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Recently asked questions relating to Portslade leasehold conveyancing

I want to let out my leasehold apartment in Portslade. Conveyancing solicitor who did the purchase is retired - so can't ask him. Do I need to ask my freeholder for their consent?

Even though your last Portslade conveyancing solicitor is not around you can review your lease to see if it allows you to sublet the property. The accepted inference is that if the lease is silent, subletting is allowed. Quite often there is a prerequisite that you must obtain permission from your landlord or some other party in advance of subletting. The net result is you not allowed to sublet in the absence of first obtaining consent. The consent must not not be unreasonably refused ore delayed. If your lease prohibits you from letting out the property you will need to ask your landlord for their consent.

There are only 62 years left on my lease in Portslade. I am keen to get lease extension but my landlord is absent. What should I do?

On the basis that you meet the appropriate requirements, 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 mean that your lease can be granted an extra 90 years by the Court. You will be obliged to demonstrate that you have done all that could be expected to locate the freeholder. On the whole an enquiry agent may be helpful to carry out a search and to produce an expert document which can be accepted by the court as evidence that the freeholder can not be located. It is advisable to get professional help from a solicitor in relation to proving the landlord’s disappearance and the application to the County Court covering Portslade.

I work for a reputable estate agent office in Portslade where we see a number of leasehold sales jeopardised due to short leases. I have been given inconsistent advice from local Portslade conveyancing solicitors. Could you clarify whether the seller of a flat can commence the lease extension formalities for the buyer?

Provided that the seller has been the owner 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. This means that the buyer 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 has to be done before, or simultaneously with completion of the disposal of the property.

An alternative approach is to agree the lease extension with the freeholder 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.

Do you have any advice for leasehold conveyancing in Portslade from the perspective of saving time on the sale process?

  • A significant proportion of the delay in leasehold conveyancing in Portslade can be reduced where you get in touch lawyers as soon as your agents start marketing the property and ask them to put together the leasehold documentation needed by the purchasers’ conveyancers.
  • The majority freeholders or Management Companies in Portslade levy fees for supplying management packs for a leasehold property. You or your lawyers should find out the fee that they propose to charge. The management information sought on or before finding a buyer, thus accelerating the process. The average time it takes to obtain the necessary information is three weeks. It is the most usual reason for delay in leasehold conveyancing in Portslade.
  • If you have carried out any alterations to the residence would they have required Landlord’s approval? In particular have you installed wooden flooring? Most leases in Portslade state that internal structural changes or installing wooden flooring require a licence issued by the Landlord acquiescing to such changes. Should you fail to have the consents in place you should not communicate with the landlord without contacting your lawyer in advance.
  • Some Portslade leases require Landlord’s consent to the sale and approval of the buyers. If this applies to your lease, it would be prudent to place the estate agents on notice to make sure that the purchasers put in hand bank and professional references. The bank reference should make it clear that the buyer is financially capable of paying the annual 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 purchasers or their lawyers.
  • You may think that you are aware of the number of years left on your lease but it would be advisable double-check by asking your solicitors. A purchaser's lawyer will be unlikely to recommend their client to where the lease term is below 75 years. In the circumstances it is important at an as soon as possible that you consider whether the lease term requires a lease extension. If it does, contact your solicitors before you put your premises on the market for sale.

  • All being well we will complete the disposal of our £225000 maisonette in Portslade in just under a week. The landlords agents has quoted £396 for Certificate of Compliance, insurance certificate and previous years statements of service charge. Is the landlord entitled to charge an administration fee for a leasehold conveyance in Portslade?

    Portslade conveyancing on leasehold maisonettes normally requires the purchaser’s lawyer sending enquiries for the landlord to answer. Although the landlord is not legally bound to answer these enquiries the majority will be willing to do so. They are at liberty invoice a reasonable administration fee for answering questions or supplying documentation. There is no set fee. The average costs for the paperwork that you are referring to is over three hundred pounds, in some situations it is above £800. The management information fee invoiced by the landlord must be sent together with a summary of rights and obligations in relation to administration fees, otherwise the charge is not strictly payable. In reality you have little choice but to pay whatever is demanded should you wish to exchange contracts with the buyer.

    I acquired a 1 bedroom flat in Portslade, conveyancing having been completed in 1996. 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 Portslade with over 90 years remaining are worth £200,000. The average or mid-range amount of ground rent is £65 yearly. The lease ceases on 21st October 2093

    With 71 years unexpired the likely cost is going to range between £8,600 and £9,800 plus plus your own and the landlord's "reasonable" professional fees.

    The figure above a general guide to costs for extending a lease, but we are not able to advice on the actual costs in the absence of comprehensive investigations. Do not use this information in tribunal or court proceedings. There are no doubt other issues that need to be considered and clearly you want to be as accurate as possible in your negotiations. You should not take any other action based on this information before getting professional advice.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Portslade