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Werrington leasehold conveyancing: Q and A’s

Looking forward to complete next month on a ground floor flat in Werrington. Conveyancing solicitors have said that they will have a report out to me tomorrow. What should I be looking out for?

Your report on title for your leasehold conveyancing in Werrington should include some of the following:

  • The unexpired lease term You should be advised as what happens when the lease ends, and aware of the importance of the 80 year mark
  • Details of the parties to the lease, for example these could be the leaseholder (you), head lessor, freeholder
  • The total extent of the property. This will be the property itself but could also include a loft or cellar if applicable.
  • An explanation as to the provision in the lease to pay service charges - with regard to both the building, and the more general rights a leaseholder has
  • Whether your lease has a provision for a sinking fund?
  • I don't know whether the lease allows me to alter or improve anything in the flat - you should know whether it applies to all alterations or just structural alteration, and whether consent is required
  • What options are open to you if a neighbour is in violation of a provision in their lease? For details of the information to be included in your report on your leasehold property in Werrington please enquire of your solicitor in advance of your conveyancing in Werrington

  • I today plan to offer on a house that appears to be perfect, at a great price which is making it more attractive. I have just found out that the title is leasehold rather than freehold. I would have thought that there are issues purchasing a leasehold house in Werrington. Conveyancing lawyers have not yet been instructed. Will my lawyers set out the implications of buying a leasehold house in Werrington ?

    Most houses in Werrington are freehold rather than leasehold. This is one of the situations where having a local solicitor who is familiar with the area can assist with the conveyancing process. We note that you are purchasing in Werrington in which case you should be looking for a Werrington conveyancing solicitor and check that they have experience in dealing with leasehold houses. As a matter of priority you will need to check the number of years remaining. As a lessee you will not be entirely free to do whatever you want with the house. The lease will likely included provisions such as obtaining the freeholder’spermission to carry out alterations. You may also be required to pay a maintenance charge towards the upkeep of the estate where the property is part of an estate. Your conveyancer should report to you on the legal implications.

    Back In 2000, I bought a leasehold flat in Werrington. Conveyancing and Chelsea Building Society mortgage are in place. I have received a letter from someone claiming to own the freehold. Attached was a ground rent demand for rent dating back to 1991. The conveyancing solicitor in Werrington who previously acted has now retired.What should I do?

    The first thing you should do is contact HMLR to be sure that this person is indeed the registered owner of the freehold reversion. It is not necessary to incur the fees of a Werrington conveyancing firm to do this as you can do this on the Land Registry website for £3. You should note that in any event, even if this is the rightful landlord, under the Limitation Act 1980 the limitation period for recovery of ground rent is six years.

    I am a negotiator for a reputable estate agency in Werrington where we have witnessed a few flat sales derailed as a result of leases having less than 80 years remaining. I have received conflicting advice from local Werrington conveyancing solicitors. Can you shed some light as to whether the vendor of a flat can initiate the lease extension formalities for the purchaser on completion of the sale?

    As long as the seller has been the owner for at least 2 years it is possible, to serve a Section 42 notice to commence the lease extension process and assign the benefit of the notice to the purchaser. This means that the proposed purchaser 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 needs to be completed prior to, or at the same time as completion of the sale.

    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.

    Can you provide any advice for leasehold conveyancing in Werrington from the perspective of expediting the sale process?

    • Much of the delay in leasehold conveyancing in Werrington can be reduced where you appoint lawyers as soon as you market your property and ask them to collate the leasehold documentation needed by the buyers solicitors.
    • Many landlords or managing agents in Werrington levy fees for providing management packs for a leasehold property. You or your lawyers should discover the fee that they propose to charge. The management pack can be applied for as soon as you have a buyer, thus accelerating the process. The typical amount of time it takes to obtain the necessary information is three weeks. It is the most frequent cause of frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Werrington.
  • In the event that you altered the property did you need the Landlord’s approval? In particular have you laid down wooden flooring? Werrington leases often stipulate that internal structural alterations or laying down wooden flooring require a licence issued by the Landlord acquiescing to such changes. Should you fail to have the consents to hand do not communicate with the landlord without checking with your lawyer in advance.
  • Some Werrington leases require Landlord’s consent to the sale and approval of the buyers. If this is the case, you should place the estate agents on notice to make sure that the purchasers put in hand financial (bank) and professional references. The bank reference should make it clear that the buyer is 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 actual amount of the service charge so that they can pass this information on to the buyers or their solicitors.
  • You believe that you know the number of years left on your lease but you should double-check by asking your lawyers. A buyer’s conveyancer will not be happy to advise their client to to exchange contracts if the lease term is less than 80 years. In the circumstances it is important at an early stage that you identify whether the lease for your property needs extending. If it does, contact your solicitors before you put your premises on the market for sale.

  • I invested in buying a ground floor flat in Werrington, conveyancing having been completed in 2007. 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? Equivalent properties in Werrington with over 90 years remaining are worth £189,000. The ground rent is £45 per annum. The lease finishes on 21st October 2091

    With only 67 years left to run we estimate the price of your lease extension to range between £14,300 and £16,400 as well as professional fees.

    The figure above a general guide to costs for extending a lease, but we are not able to supply the actual costs without more detailed due diligence. Do not use the figures in tribunal or court proceedings. There are no doubt additional issues that need to be taken into account and you obviously want to be as accurate as possible in your negotiations. Neither should you move forward based on this information before getting professional advice.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Werrington