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Frequently asked questions relating to Olney leasehold conveyancing

Having checked my lease I have discovered that there are only 62 years unexpired on my lease in Olney. I now wish to get lease extension but my freeholder is can not be found. What are my options?

On the basis that you meet the appropriate requirements, under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 you can submit an application to the County Court for for permission to dispense with the service of the initial notice. This will enable the lease to be granted an extra 90 years by the magistrate. You will be obliged to demonstrate that you or your lawyers have made all reasonable attempts to track down the lessor. On the whole a specialist may be useful to try and locate and to produce an expert document which can be used as proof that the landlord is indeed missing. It is advisable to get professional help from a solicitor in relation to devolving into the landlord’s disappearance and the application to the County Court covering Olney.

I have just appointed agents to market my basement flat in Olney.Conveyancing has not commenced but I have just received a half-yearly service charge invoice – should I leave it to the buyer to sort out?

It best that you clear 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 managing agents 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. Having a clear account will assist your cause and will leave you no worse off financially.

Last month I purchased a leasehold property in Olney. Am I liable to pay service charges for periods before 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. Strange as it may seem, your landlord may still be able to take action to forfeit the lease. It is an essential part 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).

What advice can you give us when it comes to finding a Olney conveyancing firm to carry out our lease extension conveyancing?

When appointing a solicitor for your lease extension (regardless if they are a Olney conveyancing firm) it is imperative that they be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of work. We recommend that you talk with two or three firms including non Olney conveyancing practices before you instructing a firm. If the firm is ALEP accredited then that’s a bonus. Some following of questions might be of use:

  • How experienced is the firm with lease extension legislation?
  • Can they put you in touch with client in Olney who can give a testimonial?

  • Do you have any advice for leasehold conveyancing in Olney with the aim of expediting the sale process?

    • Much of the delay in leasehold conveyancing in Olney can be reduced where you instruct lawyers as soon as you market your property and request that they start to collate the leasehold information needed by the purchasers’ lawyers.
    • The majority freeholders or managing agents in Olney charge 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 as soon as you have a buyer, thus reducing delays. The typical amount of time it takes to obtain the necessary information is three weeks. It is the most common cause of frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Olney.
  • If you have carried out any alterations to the premises would they have required Landlord’s permission? In particular have you laid down wooden flooring? Most leases in Olney state that internal structural alterations or laying down wooden flooring calls for a licence issued by the Landlord approving such alterations. Where you dont have the paperwork in place do not communicate with the landlord without contacting your solicitor in advance.
  • A minority of Olney leases require Landlord’s consent to the sale and approval of the buyers. If this is the case, it would be prudent to notify your estate agents to make sure that the purchasers put in hand financial (bank) and professional references. Any bank reference will need to confirm that the buyers are 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 actual amount of the service charge so that they can pass this information on to the buyers or their solicitors.
  • You believe that you know the number of years remaining on your lease but you should verify this by asking your solicitors. 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 under 80 years. It is therefore important at an early stage that you consider whether the lease term for your property needs extending. If it does, contact your solicitors before you put your property on the market for sale.

  • I invested in buying a ground floor flat in Olney, conveyancing formalities finalised 4 years ago. Can you let me have an estimate of the premium that my landlord can legally expect in return for granting a renewal of my lease? Comparable flats in Olney with an extended lease are worth £261,000. The average or mid-range amount of ground rent is £45 yearly. The lease expires on 21st October 2092

    With only 70 years unexpired we estimate the price of your lease extension to be between £9,500 and £11,000 as well as legals.

    The suggested premium range that we have given is a general guide to costs for extending a lease, but we cannot give you a more accurate figure in the absence of detailed investigations. You should not use the figures in a Notice of Claim or as an informal offer. There may be additional issues that need to be considered and you obviously should 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 Olney