Alston leasehold conveyancing: Q and A’s
I am on look out for some leasehold conveyancing in Alston. Before diving in I want to be sure as to the unexpired term of the lease.
Assuming the lease is recorded at the land registry - and most are in Alston - then the leasehold title will always include the short particulars of the lease, namely the date; the term; and the original parties. From a conveyancing perspective such details then enable any prospective buyer and lender to confirm that any lease they are looking at is the one relevant to that title.For any other purpose, such as confirming how long the term was granted for and calculating what is left, then the register should be sufficient on it's own.
My wife and I may need to let out our Alston basement flat for a while due to taking a sabbatical. We used a Alston conveyancing firm in 2004 but they have closed and we did not have the foresight to get any guidance as to whether the lease allows us to sublet. How do we find out?
A small minority of properties in Alston do contain a provision to say that subletting is only permitted with prior consent from the landlord. The landlord is not entitled to unreasonably refuse but, in such cases, they would need to review references. Experience suggests that problems are usually caused by unsatisfactory tenants rather than owner-occupiers and for that reason you can expect the freeholder to take up the references and consider them carefully before granting permission.
I am hoping to put an offer on a small detached house that seems to be perfect, at a great figure which is making it all the more appealing. I have since discovered that it's a leasehold rather than freehold. I am assuming that there are issues purchasing a house with a leasehold title in Alston. Conveyancing advisers have are about to be appointed. Will they explain the issues?
Most houses in Alston are freehold rather than leasehold. This is one of the situations where having a local conveyancer used to dealing with such properties who can assist with the conveyancing process. it is apparent that you are buying in Alston in which case you should be looking for a Alston conveyancing practitioner and be sure that they are used to dealing with leasehold houses. First you will need to check the unexpired lease term. As a tenant you will not be entirely free to do whatever you want to the property. The lease will likely included provisions such as requiring the landlord’spermission to conduct alterations. It may be necessary to pay a contribution towards the maintenance of the estate where the property is located on an estate. Your conveyancer should advise you fully on all the issues.
I've recently bought a leasehold flat 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 owner 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).
What advice can you give us when it comes to finding a Alston conveyancing firm to deal with our lease extension?
If you are instructing a property lawyer for your lease extension (regardless if they are a Alston conveyancing firm) it is most important that they be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of conveyancing. We advise that you talk with two or three firms including non Alston conveyancing practices prior to instructing a firm. Where the conveyancing practice is ALEP accredited then so much the better. Some following of questions could be useful:
- What volume of lease extensions have they completed in Alston in the last 12 months?
Alston Leasehold Conveyancing - Examples of Questions you should ask before buying
This question is helpful as a) areas can result in problems for the building as the common areas may start to deteriorate where repairs are not paid for b) if the leasehold owners have an issue with the running of the building you will want to have all the details
How many of the leaseholders are in arrears for their service charge payments?
What is the name of the managing agents?