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Wendover leasehold conveyancing: Q and A’s

My husband and I may need to sub-let our Wendover 1st floor flat temporarily due to taking a sabbatical. We used a Wendover conveyancing practice in 2001 but they have closed and we did not have the foresight to seek any advice as to whether the lease allows us to sublet. How do we find out?

Notwithstanding that your previous Wendover conveyancing lawyer is no longer around you can check your lease to see if you are permitted to let out the property. The rule is that if the lease is non-specific, subletting is permitted. Quite often there is a prerequisite that you need to obtain permission via your landlord or some other party in advance of subletting. The net result is that you cannot sublet without first obtaining consent. The consent is not allowed to be unreasonably turned down. If the lease does not allow you to sublet you will need to ask your landlord for their consent.

I have recently realised that I have Fifty years remaining on my lease in Wendover. I now wish to get lease extension but my freeholder is can not be found. What are my options?

If you meet the appropriate requirements, under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 you can apply to the County Court for an order to dispense with the service of the initial notice. This will mean that your lease can be lengthened by the magistrate. You will be obliged to demonstrate that you or your lawyers have made all reasonable attempts to find the freeholder. In some cases an enquiry agent would be helpful to conduct investigations and to produce a report which can be accepted by the court as evidence that the freeholder is indeed missing. It is advisable to get professional help from a property lawyer in relation to proving the landlord’s disappearance and the application to the County Court covering Wendover.

I am looking at a two maisonettes in Wendover which have in the region of forty five years unexpired on the lease term. Do I need to be concerned?

There are plenty of short leases in Wendover. The lease is a legal document that entitles you to use the property for a period of time. As a lease shortens the marketability of the lease reduces and it becomes more expensive to acquire a lease extension. For this reason it is generally wise to extend the lease term. Sometimes it is difficult to sell a property with a short lease because mortgage lenders may be unwilling to lend money on properties of this type. Lease extension can be a protracted process. We recommend you get professional assistance from a conveyancer and surveyor with experience in this area

I've recently bought a leasehold property in Wendover. Am I liable to pay 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. 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 be sure 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).

Can you provide any advice for leasehold conveyancing in Wendover from the perspective of saving time on the sale process?

  • A significant proportion of the frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Wendover can be reduced where you instruct lawyers as soon as you market your property and request that they start to collate the leasehold documentation which will be required by the buyers representatives.
  • Many landlords or managing agents in Wendover charge for supplying management packs for a leasehold premises. You or your lawyers should enquire as to the actual amount of the charges. The management information can be applied for on or before finding a buyer, thus reducing delays. The average time it takes to obtain the necessary information is three weeks. It is the most frequent cause of delay in leasehold conveyancing in Wendover.
  • In the event that you altered the property did you need the Landlord’s consent? Have you, for example installed wooden flooring? Most leases in Wendover state that internal structural alterations or installing wooden flooring calls for a licence from the Landlord approving such changes. Where you dont have the paperwork to hand you should not communicate with the landlord without contacting your lawyer before hand.
  • A minority of Wendover leases require Licence to Assign from the landlord. If this is the case, it would be prudent to notify your estate agents to make sure that the purchasers obtain bank and professional references. Any bank reference will need to confirm that the buyers are able to meet the annual 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 buyers or their solicitors.
  • If you are supposed to have a share in the Management Company, you should make sure that you have the original share certificate. Organising a re-issued share certificate is often a time consuming process and frustrates many a Wendover conveyancing deal. If a new share certificate is needed, you should approach the company officers or managing agents (where applicable) for this sooner rather than later.

  • I own a garden flat in Wendover, conveyancing formalities finalised in 2002. How much will my lease extension cost? Corresponding flats in Wendover with over 90 years remaining are worth £170,000. The ground rent is £45 invoiced every year. The lease finishes on 21st October 2080

    With only 60 years left to run we estimate the price of your lease extension to be between £21,900 and £25,200 as well as professional fees.

    The figure that we have given is a general guide to costs for extending a lease, but we cannot give you the actual costs without more comprehensive due diligence. You should not use this information in a Notice of Claim or as an informal offer. There may be additional concerns that need to be considered and you obviously want to be as accurate as possible in your negotiations. Please do not move forward based on this information without first getting professional advice.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Wendover