Leasehold Conveyancing in March - Get a Quote from the leasehold experts approved by your lender

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Frequently asked questions relating to March leasehold conveyancing

I would like to rent out my leasehold flat in March. Conveyancing solicitor who did the purchase is retired - so can't ask her. Do I need to ask my freeholder for permission?

Even though your previous March conveyancing lawyer is not around you can check your lease to check if it allows you to sublet the apartment. The accepted inference is that if the lease is non-specific, subletting is permitted. There may be a precondition that you need to obtain consent from your landlord or other appropriate person prior to subletting. The net result is that you cannot sublet in the absence of prior permission. The consent is not allowed to be unreasonably withheld. If the lease does not allow you to sublet you will need to ask your landlord for their consent.

I have recently realised that I have 68 years unexpired on my lease in March. I need to get lease extension but my freeholder 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 for permission to dispense with the service of the initial notice. This will enable the lease to be lengthened by the Court. You will be obliged to prove that you or your lawyers have made all reasonable attempts to track down the freeholder. On the whole an enquiry agent should be helpful to carry out a search and prepare an expert document to be used as proof that the landlord can not be located. It is wise to seek advice from a solicitor in relation to proving the landlord’s disappearance and the vesting order request to the County Court covering March.

What advice can you give us when it comes to choosing a March conveyancing firm to deal with our lease extension?

When appointing a solicitor for your lease extension (regardless if they are a March conveyancing practice) it is most important that they be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of work. We advise that you speak with several firms including non March conveyancing practices prior to instructing a firm. If the firm is ALEP accredited then so much the better. Some following of questions might be of use:

  • How experienced is the firm with lease extension legislation?
  • What volume of lease extensions has the firm completed in March in the last 12 months?

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

    • Much of the frustration in leasehold conveyancing in March can be avoided where you appoint lawyers as soon as you market your property and ask them to collate the leasehold information needed by the buyers lawyers.
    • The majority freeholders or Management Companies in March levy fees for supplying management packs for a leasehold homes. You or your lawyers should enquire as to the fee that they propose to charge. The management pack sought on or before finding a buyer, thus reducing delays. The average time it takes to obtain the necessary information is three weeks. It is the most frequent reason for delay in leasehold conveyancing in March.
  • In the event that you altered the property did you need the Landlord’s permission? Have you, for example installed wooden flooring? Most leases in March state that internal structural alterations or installing wooden flooring necessitate a licence issued by the Landlord approving such works. If you dont have the consents in place do not communicate with the landlord without contacting your lawyer first.
  • Some March leases require Licence to Assign from the landlord. If this is the case, it would be prudent to place the estate agents on notice to make sure that the purchasers put in hand financial (bank) and professional references. The bank reference should make it clear that the buyer is 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 buyers or their lawyers.
  • You believe that you know the number of years left on your lease but it would be advisable double-check via your lawyers. A buyer’s lawyer will not be happy to advise their client to where the remaining number of years is under 75 years. It is therefore essential at an early stage that you consider whether the lease requires a lease extension. If it does, contact your solicitors before you put your property on the market for sale.

  • Our conveyancer has advised that he intends to complete and exchange simultaneously on the disposal of our £350000 flat in March next Monday . The managing agents has quoted £384 for Certificate of Compliance, building insurance schedule and 3 years statements of service charge. Is the landlord entitled to charge such fees for a leasehold conveyance in March?

    For the majority of leasehold sales in March conveyancing will involve, questions about the management of a building inevitably needing to be answered directly by the freeholder or its agent, this includes :

    • Addressing pre-exchange questions
    • Where consent is required before sale in March
    • 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 March leasehold premises is £350. For March 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 required to provide answers.

    I bought a split level flat in March, conveyancing was carried out half a dozen years ago. Can you shed any light on how much the price could be for a 90 year extension to my lease? Corresponding properties in March with an extended lease are worth £184,000. The average or mid-range amount of ground rent is £55 per annum. The lease expires on 21st October 2100

    You have 76 years remaining on your lease we estimate the price of your lease extension to be between £10,500 and £12,000 plus professional fees.

    The figure that we have given is a general guide to costs for renewing a lease, but we cannot give you a more accurate figure in the absence of detailed investigations. Do not use the figures in a Notice of Claim or as an informal offer. There are no doubt additional issues that need to be taken into account and you obviously want to be as accurate as possible in your negotiations. You should not move forward placing reliance on this information without first getting professional advice.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in March