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Rayleigh leasehold conveyancing: Q and A’s

Due to exchange soon on a basement flat in Rayleigh. Conveyancing lawyers assured me that they will have a report out to me on Monday. Are there areas in the report that I should be focusing on?

The report on title for your leasehold conveyancing in Rayleigh should include some of the following:

  • Details of the parties to the lease, for example these could be the leaseholder (you), head lessor, freeholder
  • Whether your lease has a provision for a reserve fund?
  • You should have a good understanding of the insurance provisions
  • Repair and maintenance of the flat
  • Changes to the flat (alterations and additions)
  • Whether the landlord has obligations to ensure rights of quiet enjoyment over your premises and do you know what it means in practice?
  • 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 For details of the information to be contained in your report on your leasehold property in Rayleigh please enquire of your solicitor in advance of your conveyancing in Rayleigh

  • Estate agents have just been given the go-ahead to market my 2 bed flat in Rayleigh.Conveyancing lawyers have not yet been instructed but I have just received a quarterly maintenance charge demand – what should I do?

    The sensible thing to do is 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 management companies 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. This will smooth the conveyancing process.

    I've found a house that appears to be perfect, at a reasonable figure which is making it more attractive. I have subsequently been informed that it's a leasehold as opposed to freehold. I am assuming that there are issues buying a house with a leasehold title in Rayleigh. Conveyancing solicitors have not yet been instructed. Will my lawyers set out the risks of buying a leasehold house in Rayleigh ?

    Most houses in Rayleigh are freehold and not leasehold. In this scenario it’s worth having a local conveyancer used to dealing with such properties who can help the conveyancing process. We note that you are purchasing in Rayleigh so you should seriously consider shopping around for a Rayleigh conveyancing solicitor and check that they are used to transacting on leasehold houses. As a matter of priority you will need to check the unexpired lease term. As a lessee you will not be at liberty to do whatever you want with the house. The lease will likely included provisions such as obtaining the landlord’sconsent to conduct changes to the property. It may be necessary to pay a service charge towards the maintenance of the estate where the house is located on an estate. Your solicitor will advise you fully on all the issues.

    Can you offer any advice when it comes to appointing a Rayleigh conveyancing firm to carry out our lease extension conveyancing?

    If you are instructing a solicitor for lease extension works (regardless if they are a Rayleigh conveyancing practice) it is imperative that they be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of conveyancing. We advise that you talk with several firms including non Rayleigh conveyancing practices prior to instructing a firm. If the firm is ALEP accredited then that’s a bonus. Some following of questions might be useful:

    • How experienced is the firm with lease extension legislation?
  • If they are not ALEP accredited then why not?

  • Do you have any top tips for leasehold conveyancing in Rayleigh from the perspective of saving time on the sale process?

    • Much of the delay in leasehold conveyancing in Rayleigh can be bypassed where you appoint lawyers the minute your agents start marketing the property and request that they start to put together the leasehold documentation needed by the buyers lawyers.
    • In the event that you altered the property did you need the Landlord’s consent? In particular have you installed wooden flooring? Most leases in Rayleigh state that internal structural alterations or addition of wooden flooring necessitate a licence issued by the Landlord approving such alterations. Where you dont have the paperwork to hand you should not communicate with the landlord without checking with your conveyancer before hand.
  • Some Rayleigh leases require Landlord’s consent to the sale and approval of the buyers. If this is the case, you should notify your estate agents to make sure that the purchasers put in hand bank and professional references. Any 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 service charge figures so that they can pass this information on to the buyers or their lawyers.
  • If there is a history of any disputes with your freeholder or managing agents it is essential that these are resolved before the property is marketed. The purchasers and their solicitors will be reluctant to purchase a property where there is a current dispute. You may have to bite the bullet and discharge any arrears of service charge or settle the dispute prior to completion of the sale. It is therefore preferable to have any dispute settled prior to 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 historic rather than unsettled.
  • You believe that you know the number of years left on your lease but you should verify this via your lawyers. A purchaser's lawyer will not be happy to advise their client to proceed with the purchase of a leasehold property the remaining number of years is below 75 years. It is therefore essential 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 premises on the market for sale.

  • I own a leasehold flat in Rayleigh, conveyancing having been completed half a dozen years ago. Can you work out an approximate cost of a lease extension? Corresponding flats in Rayleigh with over 90 years remaining are worth £203,000. The ground rent is £50 yearly. The lease ends on 21st October 2095

    You have 75 years remaining on your lease the likely cost is going to range between £11,400 and £13,200 as well as professional fees.

    The suggested premium range that we have given is a general guide to costs for extending a lease, but we are not able to provide the actual costs without more detailed investigations. Do not use this information in tribunal or court proceedings. There may be additional concerns that need to be considered and you obviously want to be as accurate as possible in your negotiations. Please do not take any other action placing reliance on this information without first getting professional advice.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Rayleigh