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Recently asked questions relating to Portland leasehold conveyancing

I am intending to sublet my leasehold apartment in Portland. Conveyancing solicitor who did the purchase is retired - so can't ask her. Do I need to ask my freeholder for permission?

Notwithstanding that your last Portland conveyancing lawyer is not available you can check your lease to see if you are permitted to let out the premises. The rule is that if the lease is non-specific, subletting is permitted. There may be a precondition that you are obliged to obtain consent via your landlord or some other party in advance of subletting. This means you not allowed to sublet in the absence of first obtaining permission. Such consent should not be unreasonably withheld. If your lease prohibits you from letting out the property you will need to ask your landlord if they are willing to waive this restriction.

I today plan to offer on a house that seems to tick a lot of boxes, at a reasonable figure which is making it more attractive. I have since found out that it's a leasehold as opposed to freehold. I would have thought that there are particular concerns buying a leasehold house in Portland. Conveyancing solicitors have are soon to be instructed. Will they explain the issues?

The majority of houses in Portland are freehold rather than leasehold. This is one of the situations where having a local conveyancer who is familiar with the area can help the conveyancing process. It is clear that you are purchasing in Portland so you should seriously consider shopping around for a Portland conveyancing solicitor and check that they have experience in advising on leasehold houses. First you will need to check the unexpired lease term. Being a leaseholder you will not be entirely free to do whatever you want to the property. The lease comes with conditions for example obtaining the landlord’spermission to carry out changes to the property. It may be necessary to pay a maintenance charge towards the upkeep of the communal areas where the house is part of an estate. Your solicitor will report to you on the legal implications.

I am looking at a couple of flats in Portland both have about fifty years remaining on the leases. Should I regard a short lease as a deal breaker?

There are plenty of short leases in Portland. The lease is a right to use the premises for a period of time. As the lease gets shorter the marketability of the lease reduces and results in it becoming more expensive to acquire a lease extension. This is why it is generally wise to increase the term of the lease. More often than not it is difficulties arise selling premises with a short lease as mortgage lenders less inclined to grant a loan on such properties. Lease enfranchisement can be a difficult process. We recommend you get professional assistance from a conveyancer and surveyor with experience in this field

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

When appointing a property lawyer for your lease extension (regardless if they are a Portland conveyancing practice) it is imperative that they be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of work. We advise that you speak with several firms including non Portland conveyancing practices before you instructing a firm. Where the conveyancing practice is ALEP accredited then so much the better. Some following of questions might be useful:

  • What volume of lease extensions has the firm conducted in Portland in the last twenty four months?
  • What are the legal fees for lease extension conveyancing?

  • Our conveyancer has advised that he intends to complete and exchange simultaneously on our sale of a £400000 garden flat in Portland in 10 days. The management company has quoted £372 for Landlord’s certificate, building insurance schedule and 3 years service charge statements. Is the landlord entitled to charge exorbitant fees for a leasehold conveyance in Portland?

    Portland conveyancing on leasehold flats normally involves fees being invoiced by management companies :

    • Addressing pre-exchange questions
    • Where consent is required before sale in Portland
    • Supplying insurance information
    • 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 Portland leasehold property is £350. For Portland 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 the information.

    Portland Conveyancing for Leasehold Flats - A selection of Queries before buying

      What is the the remaining lease term? The prefered form of lease structure is where the freehold title is owned by the leaseholders. In this scenario the tenants have being in charge if their destiny and although a managing agent is often retained where it is larger than a house conversion, the managing agent employed by the leaseholders. How much is the ground rent and service charge?

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Portland