Fixed-fee leasehold conveyancing in Penzance:

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Common questions relating to Penzance leasehold conveyancing

I have recently realised that I have 62 years remaining on my lease in Penzance. I need to extend my lease but my landlord is absent. What are my options?

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. However, you will be required to demonstrate that you have done all that could be expected to find the freeholder. In some cases a specialist should be helpful to conduct investigations and prepare a report which can be used as evidence that the freeholder can not be located. It is wise to seek advice from a property lawyer in relation to proving the landlord’s disappearance and the vesting order request to the County Court covering Penzance.

I am hoping to sign contracts shortly on a basement flat in Penzance. Conveyancing solicitors assured me that they are sending me a report on Monday. Are there areas in the report that I should be focusing on?

Your report on title for your leasehold conveyancing in Penzance should include some of the following:

  • Details of the parties to the lease, for example these could be the leaseholder (you), head lessor, freeholder
  • Does the lease prevent you from renting out the property, or having a home office for business
  • You must be told what counts as a Nuisance in the lease
  • Ground rent - how much and when you need to pay, and also know whether this is subject to change
  • The landlord’s obligations to repair and maintain the building. It is important that you know who is responsible for the repair and maintenance of every part of the building
  • Responsibility for repairing the window frames
  • What the implications are if you breach a clause of your lease? For details of the information to be included in your report on your leasehold property in Penzance please enquire of your solicitor in advance of your conveyancing in Penzance

  • I own a leasehold house in Penzance. Conveyancing and Barclays Direct mortgage are in place. I have received a letter from someone saying they have taken over the reversionary interest in the property. It included a ground rent demand for rent dating back to 1997. The conveyancing solicitor in Penzance who acted for me is not around.Any advice?

    First make enquiries of HMLR to be sure that this person is in fact the registered owner of the freehold reversion. You do not need to instruct a Penzance conveyancing practitioner to do this as it can be done on-line for a few pound. You should note that regardless, even if this is the legitimate freeholder, under the Limitation Act 1980 the limitation period for recovery of ground rent is six years.

    I am employed by a long established estate agency in Penzance where we see a number of flat sales put at risk as a result of short leases. I have received conflicting advice from local Penzance conveyancing firms. Please can you clarify whether the owner of a flat can start the lease extension formalities for the buyer?

    As long as the seller has owned the lease 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 buyer need not have to sit tight for 2 years to extend their lease. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment has to be done before, or simultaneously with completion of the sale.

    An alternative approach is 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 top tips for leasehold conveyancing in Penzance from the point of view of speeding up the sale process?

    • A significant proportion of the frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Penzance can be bypassed if you instruct lawyers as soon as you market your property and request that they start to collate the leasehold documentation needed by the buyers conveyancers.
    • Many freeholders or Management Companies in Penzance levy fees for providing management packs for a leasehold homes. You or your lawyers should discover the fee that they propose to charge. The management information can be applied for as soon as you have a buyer, thus reducing delays. The typical amount of time it takes to receive management information is three weeks. It is the most usual reason for frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Penzance.
  • If there is a history of conflict with your landlord or managing agents it is very important that these are settled before the property is put on the market. The buyers and their solicitors will be reluctant to purchase a property where there is an ongoing dispute. You may need to swallow your pride and discharge any arrears of service charge or resolve the dispute prior to the buyers completing the purchase. It is therefore preferable to have any dispute settled ahead of the contract papers being issued to the buyers’ solicitors. You are still duty bound to disclose particulars of the dispute to the purchasers, but it is clearly preferable to reveal the dispute as over as opposed to unsettled.
  • If you hold a share in a the Management Company, you should make sure that you have the original share document. Obtaining a replacement share certificate can be a lengthy formality and delays many a Penzance home move. Where a duplicate share certificate is needed, do contact the company director and secretary or managing agents (where applicable) for this sooner rather than later.
  • You may think that you are aware of the number of years remaining on your lease but it would be wise to verify this by asking your conveyancers. A purchaser's conveyancer will be unlikely to recommend their client to where the lease term is below 75 years. It is therefore important at an early stage that you identify whether the lease for your property needs extending. If it does, contact your solicitors before you put your property on the market for sale.

  • I own a basement flat in Penzance, conveyancing formalities finalised 5 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? Corresponding flats in Penzance with over 90 years remaining are worth £192,000. The ground rent is £50 levied per year. The lease terminates on 21st October 2096

    With only 75 years remaining on your lease the likely cost is going to range between £11,400 and £13,200 plus costs.

    The suggested premium range above a general guide to costs for extending a lease, but we cannot give you the actual costs without more comprehensive due diligence. You should not use this information in a Notice of Claim or as an informal offer. There are no doubt other issues that need to be taken into account and you obviously want to be as accurate as possible in your negotiations. Neither should you move forward based on this information without first getting professional advice.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Penzance