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Questions and Answers: Northwich leasehold conveyancing

I've found a house that seems to be perfect, at a reasonable figure which is making it more attractive. I have since discovered that it's a leasehold as opposed to freehold. I would have thought that there are issues purchasing a leasehold house in Northwich. Conveyancing solicitors have not yet been appointed. Will my lawyers set out the risks of buying a leasehold house in Northwich ?

The majority of houses in Northwich are freehold and not leasehold. This is one of the situations where having a local solicitor used to dealing with such properties who can help the conveyancing process. We note that you are purchasing in Northwich in which case you should be looking for a Northwich conveyancing practitioner and be sure that they are used to transacting on leasehold houses. As a matter of priority you will need to check the unexpired lease term. Being a tenant you will not be at liberty to do whatever you want with the house. The lease will likely included provisions such as requiring the freeholder’sconsent to carry out alterations. It may be necessary to pay a maintenance charge towards the maintenance of the communal areas where the house is part of an estate. Your solicitor will report to you on the legal implications.

Back In 2003, I bought a leasehold flat in Northwich. Conveyancing and Platform Home Loans Ltd mortgage went though with no issue. A letter has just been received from someone saying they have taken over the reversionary interest in the property. It included a demand for arrears of ground rent dating back to 1997. The conveyancing solicitor in Northwich who acted for me is not around.What should I do?

The first thing you should do is contact the Land Registry to make sure that the individual purporting to own the freehold is indeed the new freeholder. You do not need to instruct a Northwich conveyancing practitioner to do this as you can do this on the Land Registry website for £3. Rest assured that regardless, even if this is the rightful landlord, under the Limitation Act 1980 the limitation period for recovery of ground rent is six years.

I am looking at a couple of flats in Northwich which have approximately fifty years left on the leases. should I be concerned?

A lease is a right to use the premises for a period of time. As the lease shortens the marketability of the lease deteriorate and results in it becoming more expensive to extend the lease. This is why it is generally wise to increase the term of the lease. Sometimes it is difficult to sell a property with a short lease as mortgage companies less inclined to grant a loan on properties of this type. Lease enfranchisement can be a difficult process. We advise that you get professional assistance from a conveyancer and surveyor with experience in this field

Can you offer any advice when it comes to choosing a Northwich conveyancing practice to carry out our lease extension conveyancing?

When appointing a solicitor for your lease extension (regardless if they are a Northwich conveyancing practice) it is most important that he or she should be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of conveyancing. We recommend that you talk with several firms including non Northwich conveyancing practices before you instructing a firm. Where the conveyancing practice is ALEP accredited then that’s a bonus. Some following of questions could be helpful:

  • If the firm is not ALEP accredited then why not?
  • What volume of lease extensions have they carried out in Northwich in the last 12 months?

  • Our conveyancer has advised that he intends to complete and exchange simultaneously on our sale of a £200000 apartment in Northwich on Friday in a week. The freeholder has quoted £384 for Landlord’s certificate, insurance certificate and 3 years statements of service charge. Is it legal for a freeholder to charge exorbitant fees for a flat conveyance in Northwich?

    Northwich conveyancing on leasehold maisonettes normally results in fees being levied by landlords agents :

    • Answering pre-exchange questions
    • Where consent is required before sale in Northwich
    • Copies of the building insurance and schedule
    • Deeds of covenant upon sale
    • Registering of the assignment of the change of lessee after a sale
    Your conveyancer will have no control over the level of the charges for this information but the average costs for the information for Northwich leasehold property is £350. For Northwich 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.

    Leasehold Conveyancing in Northwich - Examples of Queries Prior to buying

      Best to be warned if fixing the lift or some other significant cost is pending that will be shared between the leasehold owners and could well dramatically impact the level of the service charges or result in a specific payment. Can you inform me if there are any major works anticipated that will increase the service costs? What restrictions are there in the Northwich Lease?

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Northwich