Leasehold Conveyancing - How Long Does it Take?

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There is one question that buyers and sellers always ask regarding conveyancing - how long will it take? The usual estimate is 8 - 12 weeks though in truth, when it comes to leasehold conveyancing how long it takes depends on a great number of factors.
As well as the usual variables such as whether there is a chain, whether the buyer requires a mortgage and how quickly contract papers are issued there is the added complication of a third party, a landlord or managing agent, from whom information will be required.
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Obtaining Leasehold Information for Conveyancing, How Long Will it Take?

Leasehold information is obtained from a landlord or managing agent and how long it takes to obtain will depend on how efficient the landlord or managing agent is. A large national company will typically take 2 - 3 weeks. They will often offer an expedited service for an additional fee and this will take perhaps a week. Although the additional fee can make the information quite expensive, in terms of the conveyancing it can reduce how long it takes.

Reducing How Long Leasehold Conveyancing Takes

One method to reduce how long leasehold conveyancing takes is to instruct a good conveyancer as soon as the property goes on the market and and ask him to order the leasehold information straight away so that once a buyer is found it is already available. This will also mean that the conveyancer can analyse the information. Very often the replies given by the managing agent will give rise to further enquiries which have the potential to delay the transaction further. A good seller's conveyancer can pre-empt these.

This does of course create the risk that by the time a buyer is found the information, or at least some of it, will be out of date. If so it may be necessary to pay a further fee.

Dealing With Defects in the Lease

Another issue that affects, in regards to leasehold conveyancing how long the transaction will take, is if there is a defect in the lease, or if it needs to be extended. It will usually need to be extended if there are less than 70 years remaining of the term.

Correcting defects and dealing with extensions can take several weeks and these issues should be identified and wherever possible rectified as soon as the property goes on the market. Although a lease extension usually requires the payment of a premium and therefore is usually completed simultaneously with a sale, all the negotiations can be done and paperwork prepared in advance.

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