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Recently asked questions relating to Torrington leasehold conveyancing

I am intending to sublet my leasehold apartment in Torrington. Conveyancing solicitor who did the purchase is retired - so can't ask her. Do I need to ask my freeholder for their consent?

Notwithstanding that your last Torrington conveyancing solicitor is no longer available you can review your lease to check if it allows you to sublet the apartment. The rule is that if the deeds are non-specific, subletting is permitted. There may be a precondition that you are obliged to seek permission via your landlord or some other party before subletting. The net result is you not allowed to sublet in the absence of prior consent. Such consent is not allowed to be unreasonably turned down. If your lease does not allow you to sublet you will need to ask your landlord if they are willing to waive this restriction.

I only have Seventy years remaining on my flat in Torrington. I need to get lease extension but my landlord is can not be found. What options are available to me?

On the basis that you meet the appropriate requirements, under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 you can submit an application to the County Court for for permission to dispense with the service of the initial notice. This will enable the lease to be lengthened by the Court. However, you will be required to demonstrate that you or your lawyers have used your best endeavours to find the landlord. In some cases a specialist may be useful to try and locate and to produce a report which can be used as evidence that the freeholder can not be located. It is advisable to get professional help from a solicitor in relation to proving the landlord’s disappearance and the vesting order request to the County Court overseeing Torrington.

Back In 2007, I bought a leasehold flat in Torrington. Conveyancing and HSBC Bank mortgage went though with no issue. A letter has just been received from someone saying they have taken over the reversionary interest in the property. It included a demand for arrears of ground rent dating back to 1996. The conveyancing practitioner in Torrington who acted for me is not around.Do I pay?

The first thing you should do is contact HMLR to be sure that the individual purporting to own the freehold is indeed the new freeholder. It is not necessary to incur the fees of a Torrington conveyancing practitioner to do this as you can do this on the Land Registry website for less than a fiver. Rest assured that regardless, even if this is the legitimate freeholder, under the Limitation Act 1980 no more than 6 years of rent can be collected.

I work for a busy estate agency in Torrington where we see a few flat sales jeopardised as a result of leases having less than 80 years remaining. I have received conflicting advice from local Torrington conveyancing firms. Can you clarify whether the owner of a flat can start the lease extension process for the buyer?

Provided that the seller has been the owner for at least 2 years it is possible, to serve a Section 42 notice to start the lease extension process and assign the benefit of the notice to the purchaser. This means that the buyer need not have to sit tight for 2 years for a lease extension. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment has to be done prior to, or simultaneously with completion of the sale.

Alternatively, it may be possible to extend the lease informally by agreement with the landlord 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 purchaser.

Can you provide any advice for leasehold conveyancing in Torrington with the intention of expediting the sale process?

  • A significant proportion of the frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Torrington can be bypassed where you get in touch lawyers the minute you market your property and request that they start to put together the leasehold documentation needed by the purchasers’ conveyancers.
  • The majority landlords or Management Companies in Torrington charge for supplying management packs for a leasehold property. You or your lawyers should find out the actual amount of the charges. The management pack sought on or before finding a buyer, thus reducing delays. The typical amount of time it takes to receive management information is three weeks. It is the most common cause of frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Torrington.
  • A minority of Torrington leases require Landlord’s consent to the sale and approval of the buyers. If this applies to your lease, you should place the estate agents on notice to make sure that the purchasers obtain bank and professional references. The bank reference will need to confirm that the buyers are able to meet 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 service charge figures 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 very important that these are settled prior to the flat being put on the market. The purchasers and their solicitors will be reluctant to purchase a flat where there is an ongoing dispute. You will have to accept that you will have to pay any arrears of service charge or settle the dispute prior to completion of the sale. 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 details of the dispute to the purchasers, but it is better to reveal the dispute as over as opposed to ongoing.
  • If you are supposed to have a share in the freehold, you should ensure that you hold the original share certificate. Organising a duplicate share certificate is often a lengthy formality and slows down many a Torrington home move. Where a duplicate share is necessary, you should approach the company officers or managing agents (where relevant) for this sooner rather than later.

  • Leasehold Conveyancing in Torrington - Sample of Queries Prior to Purchasing

      The answer will be useful as a) areas could result in problems for the building as the communal areas may start to deteriorate where maintenance are not paid for b) if the leasehold owners have an issue with the running of the building you will need to know about it How many of the leaseholders are in arrears for their maintenance charge payments? How much is the ground rent and service charge?

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Torrington