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Port Isaac leasehold conveyancing: Q and A’s

I've found a house that seems to meet my requirements, at a reasonable price which is making it more attractive. I have subsequently discovered that the title is leasehold as opposed to freehold. I would have thought that there are issues purchasing a house with a leasehold title in Port Isaac. Conveyancing lawyers have not yet been instructed. Will my lawyers set out the risks of buying a leasehold house in Port Isaac ?

The majority of houses in Port Isaac are freehold rather than leasehold. In this scenario it’s worth having a local solicitor used to dealing with such properties who can assist with the conveyancing process. We note that you are purchasing in Port Isaac so you should seriously consider shopping around for a Port Isaac conveyancing solicitor and be sure that they have experience in dealing with leasehold houses. First you will need to check the number of years remaining. As a leaseholder you will not be entirely free to do whatever you want to the property. The lease will likely included provisions for example requiring the landlord’spermission to conduct changes to the property. You may also be required to pay a service charge towards the upkeep of the estate where the property is part of an estate. Your solicitor will report to you on the legal implications.

I am tempted by the attractive purchase price for a couple of maisonettes in Port Isaac which have approximately forty five years remaining on the leases. Do I need to be concerned?

A lease is a right to use the premises for a period of time. As a lease gets shorter the value of the lease deteriorate and results in it becoming more costly to extend the lease. This is why it is often a good idea 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 extension can be a difficult process. We recommend you get professional assistance from a conveyancer and surveyor with experience in this area

I am employed by a busy estate agent office in Port Isaac where we have witnessed a few flat sales jeopardised as a result of short leases. I have been given contradictory information from local Port Isaac conveyancing firms. Could you shed some light as to whether the seller of a flat can instigate the lease extension formalities for the buyer?

Provided that the seller has owned the lease for at least 2 years it is possible, to serve a Section 42 notice to commence 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 sit tight for 2 years to extend their lease. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment needs to be completed before, 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.

What advice can you give us when it comes to finding a Port Isaac conveyancing firm to deal with our lease extension?

If you are instructing a property lawyer for your lease extension (regardless if they are a Port Isaac conveyancing practice) it is most important that he or she should be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of conveyancing. We advise that you speak with several firms including non Port Isaac conveyancing practices prior to instructing a firm. Where the conveyancing practice is ALEP accredited then so much the better. Some following of questions might be useful:

  • If the firm is not ALEP accredited then why not?
  • What are the charges for lease extension work?

  • Can you provide any advice for leasehold conveyancing in Port Isaac from the point of view of saving time on the sale process?

    • A significant proportion of the frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Port Isaac can be avoided where you get in touch lawyers as soon as you market your property and request that they start to put together the leasehold information needed by the purchasers’ representatives.
    • Many freeholders or managing agents in Port Isaac charge for supplying management packs for a leasehold premises. You or your lawyers should enquire as to the actual amount of the charges. The management information sought on or before finding a buyer, thus reducing delays. The typical amount of time it takes to obtain the necessary information is three weeks. It is the most frequent reason for delay in leasehold conveyancing in Port Isaac.
  • If you have carried out any alterations to the residence would they have required Landlord’s approval? In particular have you installed wooden flooring? Port Isaac leases often stipulate that internal structural alterations or laying down wooden flooring calls for a licence issued by the Landlord approving such works. If you fail to have the approvals to hand you should not communicate with the landlord without checking with your solicitor before hand.
  • If you have had conflict with your freeholder or managing agents it is essential that these are settled prior to the flat being marketed. The purchasers and their solicitors will be reluctant to purchase a flat where there is a current dispute. You will have to accept that you will have to discharge any arrears of service charge or resolve the dispute prior to completion of the sale. 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 buyers, but it is clearly preferable to present the dispute as over rather than unresolved.
  • If you have the benefit of shareholding in the Management Company, you should make sure that you hold the original share certificate. Organising a replacement share certificate can be a lengthy formality and slows down many a Port Isaac conveyancing transaction. If a new share is required, you should approach the company director and secretary or managing agents (where applicable) for this at the earliest opportunity.

  • I am the registered owner of a split level flat in Port Isaac, conveyancing having been completed 2009. Can you please calculate a probable premium for a statutory lease extension? Corresponding flats in Port Isaac with a long lease are worth £182,000. The ground rent is £65 charged once a year. The lease terminates on 21st October 2096

    With just 75 years remaining on your lease we estimate the premium for your lease extension to range between £9,500 and £11,000 plus legals.

    The figure 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 comprehensive investigations. You should not use the figures in tribunal or court proceedings. There may be other concerns that need to be taken into account and clearly you want to be as accurate as possible in your negotiations. You should not move forward placing reliance on this information before getting professional advice.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Port Isaac