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Residential Conveyancing

Freehold and Leasehold Property Solicitors

You may be a first-time homebuyer, apprehensive about the intricacies of leasehold properties and the responsibilities they entail. Or you may be a long-term leaseholder, concerned about navigating disputes and maintaining your rights. In either case, our experienced team can provide the legal guidance and support you need to navigate your property journey with confidence.

At Kingsfords, we are a team of experienced property lawyers specialising in both freehold and leasehold transactions. Our team of legal professionals are dedicated to guiding you through the process of buying, selling, or leasing properties, making the journey as smooth and efficient as possible.

Our residential property lawyers have a breadth of expertise and experience across all conveyancing matters, in both the Kent area and nationwide. Whether you are selling your property, seeking to secure funds, or simply aiming to revise an existing lease, our freehold and leasehold specialist lawyers are ready to offer bespoke guidance and assistance to ensure every aspect is handled in the right way.

Speak to our freehold and leasehold property solicitors and lawyers in Kent today

Our expert team of residential property lawyers and solicitors are ready to assist you. Speak to one of our Freehold and leasehold property solicitors at our offices in Ashford, Cranbrook or Hythe today by calling 01233 624545. Alternatively, please fill in our enquiry form on the right hand side of the page and we will promptly get in touch.

Why choose Kingsfords Solicitors?

At Kingsfords, our goal is to ensure the whole conveyancing process is as easy and efficient as possible. We take the time to speak with our clients in plain English, ensuring they are heard, valued, and well-informed throughout their journey with us.

Lexcel accreditation is a testament to our commitment to excellence within the legal profession. This hallmark of quality is reflected in all our services, affirming our dedication to uphold the highest standards of practice. Our expertise in conveyancing matters has also been recognised by the Law Society Conveyancing Quality Scheme. This provides our clients assurance that we offer high quality legal advice and exemplary customer service.

We value clear and open communication, getting to know our clients and striving to make it as easy as possible for us to keep in touch. Whether you prefer to connect over the phone, through email, selected online platforms, or in-person meetings, we are readily available and responsive to your needs. We prioritise accessibility and convenience in all our interactions. No matter your preference, our team is committed to providing consistent and personalised updates at each step.

Our focus is on efficiency, helping us to minimise unnecessary costs and provide excellent service to our clients. We endeavour to deliver legal services that are both affordable and tailored to our clients' individual needs.

The satisfaction of our clients is paramount to us, and it's demonstrated by the results of a recent survey: over 99% of respondents said they would use our services again. This not only underscores our clients' trust in us, but also our commitment to continual excellence in our service.

 

  • Kellie Darke
      • Kellie Darke
      • Director (Licensed Conveyancer) & Head of Property
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  • Donna Trewerne
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  • John Edmonds
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  • Catherine Barnett
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  • Celia Willcock
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Frequently asked questions about freehold and leasehold property

What is the difference between freehold and leasehold property?

There are certain key differences in buying and selling freehold and leasehold properties. Buying the freehold of a house refers to purchasing complete ownership of a property, including the land it stands on. Freehold property transactions tend to be more straightforward, given that the property is owned outright. By contrast, leasehold transactions involve properties that have been leased for a specific period of time.

A freehold property is one where the owner owns the property and the land it sits on outright. It is the most complete form of ownership. Your freehold property solicitor will handle the legal aspects of buying or selling such properties; reviewing contracts, ensuring that the title to the property is acceptable, and facilitating the legal transfer of the property.

When you own a leasehold property, you only own what is specified in the lease and only for the term of the lease. When that lease ends, the property reverts to the owner. A leaseholder is usually required to pay an annual ground rent, together with service charges that reflect the cost to the landlord or freeholder for the upkeep of the building and any amenities land and services.

As such, it is important to understand the costs involved before moving forward. Our team of leasehold property solicitors will work to draft, review, and negotiate leases. We can work with you in the case of a dispute or an absent landlord. At all times, we will provide practical legal advice on your rights and responsibilities under the lease.

Why do I pay ground rent on a freehold property?

Ground rent is generally not paid on a freehold property. Leaseholders pay ground rent to the landlord who owns the land. If you believe you own a freehold property but are asked for ground rent, you should seek legal advice to understand your property rights. It is important to seek the guidance of freehold purchase solicitors.

What is a deed of variation on a freehold property?

A deed of variation on a freehold property is a legal document that changes the terms of the original property deed. It can be used to correct errors, add missing details, or make other changes to the conditions of the property ownership. Both parties must agree to the changes.

Who owns a leasehold property?

In the case of a leasehold, you own the property only for the length of your lease agreement. It is ultimately a long term rental. Therefore, a leasehold property is still technically owned by the landlord, also known as the freeholder. The leaseholder, or tenant, has the right to use the property for the duration of the lease. Once the lease expires, ownership reverts back to the landlord. Our leasehold  property solicitors and lawyers will work with you to know your rights and obligations.

Who pays for building repairs for leasehold property?

The freeholder or landlord is usually responsible for maintaining and repairing the building's exterior and common areas. However, it is important to note that such costs are usually  passed on to the leaseholders through service charges. As such, our leasehold lawyers and solicitors will ensure that the details of the lease agreement are thoroughly checked and understood.

Is it more difficult to get a mortgage on a leasehold property?

Obtaining a mortgage for a leasehold property can be more complicated. The shorter the lease, the more difficult it is to get a mortgage. Most mortgage lenders will choose not to lend on properties with a lease under 70-80 years. Additionally, factors like ground rent and service charges, which can influence affordability and marketability, are considered. Your leasehold lawyer will assist in reviewing these terms carefully.

How long does freehold and leasehold conveyancing take?

The timeline for freehold and leasehold conveyancing can vary depending on the complexity of the transaction. In a straightforward case, the process for freehold solicitors may take around 12 weeks. Leasehold conveyancing can be more complex and take a bit longer. Working together with your leasehold solicitors, the process may take 12 to 16 weeks. This is approximate — each case can vary.

Factors such as the length of the property chain and the speed of other parties involved can influence the overall time frame. As always, our freehold purchase solicitors and lawyers at Kingsfords will help you to navigate the process as smoothly and quickly as possible.

Who owns a leasehold property?

In the case of a leasehold, you own the property only for the length of your lease agreement. It is ultimately a long term rental. Therefore, a leasehold property is still technically owned by the landlord, also known as the freeholder. The leaseholder, or tenant, has the right to use the property for the duration of the lease. Once the lease expires, ownership reverts back to the landlord. Our leasehold  property solicitors and lawyers will work with you to know your rights and obligations.

What are Kingsfords’ freehold and leasehold conveyancing fees?

Fees can vary depending on whether the property is freehold or leasehold. For freehold properties, in which the owner has outright ownership of the property and its land, the associated legal costs are typically lower. This is due to the straightforward nature of transactions involving freehold properties, which cover standard procedures like contract drafting, property searches, registration of title, and so on.

For leasehold solicitors, conveyancing fees may be higher due to the complexity of these transactions. Additional work may be required, for example, in checking lease terms and liaising with landlords and management companies. There may also be extra charges for documents like the Leasehold Management Pack, Notice of Assignment, Notice of Charge, and potentially, a Deed of Covenant and/or Certificate of Compliance.

Our conveyancing solicitors are committed to providing transparent, cost-effective services. We offer a detailed breakdown of all potential costs upfront, keeping our clients informed throughout the process if these costs change and the reasons why.

Speak to our freehold and leasehold property solicitors in Kent today

Get in touch with our freehold and leasehold property solicitors in Kent at our offices in Ashford, Cranbrook or Hythe today by calling 01233 624545. Alternatively, please fill in our enquiry form on the right hand side of the page to request a prompt call back.