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Questions and Answers: Woburn Sands leasehold conveyancing

I am on look out for some leasehold conveyancing in Woburn Sands. Before I get started I require certainty as to the number of years remaining on the lease.

Assuming the lease is recorded at the land registry - and most are in Woburn Sands - then the leasehold title will always include the short particulars of the lease, namely the date; the term; and the original parties. From a conveyancing perspective such details then enable any prospective buyer and lender to confirm that any lease they are looking at is the one relevant to that title.For any other purpose, such as confirming how long the term was granted for and calculating what is left, then the register should be sufficient on it's own.

I want to let out my leasehold flat in Woburn Sands. Conveyancing solicitor who did the purchase is retired - so can't ask her. Do I need to ask my freeholder for permission?

Notwithstanding that your previous Woburn Sands conveyancing solicitor is no longer available you can check your lease to see if you are permitted to let out the apartment. The accepted inference is that if the lease is non-specific, subletting is permitted. Quite often there is a prerequisite that you are obliged to seek consent from your landlord or some other party before subletting. This means you not allowed to sublet in the absence of first obtaining consent. The consent must not not be unreasonably withheld. If your lease does not allow you to sublet you will need to ask your landlord if they are willing to waive this restriction.

I only have Fifty years remaining on my flat in Woburn Sands. I am keen to get lease extension but my freeholder is missing. What should I do?

If you qualify, under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 you can submit an application to the County Court for for permission to dispense with the service of the initial notice. This will enable the lease to be extended by the Court. You will be obliged to demonstrate that you have used your best endeavours to locate the lessor. For most situations an enquiry agent would be useful to carry out a search and prepare an expert document to be used as evidence that the freeholder is indeed missing. It is wise to seek advice from a property lawyer both on investigating the landlord’s disappearance and the vesting order request to the County Court covering Woburn Sands.

Estate agents have just been given the go-ahead to market my garden flat in Woburn Sands.Conveyancing has not commenced but I have just had a yearly service charge invoice – Do I pay up?

Your conveyancing lawyer is likely to suggest that you should discharge the service charge as normal because all ground rent and service charges will be apportioned on completion, so you will be reimbursed by the buyer for the period running from after the completion date to the next payment date. Most managing agents will not acknowledge the buyer until the service charges have been paid and are up to date so it is important for both buyer and seller for the seller to show that they are up to date. This will smooth the conveyancing process.

I am looking at a couple of maisonettes in Woburn Sands which have in the region of forty five years unexpired on the leases. Will this present a problem?

There are no two ways about it. A leasehold apartment in Woburn Sands is a deteriorating asset as a result of the shortening lease. The closer the lease gets to zero years unexpired, the more it adversely affects the value of the premises. For most buyers and lenders, leases with under 75 years become less and less marketable. On a more positive note, leaseholders can extend their leases by serving a Section 42 Notice. One stipulation is that they must have owned the property for two years (unlike a Section 13 notice for purchasing the freehold, when leaseholders can participate from day one of ownership). When successful, they will have the right to an extension of 90 years to the current term and ground rent is effectively reduced to zero. Before moving forward with a purchase of premises with a short lease term remaining you should talk to a solicitor specialising in lease extensions and leasehold enfranchisement. We are are happy to put you in touch with Woburn Sands conveyancing experts who will explain the options available to you during an initial telephone conversation free of charge. A more straightforward and quicker method of extending would be to contact your landlord directly and sound him out on the prospect of extending the lease They may agree to a smaller lump sum and an increase in the ground rent, but to shorter extension terms in return. You need to ensure that any new terms represent good long-term value compared with the standard benefits of the Section 42 Notice and that onerous clauses are not inserted into any redrafting of the lease.

Leasehold Conveyancing in Woburn Sands - A selection of Queries before buying

    On the whole the cost for major works are not included within service charges, albeit that some managing agents in Woburn Sands obliged tenants to contribute towards a sinking fund and this is used to offset against larger works. How much is the ground rent and service charge? You should be aware if it is no more than 80 years it will impact the marketability of the flat. Check with your lender that they are happy with the length of the lease. A short lease means that you will almost definitely have to extend the lease at some point and you need to have some idea of how much this will be. Remember, in most cases you will be required to have been the owner of the property for a couple of years in order to be legally able to extend the lease.

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Lease Extensions in Woburn Sands