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Recently asked questions relating to Altrincham leasehold conveyancing

Harry (my fiance) and I may need to rent out our Altrincham basement flat temporarily due to a career opportunity. We used a Altrincham conveyancing firm in 2003 but they have closed and we did not think at the time seek any advice as to whether the lease prohibits the subletting of the flat. How do we find out?

The lease dictates relations between the freeholder and you the leaseholder; in particular, it will set out if subletting is banned, or permitted but only subject to certain caveats. The accepted inference is that if the lease contains no specific ban or restriction, subletting is permitted. Most leases in Altrincham do not contain an absolute prevention of subletting – such a provision would undoubtedly devalue the property. Instead, there is usually simply a requirement that the owner notifies the freeholder, possibly sending a copy of the tenancy agreement.

Due to sign contracts shortly on a ground floor flat in Altrincham. Conveyancing solicitors inform me that they will have a report out to me within the next couple of days. Are there areas in the report that I should be focusing on?

The report on title for your leasehold conveyancing in Altrincham should include some of the following:

  • How long the lease is You should be advised as what happens when the lease expires, and informed of the importance of the 80 year mark
  • Defining your legal entitlements in respect of the communal areas in the block.For example, does the lease grant a right of way over an accessway or staircase?
  • Do you need to have carpet in the flat or are you allowed wood flooring?
  • Whether your lease has a provision for a sinking fund?
  • Repair and maintenance of the flat
  • Changes to the flat (alterations and additions)
  • What options are open to you if a neighbour breach a clause of their lease? For details of the information to be included in your report on your leasehold property in Altrincham please enquire of your lawyer in ahead of your conveyancing in Altrincham

  • My wife and I purchased a leasehold house in Altrincham. Conveyancing and National Westminster Bank mortgage organised. A letter has just been received from someone claiming to own the reversionary interest in the property. Attached was a ground rent demand for rent dating back to 1992. The conveyancing practitioner in Altrincham who acted for me is not around.What should I do?

    The first thing you should do is contact HMLR to be sure that the individual purporting to own the freehold is indeed the new freeholder. There is no need to instruct a Altrincham conveyancing practitioner to do this as it can be done on-line for a few pound. You should note that in any event, even if this is the legitimate freeholder, under the Limitation Act 1980 no more than 6 years of rent can be collected.

    Last month I purchased a leasehold property in Altrincham. Do I have any liability for service charges for periods before 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. Strange as it may seem, 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 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 work for a busy estate agent office in Altrincham where we have experienced a few leasehold sales jeopardised as a result of leases having less than 80 years remaining. I have been given inconsistent advice from local Altrincham conveyancing solicitors. Could you confirm whether the vendor of a flat can initiate the lease extension process for the purchaser on completion of the sale?

    Provided that the seller has been the owner 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. The benefit of this is that the buyer 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 before, or at the same time as completion of the sale.

    An alternative approach is to agree the lease extension with the freeholder 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 purchaser.

    Altrincham Conveyancing for Leasehold Flats - Examples of Questions you should consider Prior to buying

      What is the service charge and ground rent on the flat? The majority of Altrincham leasehold flats will incur a service bill for the upkeep of the block levied on behalf of the management company. Should you acquire the flat you will have to meet this amount, usually quarterly accross the year. This could be anything from a couple of hundred pounds to thousands of pounds for large purpose-built buildings. There will also be a ground rent to be met yearly, this is usually not a exorbitant sum, say around £50-£100 but you need to check as on occasion it can be many hundreds of pounds. Are there any major works in the planning that will add a premium to the maintenance costs?

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Altrincham