Recently asked questions relating to Acocks Green leasehold conveyancing
I want to rent out my leasehold apartment in Acocks Green. Conveyancing solicitor who did the purchase is retired - so can't ask him. Is permission from the freeholder required?
Your lease governs relations between the freeholder and you the leaseholder; specifically, it will say if subletting is prohibited, or permitted but only subject to certain conditions. The accepted inference is that if the lease contains no expres ban or restriction, subletting is allowed. Most leases in Acocks Green do not contain subletting altogether – such a clause would undoubtedly devalue the property. In most cases there is simply a requirement that the owner notifies the freeholder, possibly sending a copy of the sublease.
I have just started marketing my basement apartment in Acocks Green.Conveyancing solicitors are to be appointed soon but I have just had a half-yearly service charge demand – should I leave it to the buyer to sort out?
Your conveyancing lawyer is likely to suggest that you should clear the invoice 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 unless 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. Having a clear account will assist your cause and will leave you no worse off financially.
Last month I purchased a leasehold property in Acocks Green. Do I have any liability for service charges relating to a period prior to completion of my purchase?
In a situation where the service charge has already been demanded from the previous lessee and they have not paid you would not usually be personally liable for the arrears. Strange as it may seem, your landlord may still be able to take action to forfeit the lease. A critical element of leasehold conveyancing for your conveyancer to be sure to have an up to date clear service charge receipt before completion of your purchase. If you have a mortgage this is likely to be a requirement of your lender.
If you purchase part way through an accounting year you may be liable for charges not yet demanded even if they relate to a period prior to your purchase. In such circumstances your conveyancer would normally arrange for the seller to set aside some money to cover their part of the period (usually called a service charge retention).
I am employed by a reputable estate agency in Acocks Green where we have experienced a number of flat sales jeopardised as a result of leases having less than 80 years remaining. I have been given inconsistent advice from local Acocks Green conveyancing solicitors. Could you clarify whether the seller of a flat can instigate the lease extension process for the buyer?
Provided that the seller has owned the lease for at least 2 years it is possible, to serve a Section 42 notice to start the lease extension process and assign the benefit of the notice to the purchaser. This means that the proposed purchaser need not have to sit tight for 2 years to extend their lease. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment needs to be completed prior to, or simultaneously with completion of the sale.
An alternative approach is to extend the lease informally by agreement with the landlord either before or after the sale. If you are informally negotiating there are no rules and so you cannot insist on the landlord agreeing to grant an extension or transferring the benefit of an agreement to the buyer.
Our conveyancer has advised that he intends to complete and exchange simultaneously on our sale of a £175000 flat in Acocks Green in 8 days. The managing agents has quoted £420 for Certificate of Compliance, building insurance schedule and previous years service charge statements. Is the landlord entitled to charge exorbitant fees for a leasehold conveyance in Acocks Green?
Acocks Green conveyancing on leasehold apartments usually involves the buyer’s solicitor submitting enquiries for the landlord to address. Although the landlord is under no legal obligation to address such questions the majority will be willing to assist. They are at liberty charge a reasonable charge for responding to enquiries or supplying documentation. There is no set fee. The average fee for the information that you are referring to is over three hundred pounds, in some cases it is in excess of £800. The management information fee levied by the landlord must be accompanied by a synopsis of entitlements and obligations in relation to administration fees, without which the charge is not strictly payable. In reality you have no option but to pay whatever is requested of you if you want to exchange contracts with the buyer.
Leasehold Conveyancing in Acocks Green - Sample of Queries Prior to Purchasing
How is the lease structured?
On the whole the outlay for major works tend not to be included within maintenance charges, albeit that there some managing agents in Acocks Green obliged leasehold owners to contribute towards a sinking fund and this is used to offset against larger works.
What prohibitions exist in the Acocks Green Lease?