Frequently asked questions relating to Totterdown leasehold conveyancing
I am on look out for some leasehold conveyancing in Totterdown. Before diving in I require certainty as to the remaining lease term.
If the lease is recorded at the land registry - and almost all are in Totterdown - then the leasehold title will always include the short particulars 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.
Having checked my lease I have discovered that there are only Seventy years remaining on my flat in Totterdown. I am keen to get lease extension but my landlord is missing. What are my options?
If 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 extended by the Court. However, you will be required to prove that you have used your best endeavours to track down the landlord. On the whole an enquiry agent would be useful to try and locate and to produce an expert document which can be accepted by the court as evidence that the freeholder can not be located. It is advisable to get professional help from a conveyancer in relation to investigating the landlord’s disappearance and the application to the County Court covering Totterdown.
I am hoping to put an offer on a small detached house that appears to meet my requirements, at a great price which is making it more attractive. I have just discovered that the title is leasehold as opposed to freehold. I would have thought that there are issues purchasing a leasehold house in Totterdown. Conveyancing lawyers have are soon to be instructed. Will they explain the issues?
The majority of houses in Totterdown are freehold and not 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 clear that you are buying in Totterdown in which case you should be looking for a Totterdown conveyancing solicitor and be sure that they have experience in advising on leasehold houses. As a matter of priority you will need to check the unexpired lease term. As a lessee you will not be entirely free to do whatever you want with the house. The lease will likely included provisions for example requiring the freeholder’spermission to conduct alterations. You may also be required to pay a maintenance charge towards the maintenance of the estate where the property is part of an estate. Your solicitor will advise you fully on all the issues.
I am tempted by the attractive purchase price for a couple of maisonettes in Totterdown both have approximately fifty years left on the lease term. Do I need to be concerned?
There are plenty of short leases in Totterdown. The lease is a right to use the premises for a prescribed time frame. As a lease gets shorter the saleability of the lease decreases and it becomes more expensive to acquire a lease extension. This is why it is advisable to increase the term of the lease. More often than not it is difficult to sell a property with a short lease as mortgage companies less inclined to grant a loan on such properties. Lease enfranchisement can be a protracted process. We recommend you get professional assistance from a solicitor and surveyor with experience in this area
Can you offer any advice when it comes to finding a Totterdown conveyancing practice to deal with our lease extension?
When appointing a property lawyer for your lease extension (regardless if they are a Totterdown conveyancing practice) it is most important that they be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of conveyancing. We suggested that you speak with two or three firms including non Totterdown conveyancing practices prior to instructing a firm. If the firm is ALEP accredited then that’s a bonus. Some following of questions might be useful:
- How many lease extensions have they completed in Totterdown in the last year?
Leasehold Conveyancing in Totterdown - Examples of Questions you should consider before Purchasing
The majority of Totterdown leasehold flats will have a service charge for the upkeep of the block invoiced on behalf of the landlord. If you purchase the flat you will have to pay this liability, usually periodically accross the year. This may vary from a few hundred pounds to thousands of pounds for blocks with lifts and large communal areas. In all probability there will be a ground rent to be met yearly, normally this is not a large sum, say around £25-£75 but you need to check as sometimes it could be surprisingly expensive.
In the main the cost for major works are not included within maintenance charges, although some managing agents in Totterdown ask leasehold owners to contribute towards a reserve fund and this is used to offset against larger repairs or maintenance.
If a Totterdown lease has no more than eighty years it will affect the salability of the property. Check with your mortgage company that they are willing to lend given the lease term. Leases with fewer than 80 years remaining means that you will probably require a lease extension sooner rather than later and you need to have some idea of what this will be. For most Totterdownlease extensions you will be required to have been the owner of the residence for a couple of years before you are entitled to extend the lease.