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Questions and Answers: Shefford leasehold conveyancing

I have recently realised that I have 62 years remaining on my lease in Shefford. I am keen to extend my lease but my landlord is absent. What options are available to me?

If you qualify, 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 enable the lease to be extended by the magistrate. You will be obliged to prove that you or your lawyers have done all that could be expected to find the landlord. For most situations a specialist would be helpful to try and locate and prepare a report to be accepted by the court as evidence that the landlord can not be located. It is wise to seek advice from a conveyancer both on investigating the landlord’s disappearance and the application to the County Court covering Shefford.

I’m about to sell my garden apartment in Shefford.Conveyancing solicitors are to be appointed soon but I have just received a quarterly maintenance charge demand – should I leave it to the buyer to sort out?

Your conveyancing lawyer is likely to suggest that you should discharge the invoice 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 managing agents will not acknowledge the buyer until 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. Having a clear account will assist your cause and will leave you no worse off financially.

Back In 2000, I bought a leasehold house in Shefford. Conveyancing and Chelsea Building Society mortgage are in place. A letter has just been received from someone saying they have taken over the freehold. Attached was a demand for arrears of ground rent dating back to 1994. The conveyancing solicitor in Shefford who previously acted has long since retired.Any advice?

First make enquiries of HMLR to make sure that the individual claiming to own the freehold is indeed the new freeholder. It is not necessary to incur the fees of a Shefford conveyancing practitioner to do this as it can be done on-line for £3. Rest assured that in any event, even if this is the legitimate landlord, under the Limitation Act 1980 the limitation period for recovery of ground rent is six years.

Completion in due on our sale of a £325000 flat in Shefford in seven days. The landlords agents has quoted £336 for Landlord’s certificate, building insurance schedule and previous years service charge statements. Is it legal for a freeholder to charge an administration fee for a flat conveyance in Shefford?

Shefford conveyancing on leasehold apartments normally necessitates administration charges levied by freeholders :

  • Completing pre-exchange enquiries
  • Where consent is required before sale in Shefford
  • Supplying insurance information
  • Deeds of covenant upon sale
  • Registering of the assignment of the change of lessee after a sale
Your solicitor will have no control over the level of the charges for this information but the average costs for the information for Shefford leasehold property is £350. For Shefford 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 supply answers.

When it comes to leasehold conveyancing in Shefford what are the most common lease defects?

There is nothing unique about leasehold conveyancing in Shefford. All leases is drafted differently and drafting errors can sometimes mean that certain provisions are erroneous. For example, if your lease is missing any of the following, it could be defective:

  • Repairing obligations to or maintain elements of the building
  • Insurance obligations
  • Clauses dealing with recovering service charges for expenditure on the building or common parts.
  • Maintenance charge proportions which don’t add up to the correct percentage

You could encounter difficulties when selling your property if you have a defective lease primarily because it impacts on the ability to obtain a mortgage on the property. Halifax, Coventry Building Society, and Bank of Ireland all have very detailed requirements when it comes to what is expected in a lease. Where a lender has been advised by their lawyers that the lease is defective they may refuse to provide security, forcing the buyer to withdraw.

I inherited a split level flat in Shefford, conveyancing having been completed in 1998. 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? Corresponding flats in Shefford with an extended lease are worth £195,000. The ground rent is £65 invoiced annually. The lease ends on 21st October 2096

You have 72 years unexpired the likely cost is going to be between £8,600 and £9,800 plus legals.

The suggested premium range above a general guide to costs for renewing a lease, but we are not able to advice on the actual costs in the absence of detailed investigations. Do not use this information in a Notice of Claim or as an informal offer. There are no doubt other issues that need to be considered and you obviously should be as accurate as possible in your negotiations. You should not take any other action placing reliance on this information without first seeking the advice of a professional.

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Lease Extensions in Shefford