Fixed-fee leasehold conveyancing in Maidenhead:

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Examples of recent questions relating to leasehold conveyancing in Maidenhead

My wife and I may need to rent out our Maidenhead garden flat for a while due to a new job. We instructed a Maidenhead conveyancing practice in 2002 but they have since shut and we did not have the foresight to get any advice as to whether the lease permits subletting. How do we find out?

The lease dictates the relationship between the landlord and you the flat owner; in particular, it will indicate if subletting is not allowed, or permitted but only subject to certain caveats. The accepted inference is that if the lease contains no expres ban or restriction, subletting is permitted. Most leases in Maidenhead do not prevent strict prohibition on subletting – such a clause would undoubtedly devalue the property. In most cases there is simply a requirement that the owner notifies the freeholder, possibly supplying a copy of the sublease.

There are only 72 years remaining on my flat in Maidenhead. I now wish to get lease extension but my landlord is missing. What should I do?

If you qualify, under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 you can apply to the County Court for an order to dispense with the service of the initial notice. This will enable the lease to be extended by the Court. You will be obliged to prove that you or your lawyers have done all that could be expected to find the freeholder. In some cases a specialist may be helpful to try and locate and prepare a report to be used as evidence that the freeholder is indeed missing. It is wise to seek advice from a conveyancer both on proving the landlord’s disappearance and the application to the County Court overseeing Maidenhead.

Estate agents have just been given the go-ahead to market my basement apartment in Maidenhead.Conveyancing has not commenced but I have just received a half-yearly maintenance charge invoice – Do I pay up?

Your conveyancing lawyer is likely to suggest that you should pay the service charge as normal because all ground rent and service charges will be apportioned on completion, so you will be reimbursed by the buyer for the period running from after the completion date to the next payment date. Most management companies will not acknowledge the buyer unless the service charges have been paid and are up to date so it is important for both buyer and seller for the seller to show that they are up to date. This will smooth the conveyancing process.

I am employed by a long established estate agent office in Maidenhead where we have witnessed a number of flat sales derailed as a result of leases having less than 80 years remaining. I have received inconsistent advice from local Maidenhead conveyancing solicitors. Could you confirm whether the owner of a flat can initiate the lease extension process for the buyer?

Provided that the seller has been the owner for at least 2 years it is possible, to serve a Section 42 notice to kick-start the lease extension process and assign the benefit of the notice to the purchaser. The benefit of this is that the proposed purchaser can avoid having to wait 2 years for a lease extension. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment has to be done prior to, or simultaneously with completion of the disposal of the property.

Alternatively, it may be possible to extend the lease informally by agreement with the landlord either before or after the sale. If you are informally negotiating there are no rules and so you cannot insist on the landlord agreeing to grant an extension or transferring the benefit of an agreement to the purchaser.

Can you provide any advice for leasehold conveyancing in Maidenhead with the aim of expediting the sale process?

  • Much of the frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Maidenhead can be avoided if you get in touch lawyers the minute you market your property and request that they start to collate the leasehold information needed by the buyers solicitors.
  • If you have carried out any alterations to the property would they have required Landlord’s permission? In particular have you installed wooden flooring? Most leases in Maidenhead state that internal structural alterations or laying down wooden flooring calls for a licence from the Landlord consenting to such alterations. Should you fail to have the consents to hand do not communicate with the landlord without checking with your conveyancer first.
  • If you have had any disputes with your landlord or managing agents it is essential that these are settled prior to the flat being marketed. The buyers and their solicitors will be reluctant to purchase a property where a dispute is unsettled. You may have to bite the bullet and pay 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 are still duty bound to disclose particulars of the dispute to the buyers, but it is clearly preferable to reveal the dispute as over as opposed to unsettled.
  • If you hold a share in a the freehold, you should ensure that you have the original share certificate. Arranging a new share certificate can be a lengthy formality and delays many a Maidenhead home move. If a reissued share is needed, you should approach the company officers or managing agents (if applicable) for this at the earliest opportunity.
  • You believe that you know the number of years left on your lease but you should verify this via your conveyancers. A purchaser's conveyancer will be unlikely to recommend their client to proceed with the purchase of a leasehold property the remaining number of years is below 75 years. It is therefore essential at an as soon as possible that you consider whether the lease term for your property needs extending. If it does, contact your solicitors before you put your home on the market for sale.

  • I inherited a 1st floor flat in Maidenhead, conveyancing was carried out half a dozen years ago. Can you give me give me an indication of the likely cost of a lease extension? Comparable properties in Maidenhead with an extended lease are worth £225,000. The average or mid-range amount of ground rent is £50 yearly. The lease expires on 21st October 2084

    You have 62 years unexpired the likely cost is going to range between £19,000 and £22,000 plus costs.

    The figure that we have given is a general guide to costs for extending a lease, but we cannot give you the actual costs without more comprehensive investigations. Do not use the figures in tribunal or court proceedings. There may be additional issues that need to be taken into account and clearly you should be as accurate as possible in your negotiations. Neither should you move forward based on this information without first seeking the advice of a professional.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Maidenhead