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Thurrock leasehold conveyancing Example Support Desk Enquiries

Frank (my husband) and I may need to rent out our Thurrock 1st floor flat for a while due to taking a sabbatical. We used a Thurrock conveyancing firm in 2001 but they have closed and we did not think at the time get any guidance as to whether the lease allows us to sublet. How do we find out?

A lease dictates relations between the freeholder and you the leaseholder; specifically, it will say if subletting is not allowed, or permitted but only subject to certain caveats. The accepted inference is that if the lease contains no expres ban or restriction, subletting is permitted. The majority of leases in Thurrock do not prevent strict prohibition on subletting – such a provision would undoubtedly devalue the flat. In most cases there is a basic requirement that the owner notifies the freeholder, possibly sending a copy of the sublease.

I today plan to offer on a house that appears to be perfect, at a reasonable figure which is making it all the more appealing. I have just found out that it's a leasehold as opposed to freehold. I would have thought that there are particular concerns purchasing a leasehold house in Thurrock. Conveyancing solicitors have are about to be appointed. Will they explain the issues?

Most houses in Thurrock are freehold rather than leasehold. This is one of the situations where having a local conveyancer used to dealing with such properties who can assist with the conveyancing process. it is apparent that you are buying in Thurrock so you should seriously consider shopping around for a Thurrock conveyancing solicitor and check that they are used to dealing with leasehold houses. As a matter of priority you will need to check the unexpired lease term. Being a lessee you will not be at liberty to do whatever you want to the property. The lease comes with conditions such as obtaining the landlord’spermission to conduct changes to the property. It may be necessary to pay a contribution towards the upkeep of the communal areas where the property is located on an estate. Your conveyancer should advise you fully on all the issues.

I am tempted by the attractive purchase price for a couple of apartments in Thurrock both have about fifty years unexpired on the leases. Will this present a problem?

There is no doubt about it. A leasehold apartment in Thurrock is a deteriorating asset as a result of the reducing lease term. The nearer the lease gets to its expiry date, the more it adversely affects the value of the property. For most purchasers and lenders, leases with under 75 years become less and less attractive. On a more upbeat 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 premises 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 Thurrock 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.

Last month I purchased a leasehold flat in Thurrock. Do I have any liability for service charges for periods before my ownership?

In a situation where the service charge has already been demanded from the previous owner and they have not paid you would not usually be personally liable for the arrears. However, your landlord may still be able to take action to forfeit the lease. It is an essential part of leasehold conveyancing for your conveyancer to ensure to have an up to date clear service charge receipt before completion of your purchase. If you have a mortgage this is likely to be a requirement of your lender.

If you purchase part way through an accounting year you may be liable for charges not yet demanded even if they relate to a period prior to your purchase. In such circumstances your conveyancer would normally arrange for the seller to set aside some money to cover their part of the period (usually called a service charge retention).

I am a negotiator for a reputable estate agency in Thurrock where we see a few flat sales jeopardised due to leases having less than 80 years remaining. I have been given conflicting advice from local Thurrock conveyancing solicitors. Please can you confirm whether the owner of a flat can start the lease extension process for the buyer?

Provided that the seller has owned the lease 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 proposed purchaser can avoid having to sit tight for 2 years for a lease extension. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment needs to be completed before, or at the same time as completion of the disposal of the property.

Alternatively, it may be possible 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 buyer.

Leasehold Conveyancing in Thurrock - Examples of Queries before buying

    What prohibitions are contained in the Thurrock Lease? How many of the leaseholders are in arrears for their maintenance charge payments? It would be wise to investigate if there is anything that is prohibited in the lease. By way of example it is fairly common in Thurrock leases that pets are not allowed in certain buildings in Thurrock. If you like the propertyin Thurrock but your dog can’t live with you then you will be presented with a difficult decision.

Other Topics

Lease Extensions in Thurrock