Fixed-fee leasehold conveyancing in Northwood:

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Top Five Questions relating to Northwood leasehold conveyancing

I today plan to offer on a house that appears to be perfect, at a great figure which is making it all the more appealing. I have since been informed that the title is leasehold rather than freehold. I am assuming that there are issues buying a leasehold house in Northwood. Conveyancing solicitors have are about to be instructed. Will my lawyers set out the implications of buying a leasehold house in Northwood ?

The majority of houses in Northwood are freehold and not leasehold. This is one of the situations where having a local conveyancer used to dealing with such properties who can assist with the conveyancing process. it is apparent that you are buying in Northwood so you should seriously consider shopping around for a Northwood conveyancing solicitor and check that they are used to advising on leasehold houses. First you will need to check the unexpired lease term. As a leaseholder you will not be at liberty to do whatever you want to the property. The lease comes with conditions for example requiring the landlord’spermission to carry out changes to the property. It may be necessary to pay a maintenance charge towards the maintenance of the communal areas where the house is located on an estate. Your conveyancer should appraise you on the various issues.

I own a leasehold flat in Northwood. Conveyancing and TSB mortgage went though with no issue. I have received a letter from someone claiming to own the reversionary interest in the property. Attached was a ground rent demand for rent dating back to 1997. The conveyancing solicitor in Northwood who previously acted has long since retired.Any advice?

The first thing you should do is contact HMLR to make sure that the individual purporting to own the freehold is indeed the registered owner of the freehold reversion. It is not necessary to instruct a Northwood conveyancing lawyer to do this as you can do this on the Land Registry website for less than a fiver. You should note that in any event, even if this is the rightful landlord, under the Limitation Act 1980 no more than 6 years of rent can be collected.

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

When appointing a solicitor for your lease extension (regardless if they are a Northwood conveyancing practice) it is essential that he or she should be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of work. We advise that you make enquires with several firms including non Northwood conveyancing practices before you instructing a firm. Where the conveyancing practice is ALEP accredited then so much the better. Some following of questions could be of use:

  • Can they put you in touch with client in Northwood who can give a testimonial?
  • What are the costs for lease extension conveyancing?

  • Do you have any advice for leasehold conveyancing in Northwood from the point of view of saving time on the sale process?

    • Much of the frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Northwood can be reduced if you instruct lawyers as soon as you market your property and request that they start to put together the leasehold information which will be required by the purchasers’ lawyers.
    • In the event that you altered the property did you need the Landlord’s approval? In particular have you laid down wooden flooring? Most leases in Northwood state that internal structural alterations or laying down wooden flooring require a licence issued by the Landlord consenting to such works. If you dont have the approvals to hand do not contact the landlord without checking with your solicitor in advance.
  • If you have had conflict with your freeholder or managing agents it is very important that these are settled prior to the flat being put on the market. The purchasers and their solicitors will be concerned about purchasing a flat where a dispute is ongoing. You may need to swallow your pride and discharge any arrears of service charge or settle the dispute prior to the buyers completing the purchase. It is therefore preferable to have any dispute settled prior to the contract papers being issued to the buyers’ solicitors. You will still have to reveal details of the dispute to the buyers, but it is better to reveal the dispute as historic as opposed to unsettled.
  • If you have the benefit of shareholding in the Management Company, you should make sure that you are holding the original share certificate. Obtaining a re-issued share certificate can be a time consuming process and delays many a Northwood home move. If a new share is required, you should approach the company director and secretary or managing agents (if relevant) for this as soon as possible.
  • You may think that you are aware of the number of years remaining on your lease but it would be wise to verify this via your conveyancers. 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 consider whether the lease for your property needs extending. If it does, contact your solicitors before you put your property on the market for sale.

  • Completion in due on the disposal of our £250000 maisonette in Northwood in just under a week. The management company has quoted £372 for Landlord’s certificate, building insurance schedule and previous years service charge statements. Is the landlord entitled to charge an administration fee for a leasehold conveyance in Northwood?

    Northwood conveyancing on leasehold flats typically involves administration charges invoiced by managing agents :

    • Answering pre-exchange enquiries
    • Where consent is required before sale in Northwood
    • Supplying insurance information
    • Deeds of covenant upon sale
    • Registering of the assignment of the change of lessee after a sale
    Your lawyer will have no control over the level of the charges for this information but the average costs for the information for Northwood leasehold premises is £350. For Northwood conveyancing transactions it is customary for the seller to pay for these costs. The landlord or their agents are under no legal obligation to answer such questions most will be willing to do so - albeit often at exorbitant prices where the fees bear little relation to the work involved. Unfortunately there is no law that requires fixed charges for administrative tasks. Neither is there any legal time frame by which they are obliged to provide answers.

    I have had difficulty in trying to purchase the freehold in Northwood. Can this matter be resolved via the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal?

    Where there is a missing landlord or where there is disagreement about the premium for a lease extension, under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 you can apply to the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal to determine the premium.

    An example of a Lease Extension matter before the tribunal for a Northwood property is Flats 8, 11 and 15 Craigmore Court 46 Murray Road in December 2013. The tribunal held that the price payable by the Applicant tenant of Flat 8 to acquire an extended lease shall be £26,438 plus £1 to the intermediate lessee . The tribunal held that the price payable by the Applicant tenants of Flat 11 to acquire an extended lease shall be £26,791 plus £1 to the intermediate lessee. The tribunal held that the price payable by the Applicant tenant of Flat 15 to acquire an extended lease shall be £26,638 plus £1 to the intermediate lessee . This case affected 3 flats. The unexpired term was 71 years.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Northwood