Top Five Questions relating to Alston leasehold conveyancing
I wish to rent out my leasehold flat in Alston. Conveyancing solicitor who did the purchase is retired - so can't ask her. Do I need to ask my freeholder for their consent?
A lease governs relations between the landlord and you the flat owner; specifically, it will say if subletting is not allowed, or permitted but only subject to certain conditions. The rule is that if the lease contains no expres ban or restriction, subletting is allowed. The majority of leases in Alston do not contain an absolute prevention of subletting – such a clause would adversely affect the market value the property. Instead, there is usually a basic requirement that the owner notifies the freeholder, possibly supplying a duplicate of the tenancy agreement.
I've found a house that seems to tick a lot of boxes, at a reasonable figure which is making it more attractive. I have just been informed that the title is leasehold rather than freehold. I am assuming that there are particular concerns buying a house with a leasehold title in Alston. Conveyancing solicitors have not yet been appointed. Will my lawyers set out the implications of buying a leasehold house in Alston ?
The majority of houses in Alston are freehold and not leasehold. This is one of the situations where having a local solicitor used to dealing with such properties who can help the conveyancing process. It is clear that you are buying in Alston so you should seriously consider looking for a Alston conveyancing practitioner and check that they are used to transacting on leasehold houses. First you will need to check the unexpired lease term. As a lessee you will not be entirely free to do whatever you want with the house. The lease will likely included provisions such as requiring the freeholder’sconsent to carry out changes to the property. It may be necessary to pay a service charge towards the upkeep of the estate where the house is located on an estate. Your lawyer will advise you fully on all the issues.
Last month I purchased a leasehold property in Alston. Do I have any liability for service charges relating to a period prior to my ownership?
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. However, your landlord may still be able to take action to forfeit the lease. It is an essential part of leasehold conveyancing for your conveyancer to ensure 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).
What advice can you give us when it comes to appointing a Alston conveyancing firm to carry out our lease extension conveyancing?
If you are instructing a solicitor for your lease extension (regardless if they are a Alston conveyancing practice) it is essential that they be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of work. We recommend that you talk with several firms including non Alston conveyancing practices before you instructing a firm. Where the conveyancing practice is ALEP accredited then so much the better. Some following of questions might be useful:
- How familiar is the firm with lease extension legislation?
What are the common defects that you witness in leases for Alston properties?
There is nothing unique about leasehold conveyancing in Alston. Most leases is drafted differently and legal mistakes in the legal wording can sometimes mean that certain sections are missing. The following missing provisions could result in a defective lease:
- A provision to repair to or maintain parts of the property
- A duty to insure the building
- Clauses dealing with recovering service charges for expenditure on the building or common parts.
- Maintenance charge proportions which don’t add up to the correct percentage
You may have difficulties when selling your property if you have a defective lease as they can affect a potential buyer’s ability to obtain a mortgage. Yorkshire Building Society, Coventry Building Society, and Britannia all have very detailed requirements when it comes to what is expected in a lease. Where a lender has been advised by their lawyers that the lease is defective they may refuse to grant the mortgage, forcing the buyer to pull out.
Alston Leasehold Conveyancing - A selection of Questions you should consider before Purchasing
Its a good idea to find out as much as you can concerning the managing agents as they will affect your use and enjoyment of the property. As the proprietor of a leasehold property you are often in the clutches of the managing agents from a financial perspective and when it comes to day to day issues such as the cleanliness of the common parts. You should not be shy to ask other tenants if they are happy with them. Finally, be sure you discover the dates that you are obliged pay the maintenance charge to the relevant party and precisely how they are spending that money.
The prefered form of lease structure is a share of the freehold. In this scenario the lessees benefit from being in charge if their destiny and although a managing agent is frequently retained where the building is bigger than a house conversion, the managing agent acts for the leaseholders themselves.
What is the annual service fee and ground rent?