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Amersham leasehold conveyancing: Q and A’s

Frank (my husband) and I may need to rent out our Amersham garden flat temporarily due to a career opportunity. We used a Amersham conveyancing practice in 2002 but they have since shut and we did not have the foresight to seek any advice as to whether the lease permits subletting. How do we find out?

Notwithstanding that your last Amersham conveyancing lawyer is no longer around you can review your lease to see if it allows you to sublet the apartment. The rule is that if the deeds are silent, subletting is permitted. Quite often there is a prerequisite that you are obliged to obtain consent via your landlord or other appropriate person in advance of subletting. The net result is that you cannot sublet in the absence of first obtaining permission. Such consent should not be unreasonably turned down. If the lease does not allow you to sublet you will need to ask your landlord for their consent.

Looking forward to sign contracts shortly on a garden flat in Amersham. Conveyancing lawyers assured me that they are sending me a report next week. Are there areas in the report that I should be focusing on?

Your report on title for your leasehold conveyancing in Amersham should include some of the following:

  • The length of the lease term You should be advised as what happens when the lease ends, and informed of the importance of the 80 year mark
  • Will you be prohibited or prevented from having pets in the property?
  • An explanation as to the provision in the lease to pay service charges - with regard to both the building, and the more general rights a leaseholder has
  • Repair and maintenance of the flat
  • Changes to the flat (alterations and additions)
  • The landlord’s rights to access the flat you be made aware that your landlord has rights of access and I know how much notice s/he must provide.
  • What you can do if a neighbour is in violation of a provision in their lease? For details of the information to be included in your report on your leasehold property in Amersham please ask your solicitor in advance of your conveyancing in Amersham

  • I’m about to sell my 2 bed apartment in Amersham.Conveyancing has not commenced but I have just received a yearly service charge demand – what should I do?

    Your conveyancing lawyer is likely to suggest that you should discharge 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 management companies 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.

    I've recently bought a leasehold house in Amersham. Do I have any liability for service charges relating to a period prior to completion of my purchase?

    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. 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 agent office in Amersham where we see a few flat sales derailed as a result of leases having less than 80 years remaining. I have been given inconsistent advice from local Amersham conveyancing solicitors. Please can you confirm whether the owner of a flat can initiate the lease extension formalities for the purchaser on completion of the sale?

    As long as the seller has been the owner for at least 2 years it is possible, to serve a Section 42 notice to kick-start the lease extension process and assign the benefit of the notice to the purchaser. The benefit of this is that the buyer can avoid having to sit tight for 2 years to extend their lease. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment has to be done before, or at the same time as 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 purchaser.

    Amersham Leasehold Conveyancing - Examples of Questions you should ask Prior to Purchasing

      How is the lease structured? This question is helpful as a) areas can result in problems in the building as the communal areas may begin to deteriorate where repairs remain unpaid b) if the leaseholders have an issue with the managing agents you will need to know about it Plenty Amersham leasehold flats will incur a service bill for maintenance of the building invoiced on behalf of the management company. If you buy the apartment you will have to meet this liability, usually quarterly throughout the year. This may differ from several hundred pounds to thousands of pounds for blocks with lifts and large communal areas. In all probability there will be a rentcharge for you to pay annual, ordinarily this is not a exorbitant figure, say about £50-£100 but you should to check as sometimes it could be prohibitively expensive.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Amersham