Fixed-fee leasehold conveyancing in Sea Mills:

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Questions and Answers: Sea Mills leasehold conveyancing

I am in need of some leasehold conveyancing in Sea Mills. Before diving in I require certainty as to the number of years remaining on the lease.

Assuming the lease is registered - and 99.9% are in Sea Mills - then the leasehold title will always include the basic details of the lease, namely the date; the term; and the original parties. From a conveyancing perspective such details then enable any prospective buyer and lender to confirm that any lease they are looking at is the one relevant to that title.For any other purpose, such as confirming how long the term was granted for and calculating what is left, then the register should be sufficient on it's own.

I wish to let out my leasehold apartment in Sea Mills. Conveyancing solicitor who did the purchase is retired - so can't ask him. Do I need to ask my freeholder for permission?

Your lease governs the relationship between the landlord and you the flat owner; in particular, it will say if subletting is not allowed, or permitted but only subject to certain caveats. The rule is that if the lease contains no expres ban or restriction, subletting is permitted. Most leases in Sea Mills do not contain subletting altogether – such a clause would undoubtedly devalue the flat. In most cases there is simply a requirement that the owner notifies the freeholder, possibly sending a copy of the tenancy agreement.

I've found 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 rather than freehold. I am assuming that there are issues buying a house with a leasehold title in Sea Mills. Conveyancing lawyers have are about to be appointed. Will my lawyers set out the risks of buying a leasehold house in Sea Mills ?

The majority of houses in Sea Mills are freehold rather than leasehold. In this scenario it’s worth having a local conveyancer who is familiar with the area can assist with the conveyancing process. It is clear that you are buying in Sea Mills in which case you should be shopping around for a Sea Mills conveyancing solicitor and check that they have experience in dealing with 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 with the house. The lease will likely included provisions such as obtaining the landlord’spermission to conduct changes to the property. You may also be required to pay a contribution towards the maintenance of the estate where the property is located on an estate. Your lawyer will report to you on the legal implications.

I am looking at a couple of apartments in Sea Mills which have in the region of 50 years unexpired on the lease term. Will this present a problem?

There is no doubt about it. A leasehold apartment in Sea Mills is a deteriorating asset as a result of the shortening lease. The closer the lease gets to zero years unexpired, the more it reduces the salability of the property. For most purchasers and banks, leases with under 75 years become less and less attractive. On a more positive note, leaseholders can extend their leases by serving a Section 42 Notice. One stipulation is that they must have owned the premises for two years (unlike a Section 13 notice for purchasing the freehold, when leaseholders can participate from day one of ownership). When successful, they will have the right to an extension of 90 years to the current term and ground rent is effectively reduced to zero. Before moving forward with a purchase of property with a short lease term remaining you should talk to a solicitor specialising in lease extensions and leasehold enfranchisement. We are are happy to put you in touch with Sea Mills conveyancing experts who will explain the options available to you during an initial telephone conversation free of charge. More often than not it is possible to negotiate informally with the freeholder to extend the lease They may agree to a smaller lump sum and an increase in the ground rent, but to shorter extension terms in return. You need to ensure that the agreed terms represent good long-term value compared with the standard benefits of the Section 42 Notice and that onerous clauses are not inserted into any redrafting of the lease.

Can you provide any advice for leasehold conveyancing in Sea Mills with the intention of speeding up the sale process?

  • A significant proportion of the delay in leasehold conveyancing in Sea Mills can be reduced if you instruct lawyers as soon as your agents start marketing the property and request that they start to put together the leasehold information which will be required by the purchasers’ solicitors.
  • If you have carried out any alterations to the premises would they have required Landlord’s consent? In particular have you installed wooden flooring? Most leases in Sea Mills state that internal structural changes or laying down wooden flooring necessitate a licence from the Landlord consenting to such alterations. Where you fail to have the approvals in place you should not communicate with the landlord without contacting your conveyancer in the first instance.
  • A minority of Sea Mills leases require Licence to Assign from the landlord. If this is the case, you should place the estate agents on notice to make sure that the purchasers put in hand financial (bank) and professional references. The bank reference should make it clear that the buyer is financially capable of paying the yearly 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.
  • If you have had conflict with your freeholder or managing agents it is essential that these are resolved 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 have to bite the bullet and 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 prior to the contract papers being issued to the buyers’ solicitors. You will still have to reveal details of the dispute to the purchasers, but it is clearly preferable to present the dispute as over as opposed to ongoing.
  • If you are supposed to have a share in the freehold, you should make sure that you have the original share document. Obtaining a re-issued share certificate can be a lengthy process and frustrates many a Sea Mills conveyancing deal. Where a new share is required, do contact the company director and secretary or managing agents (if relevant) for this at the earliest opportunity.

  • Sea Mills Leasehold Conveyancing - A selection of Queries Prior to buying

      For most Sea Mills leaseholds the cost for major works tend not to be built into the maintenance charges, although there some managing agents in Sea Mills obliged leaseholders to pay into a reserve fund and this is used to offset against major repairs or maintenance. It is important to be aware if redecorating or some other significant cost is pending that will be shared by the leaseholders and could well materially impact the level of the maintenance fees or require a one time payment. Its a good idea to discover as much as you can regarding the managing agents as they will impact your use and enjoyment of the property. Being a leasehold owner you will be at the mercy of the managing agents both financially and when it comes to daily issues like the cleanliness of the communal areas. Ask other people what they think of their service. In conclusion, find out the dates that you are obliged pay the maintenance charge to the relevant party and specifically how they are spending the funds.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Sea Mills