Experts for Leasehold Conveyancing in Windsor

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Recently asked questions relating to Windsor leasehold conveyancing

Helen (my wife) and I may need to let out our Windsor garden flat temporarily due to a new job. We used a Windsor conveyancing practice in 2004 but they have since shut and we did not think at the time seek any advice as to whether the lease allows us to sublet. How do we find out?

Notwithstanding that your last Windsor conveyancing solicitor is not available you can check your lease to see if you are permitted to let out the apartment. The rule is that if the lease is silent, subletting is allowed. Quite often there is a prerequisite that you need to seek permission from your landlord or other appropriate person prior to subletting. This means that you cannot sublet in the absence of first obtaining consent. Such consent should not be unreasonably refused ore delayed. If the lease does not allow you to sublet you will need to ask your landlord for their consent.

Having checked my lease I have discovered that there are only Fifty years unexpired on my flat in Windsor. I am keen to extend my lease but my freeholder is absent. What options are available to me?

On the basis that you qualify, 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 enable the lease to be lengthened by the Court. You will be obliged to prove that you have made all reasonable attempts to locate the lessor. In some cases an enquiry agent should be helpful to conduct investigations and to produce an expert document which can be used as evidence that the freeholder can not be located. It is wise to seek advice from a conveyancer in relation to devolving into the landlord’s disappearance and the vesting order request to the County Court covering Windsor.

I today plan to offer on a house that appears to be perfect, at a great price which is making it all the more appealing. I have subsequently found out that the title is leasehold as opposed to freehold. I am assuming that there are particular concerns buying a house with a leasehold title in Windsor. Conveyancing advisers have not yet been instructed. Will they explain the issues?

Most houses in Windsor are freehold rather than leasehold. This is one of the situations where having a local conveyancer who is familiar with the area can assist with the conveyancing process. it is apparent that you are purchasing in Windsor in which case you should be shopping around for a Windsor conveyancing practitioner and be sure that they are used to advising on leasehold houses. As a matter of priority you will need to check the unexpired lease term. Being a tenant you will not be entirely free to do whatever you want with the house. The lease will likely included provisions for example requiring the freeholder’spermission to conduct alterations. You may also be required to pay a maintenance charge towards the upkeep of the estate where the house is located on an estate. Your solicitor should advise you fully on all the issues.

I am tempted by the attractive purchase price for a couple of flats in Windsor which have approximately fifty years remaining on the lease term. Do I need to be concerned?

There are plenty of short leases in Windsor. The lease is a legal document that entitles you to use the premises for a prescribed time frame. As a lease shortens the marketability of the lease reduces and results in it becoming more costly to extend the lease. For this reason it is generally wise to extend the lease term. It is often difficulties arise selling premises with a short lease because mortgage companies less inclined to grant a loan on properties of this type. Lease enfranchisement can be a protracted process. We advise that you seek professional help from a solicitor and surveyor with experience in this area

Do you have any advice for leasehold conveyancing in Windsor from the perspective of expediting the sale process?

  • Much of the frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Windsor can be bypassed where you instruct lawyers the minute you market your property and ask them to put together the leasehold documentation needed by the buyers solicitors.
  • The majority landlords or managing agents in Windsor levy fees for supplying management packs for a leasehold premises. You or your lawyers should find out the actual amount of the charges. The management pack sought on or before finding a buyer, thus reducing delays. The typical amount of time it takes to obtain the necessary information is three weeks. It is the most frequent reason for frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Windsor.
  • A minority of Windsor leases require Landlord’s consent to the sale and approval of the buyers. If this is the case, it would be prudent to place the estate agents on notice to make sure that the purchasers obtain financial (bank) and professional references. Any bank reference will need to confirm that the buyers are financially capable of paying the yearly 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.
  • If you are supposed to have a share in the freehold, you should make sure that you hold the original share document. Organising a re-issued share certificate can be a time consuming formality and slows down many a Windsor conveyancing transaction. If a reissued share certificate is needed, do contact the company officers or managing agents (where applicable) for this sooner rather than later.
  • You may think that you are aware of the number of years left on your lease but it would be wise to verify this by asking your lawyers. A purchaser's conveyancer will not be happy to advise their client to where the lease term is below 75 years. In the circumstances it is important 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 home on the market for sale.

  • I acquired a studio flat in Windsor, conveyancing was carried out half a dozen years ago. Can you shed any light on how much the price could be for a 90 year extension to my lease? Corresponding flats in Windsor with an extended lease are worth £266,000. The average or mid-range amount of ground rent is £50 levied per year. The lease ends on 21st October 2082

    With 61 years unexpired we estimate the price of your lease extension to range between £18,100 and £20,800 plus plus your own and the landlord's "reasonable" professional fees.

    The figure that we have given is a general guide to costs for extending a lease, but we are not able to supply a more accurate figure without more detailed investigations. Do not use the figures in tribunal or court proceedings. There may be additional concerns that need to be considered and you obviously should be as accurate as possible in your negotiations. You should not take any other action placing reliance on this information before seeking the advice of a professional.

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    Lease Extensions in Windsor