Quality lawyers for Leasehold Conveyancing in Totterdown

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Recently asked questions relating to Totterdown leasehold conveyancing

My partner and I may need to sub-let our Totterdown garden flat temporarily due to a new job. We instructed a Totterdown conveyancing practice in 2004 but they have since shut and we did not have the foresight to get any advice as to whether the lease prohibits the subletting of the flat. How do we find out?

A lease governs relations between the freeholder and you the leaseholder; in particular, it will say if subletting is prohibited, or permitted but only subject to certain conditions. The rule is that if the lease contains no specific ban or restriction, subletting is allowed. The majority of leases in Totterdown do not contain an absolute prevention of subletting – such a clause would adversely affect the market value the property. In most cases there is a basic requirement that the owner notifies the freeholder, possibly supplying a copy of the sublease.

I only have 62 years unexpired on my flat in Totterdown. I need to get lease extension but my freeholder is missing. What options are available to me?

On the basis that you qualify, 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 mean that your lease can be granted an extra 90 years by the Court. However, you will be required to prove that you have made all reasonable attempts to locate the lessor. In some cases a specialist may be useful to try and locate and prepare an expert document to be used as proof that the landlord is indeed missing. It is wise to seek advice from a solicitor in relation to investigating the landlord’s disappearance and the application to the County Court overseeing Totterdown.

Back In 2009, I bought a leasehold house in Totterdown. Conveyancing and Chelsea Building Society mortgage are in place. I have received a letter from someone saying they have taken over the reversionary interest in the property. Attached was a ground rent demand for rent dating back to 1994. The conveyancing solicitor in Totterdown who acted for me is not around.Any advice?

The first thing you should do is contact the Land Registry to be sure that the individual purporting to own the freehold is indeed the registered owner of the freehold reversion. It is not necessary to instruct a Totterdown conveyancing lawyer 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 no more than 6 years of rent can be collected.

Last month I purchased a leasehold flat in Totterdown. Do I have any liability for service charges for periods before completion of my purchase?

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. Strange as it may seem, 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).

Do you have any top tips for leasehold conveyancing in Totterdown with the intention of saving time on the sale process?

  • A significant proportion of the delay in leasehold conveyancing in Totterdown can be bypassed where you appoint lawyers as soon as your agents start marketing the property and ask them to put together the leasehold documentation needed by the purchasers’ conveyancers.
  • In the event that you altered the property did you need the Landlord’s consent? In particular have you installed wooden flooring? Most leases in Totterdown state that internal structural changes or installing wooden flooring necessitate a licence from the Landlord approving such changes. Should you dont have the paperwork in place you should not communicate with the landlord without checking with your conveyancer in advance.
  • If you have had any disputes with your landlord or managing agents it is very important that these are settled prior to the flat being marketed. 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 resolve 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 buyers, but it is clearly preferable to present the dispute as over as opposed to unsettled.
  • If you are supposed to have a share in the freehold, you should make sure that you are holding the original share certificate. Arranging a re-issued share certificate is often a lengthy process and delays many a Totterdown conveyancing transaction. Where a new share certificate is needed, do contact the company officers or managing agents (if applicable) for this at the earliest opportunity.
  • You may think that you are aware of the number of years remaining on your lease but it would be wise to verify this via your conveyancers. A purchaser's conveyancer will not be happy to advise their client to proceed with the purchase of a leasehold property the lease term is below 80 years. In the circumstances it is essential at an early stage that you consider whether the lease term for your property needs extending. If it does, contact your solicitors before you put your premises on the market for sale.

  • I acquired a studio flat in Totterdown, conveyancing was carried out 1995. 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? Similar properties in Totterdown with an extended lease are worth £169,000. The ground rent is £60 invoiced annually. The lease comes to an end on 21st October 2096

    You have 75 years left to run we estimate the price of your lease extension to be between £10,500 and £12,000 as well as professional fees.

    The figure that we have given is a general guide to costs for renewing a lease, but we are not able to advice on the actual costs in the absence of comprehensive investigations. You should not use the figures in a Notice of Claim or as an informal offer. There may be additional concerns that need to be taken into account and clearly you want to be as accurate as possible in your negotiations. You should not move forward based on this information before getting professional advice.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Totterdown