Experts for Leasehold Conveyancing in Smithfield

While any conveyancing practice can theoretically handle your leasehold conveyancing in Smithfield, your mortgage provider may not be willing to work with them if the firm are not on their list of approved solicitors for conveyancing

Smithfield leasehold conveyancing: Q and A’s

I am on look out for some leasehold conveyancing in Smithfield. Before I set the wheels in motion I would like to find out the unexpired term of the lease.

Assuming the lease is recorded at the land registry - and most are in Smithfield - 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 only have Fifty years unexpired on my flat in Smithfield. I now want to extend my lease but my freeholder is missing. What are my options?

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 for permission 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 have made all reasonable attempts to track down the lessor. On the whole an enquiry agent should be useful to carry out a search and prepare a report which can be used as evidence that the freeholder is indeed missing. It is advisable to get professional help from a conveyancer in relation to proving the landlord’s disappearance and the application to the County Court covering Smithfield.

I am hoping to put an offer on a small detached house that seems to meet my requirements, at a great price which is making it more attractive. I have subsequently discovered that the title is leasehold as opposed to freehold. I would have thought that there are issues purchasing a leasehold house in Smithfield. Conveyancing advisers have are soon to be appointed. Will they explain the issues?

Most houses in Smithfield are freehold rather than 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 buying in Smithfield in which case you should be looking for a Smithfield conveyancing practitioner and be sure that they have experience in dealing with leasehold houses. As a matter of priority you will need to check the number of years remaining. As a lessee you will not be at liberty to do whatever you want to the property. The lease comes with conditions such as requiring the landlord’spermission to carry out changes to the property. You may also be required to pay a maintenance charge towards the upkeep of the communal areas where the property is part of an estate. Your conveyancer will report to you on the legal implications.

I am attracted to a couple of flats in Smithfield which have about fifty years unexpired on the lease term. Should I regard a short lease as a deal breaker?

A lease is a legal document that entitles you to use the property for a prescribed time frame. As a lease gets shorter the value of the lease reduces and results in it becoming more expensive to acquire a lease extension. This is why it is advisable to increase the term of the lease. It is often difficult to sell a property with a short lease as mortgage companies less inclined to grant a loan on such properties. Lease extension can be a protracted process. We recommend you get professional help from a solicitor and surveyor with experience in this arena

Can you provide any advice for leasehold conveyancing in Smithfield from the point of view of saving time on the sale process?

  • Much of the frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Smithfield 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 information needed by the buyers solicitors.
  • If you have carried out any alterations to the property would they have required Landlord’s consent? In particular have you installed wooden flooring? Smithfield leases often stipulate that internal structural alterations or addition of wooden flooring calls for a licence issued by the Landlord acquiescing to such works. If you dont have the consents in place do not contact the landlord without checking with your conveyancer first.
  • If there is a history of conflict with your landlord or managing agents it is essential that these are settled prior to the flat being marketed. The purchasers and their solicitors will be concerned about purchasing a flat where a dispute is unsettled. You will have to accept that you will have to pay any arrears of service charge or resolve the dispute prior to the buyers completing the purchase. It is therefore preferable to have any dispute settled ahead of the contract papers being issued to the buyers’ solicitors. You are still duty bound to disclose particulars of the dispute to the purchasers, but it is clearly preferable to reveal the dispute as historic as opposed to ongoing.
  • If you have the benefit of shareholding in the freehold, you should ensure that you have the original share document. Obtaining a replacement share certificate is often a lengthy process and frustrates many a Smithfield home move. If a new share is necessary, you should approach the company director and secretary or managing agents (if relevant) for this as soon as possible.
  • 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 conveyancers. A buyer’s conveyancer will not be happy to advise their client to to exchange contracts if the remaining number of years is less than 75 years. In the circumstances it is important at an early stage that you consider whether the lease term requires a lease extension. If it does, contact your solicitors before you put your property on the market for sale.

  • Smithfield Conveyancing for Leasehold Flats - A selection of Queries Prior to buying

      This information is important as a) areas may cause problems in the block as the common areas may begin to deteriorate if services remain unpaid b) if the leaseholders have an issue with the managing agents you will need to have complete disclosure Does the lease have in excess of 85 years left? Can you inform me if there are any major works on the horizon that could increase the maintenance costs?

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Smithfield