Fixed-fee leasehold conveyancing in Whittlesey:

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Top Five Questions relating to Whittlesey leasehold conveyancing

I only have 68 years left on my flat in Whittlesey. I now wish to get lease extension but my landlord is missing. What are my options?

If 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 lengthened by the Court. You will be obliged to prove that you or your lawyers have used your best endeavours to find the landlord. In some cases a specialist would be helpful to conduct investigations and to produce a report to be used as evidence that the landlord can not be located. It is wise to seek advice from a property lawyer both on investigating the landlord’s absence and the vesting order request to the County Court overseeing Whittlesey.

Back In 2000, I bought a leasehold flat in Whittlesey. Conveyancing and Santander mortgage organised. A letter has just been received from someone claiming to own the freehold. It included a ground rent demand for rent dating back to 1993. The conveyancing solicitor in Whittlesey who acted for me is not around.Any advice?

The first thing you should do is contact the Land Registry to make sure that this person is indeed the new freeholder. You do not need to instruct a Whittlesey conveyancing practitioner to do this as you can do this on the Land Registry website for a few pound. Rest assured that in any event, even if this is the legitimate freeholder, under the Limitation Act 1980 the limitation period for recovery of ground rent is six years.

Can you offer any advice when it comes to finding a Whittlesey conveyancing practice to carry out our lease extension conveyancing?

When appointing a conveyancer for your lease extension (regardless if they are a Whittlesey conveyancing firm) it is most important that he or she should be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of conveyancing. We suggested that you make enquires with two or three firms including non Whittlesey conveyancing practices before you instructing a firm. If the firm is ALEP accredited then that’s a bonus. Some following of questions could be of use:

  • What volume of lease extensions has the firm completed in Whittlesey in the last year?
  • What are the legal fees for lease extension work?

  • Can you provide any advice for leasehold conveyancing in Whittlesey with the purpose of expediting the sale process?

    • A significant proportion of the frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Whittlesey can be avoided where you appoint lawyers the minute your agents start marketing the property and ask them to collate the leasehold information which will be required by the buyers lawyers.
    • The majority freeholders or managing agents in Whittlesey charge for providing management packs for a leasehold premises. You or your lawyers should discover the actual amount of the charges. The management pack sought on or before finding a buyer, thus accelerating the process. The typical amount of time it takes to receive management information is three weeks. It is the most frequent cause of frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Whittlesey.
  • If you have carried out any alterations to the property would they have required Landlord’s approval? Have you, for example installed wooden flooring? Whittlesey leases often stipulate that internal structural alterations or addition of wooden flooring require a licence issued by the Landlord approving such works. Should you dont have the approvals to hand do not contact the landlord without contacting your solicitor first.
  • If you have had any disputes with your freeholder or managing agents it is very important that these are resolved prior to the flat being put on the market. The purchasers and their solicitors will be reluctant to purchase a property where there is a current dispute. You will have to accept that you will have to pay any arrears of service charge or resolve the dispute prior to the buyers completing the purchase. 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 purchasers, but it is better to present the dispute as historic as opposed to ongoing.
  • If you hold a share in a the freehold, you should ensure that you have the original share certificate. Organising a new share certificate is often a lengthy process and frustrates many a Whittlesey conveyancing deal. Where a new share certificate is required, you should approach the company director and secretary or managing agents (if relevant) for this as soon as possible.

  • What are the frequently found defects that you come across in leases for Whittlesey properties?

    There is nothing unique about leasehold conveyancing in Whittlesey. Most leases are individual and drafting errors can result in certain sections are erroneous. For example, if your lease is missing any of the following, it could be defective:

    • A provision to repair to or maintain elements of the premises
    • Insurance obligations
    • Clauses dealing with recovering service charges for expenditure on the building or common parts.
    • Maintenance charge proportions which don’t add up to the correct percentage

    You could have difficulties when selling your property if you have a defective lease primarily because it impacts on the ability to obtain a mortgage on the property. HSBC Bank, Virgin Money, and Nottingham Building Society all have very detailed conveyancing instructions when it comes to what is expected in a lease. If a mortgage lender believes that the lease is defective they may refuse to provide security, obliging the purchaser to pull out.

    I own a basement flat in Whittlesey, conveyancing was carried out half a dozen years ago. 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? Comparable flats in Whittlesey with an extended lease are worth £234,000. The average or mid-range amount of ground rent is £65 invoiced every year. The lease ends on 21st October 2084

    With only 62 years unexpired we estimate the premium for your lease extension to span between £18,100 and £20,800 as well as costs.

    The figure that we have given is a general guide to costs for renewing a lease, but we cannot give you a more accurate figure in the absence of comprehensive due diligence. You should not use this information in tribunal or court proceedings. There may be other concerns that need to be taken into account and you obviously want to be as accurate as possible in your negotiations. You should not take any other action placing reliance on this information without first seeking the advice of a professional.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Whittlesey