Recently asked questions relating to Westhoughton leasehold conveyancing
I have recently realised that I have Seventy years left on my lease in Westhoughton. I need to extend my lease but my landlord is absent. 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 an order to dispense with the service of the initial notice. This will mean that your lease can be granted an extra 90 years by the magistrate. However, you will be required to demonstrate that you have made all reasonable attempts to locate the freeholder. In some cases a specialist should be helpful to carry out a search and to produce an expert document which can be used as evidence that the landlord can not be located. It is advisable to get professional help from a property lawyer in relation to investigating the landlord’s disappearance and the application to the County Court covering Westhoughton.
I am hoping to put an offer on a small detached house that appears to tick a lot of boxes, at a reasonable figure which is making it more attractive. I have just been informed that it's a leasehold as opposed to freehold. I would have thought that there are issues purchasing a leasehold house in Westhoughton. Conveyancing advisers have are about to be instructed. Will my lawyers set out the implications of buying a leasehold house in Westhoughton ?
The majority of houses in Westhoughton are freehold rather than leasehold. This is one of the situations where having a local conveyancer who is familiar with the area can help the conveyancing process. it is apparent that you are buying in Westhoughton so you should seriously consider shopping around for a Westhoughton conveyancing solicitor and check that they are used to transacting on leasehold houses. First you will need to check the number of years remaining. As a leaseholder you will not be entirely free to do whatever you want to the property. The lease will likely included provisions for example requiring the freeholder’sconsent to carry out alterations. It may be necessary to pay a service charge towards the maintenance of the estate where the house is part of an estate. Your solicitor will advise you fully on all the issues.
I work for a busy estate agent office in Westhoughton where we have experienced a few leasehold sales jeopardised due to short leases. I have received conflicting advice from local Westhoughton conveyancing firms. Please can you clarify whether the seller of a flat can commence 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. The benefit of this is that the proposed purchaser need not have to wait 2 years for a lease extension. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment needs to be completed before, or simultaneously with 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 offer any advice when it comes to choosing a Westhoughton conveyancing practice to deal with our lease extension?
If you are instructing a property lawyer for lease extension works (regardless if they are a Westhoughton conveyancing firm) it is most important that he or she should be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of work. We recommend that you talk with two or three firms including non Westhoughton conveyancing practices prior to instructing a firm. If the firm is ALEP accredited then so much the better. Some following of questions might be of use:
- How experienced is the practice with lease extension legislation?
What makes a Westhoughton lease defective?
There is nothing unique about leasehold conveyancing in Westhoughton. All leases is drafted differently and drafting errors can sometimes mean that certain sections are not included. The following missing provisions could result in a defective lease:
- A provision to repair to or maintain elements of the property
- Insurance obligations
- Clauses dealing with recovering service charges for expenditure on the building or common parts.
- Service charge per centages that don't add up correctly leaving a shortfall
You will have difficulties when selling your property if you have a defective lease as they can affect a potential buyer’s ability to obtain a mortgage. HSBC Bank, The Mortgage Works, and Britannia all have very detailed conveyancing instructions when it comes to what is expected in a lease. Where a lender has been advised by their lawyers that the lease is defective they may refuse to grant the mortgage, forcing the buyer to withdraw.
Leasehold Conveyancing in Westhoughton - Examples of Questions you should ask before Purchasing
The best form of lease arrangement is where the freehold interest is owned by the leaseholders. In this scenario the tenants benefit from being in charge if their destiny and even though a managing agent is frequently retained if it is bigger than a house conversion, the managing agent retained by the leaseholders.
How much is the ground rent and service charge?
Is there a share of the freehold?