a deal breaker?

A lease is a legal document that entitles you to use the property for a prescribed time frame. As the lease gets shorter the value of the lease decreases and results in it becoming more expensive to extend the lease. This is why it is generally wise to extend the lease term. Sometimes it is difficult to sell a property with a short lease because mortgage lenders may be reluctant to lend money on such properties. Lease enfranchisement can be a difficult process. We recommend you seek professional assistance from a conveyancer and surveyor with experience in this arena

I've recently bought a leasehold flat in Northumberland Heath. Am I liable to pay service charges relating to a period prior to completion of my purchase?

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. 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).

Do you have any advice for leasehold conveyancing in Northumberland Heath with the purpose of expediting the sale process?

  • Much of the delay in leasehold conveyancing in Northumberland Heath can be reduced where you get in touch lawyers the minute you market your property and ask them to collate the leasehold documentation which will be required by the purchasers’ solicitors.
  • Many landlords or managing agents in Northumberland Heath levy fees for providing management packs for a leasehold property. You or your lawyers should enquire as to the actual amount of the charges. The management information sought on or before finding a buyer, thus accelerating the process. The typical amount of time it takes to receive management information is three weeks. It is the most usual cause of frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Northumberland Heath.
  • If you have carried out any alterations to the residence would they have required Landlord’s permission? Have you, for example laid down wooden flooring? Northumberland Heath leases often stipulate that internal structural changes or installing wooden flooring calls for a licence from the Landlord consenting to such changes. Where you dont have the paperwork in place you should not contact the landlord without contacting your lawyer in advance.
  • Some Northumberland Heath leases require Licence to Assign from the landlord. If this is the case, you should notify your estate agents to make sure that the purchasers obtain bank and professional references. The bank reference will need to confirm that the buyers are able to meet 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 actual amount of the service charge so that they can pass this information on to the buyers or their solicitors.
  • If you have the benefit of shareholding in the Management Company, you should ensure that you have the original share certificate. Arranging a re-issued share certificate is often a time consuming process and slows down many a Northumberland Heath conveyancing deal. If a new share is required, do contact the company officers or managing agents (where applicable) for this at the earliest opportunity.

  • We have reached the end of our tether in trying to purchase the freehold in Northumberland Heath. Can this matter be resolved via the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal?

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

    An example of a Lease Extension matter before the tribunal for a Northumberland Heath flat 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 affected 13 flats. The the unexpired residue of the current lease was 76 years.