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How can I found out how long is left on a lease?


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Old 23-01-2010, 14:40
quincemeister
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Hi all, looking for a bit of advice regarding potentially purchasing a flat.

It's on a leasehold basis but the estate agents have said that they don't know how much of the lease is left to run (apparently the vendors are using an intermediary and he or she is not proving to be very helpful). I was told that someone had made an offer on which they had a mortgage approved, it was the estate agent who told me this and he said that it was his experience that that meant there was at least 60 years left on the lease. But if the mortgage company could find that out then surely I should be able to? If so, how?!

They are also having trouble establishing the service charge and what is covered too - again, due to this 'intermediary'. The estate agents have said they don't have permission to deal direct with the vendor's solicitors...

This probably sounds like a lot of hassle but the flat could be a great opportunity for me. Any advice you can offer as to how I can find out the answer to my question will, as always, be gratefully received!
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Old 23-01-2010, 15:07
woodbush
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Crap estate agent. Can't give you all the details.

I would insist on the information requested or walk away.
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Old 23-01-2010, 15:09
sailor11
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I had the same problem, some estate agents are very professional and have all the information you require, some just don't do anything...It amazes me that someone trying to sell something for a living can try and palm off a client, one I saw suggested I make an offer and my solicitor could find the information!

According the direct.gov the HIP for the flat must contain :-

"For leasehold properties you must provide all the standard compulsory documents for the HIP, and a copy of the lease. If there’s a delay getting a copy of the lease, it can be added to the HIP after the property goes on the market, However, it has to be added within 28 days of the property going on the market."

As for the service charge, the vendor has the details and it is the estate agents issue to get them for you, after all they are getting paid for selling it.

The flat I saw had none of the above, the agents couldn't tell me anything and in the end I walked away, it was too much money to risk.

Good luck
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Old 23-01-2010, 15:28
quincemeister
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Oh don't get me wrong, I said exactly the same thing to them and have said that, whilst I am very interested in the property, if they can't give me that info I'll walk away. I just wondered if there was anywhere that might hold at least the leasehold information. I did say to the agent that I wasn't surprised they had had people walk away if they couldn't supply basic information...
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Old 23-01-2010, 15:49
woodbush
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Oh don't get me wrong, I said exactly the same thing to them and have said that, whilst I am very interested in the property, if they can't give me that info I'll walk away. I just wondered if there was anywhere that might hold at least the leasehold information. I did say to the agent that I wasn't surprised they had had people walk away if they couldn't supply basic information...

Has the estate agent provided a HIPs pack? This is a compulsory document.


Dir Gov HIPs
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Old 23-01-2010, 16:37
sailor11
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Details of the lease have to be in the HIP document as per my original post. The estate agent must have a copy of the HIP...
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Old 23-01-2010, 16:43
maybe
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Try doing a property search at the Land Registry - they may have some of the information you need on the lease.

Land Registry
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Old 23-01-2010, 17:17
gemma-the-husky
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sounds dodgy

walk away
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Old 23-01-2010, 18:01
manics2003
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Get entry of the Land reg will cost you Ģ4 it will detail how long the lease is and what date it started easy to work out.
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Old 23-01-2010, 18:27
Agent Krycek
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To echo others, it should be in the HIP pack, unless the property came onto the market before HIPs became compulsory.

BTW, 60 years is quite a short lease, and the freeholders don't have to respond to any requests to extend it until you've owned it 2 years - however, on exchange, the current owners can serve a Section 42 notice to the freeholders (bascially a request for a lease extension with an offer of payment) and on completion the benefit of this passes to you, the freeholders have to respond within 28 days, meaning you don't have to wait 2 years to extend (with the lease that bit shorter and so that bit more to extend).
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Old 23-01-2010, 23:32
Flossychick
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OP, you know there is already an offer on this flat with a buyer with a mortgage in place. Can I ask why you are putting all this time and effort into this flat when it has a sale already going through and you probably wont get it? Sorry but you need to look for another place really, and they should have a HIP report available in the Estate Agents with all this information in it, providing the house hasnīt been on the market before they became law.
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Old 24-01-2010, 08:45
quincemeister
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Thanks for all the replies, I didn't know that it was compulsory info to have in the HIP so I will get onto the estate agent asap.

Flossy - the person who made the other offer has not returned the agent's phone calls or letters for weeks so that's why I am still pursuing it as it would be a good deal, financially. Also as it's a repossession it will stay on the market until contracts exchange so it ain't over until then! I haven't really put a lot into it other than a quick viewing and asking the question about the lease on here so if it doesn't work out it's really not a problem.

Once again, thanks for all the comments - DSers are a great source of info!!
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