Frequently asked questions relating to Ampthill leasehold conveyancing
My partner and I may need to rent out our Ampthill 1st floor flat for a while due to taking a sabbatical. We instructed a Ampthill conveyancing firm in 2004 but they have since shut 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?
Even though your last Ampthill conveyancing solicitor is not available you can review your lease to check if it allows you to sublet the premises. The rule is that if the deeds are non-specific, subletting is allowed. Quite often there is a prerequisite that you are obliged to obtain consent via your landlord or some other party prior to subletting. The net result is you not allowed to sublet in the absence of first obtaining permission. The consent must not not be unreasonably refused ore delayed. If your lease prohibits you from letting out the property you will need to ask your landlord if they are willing to waive this restriction.
I have recently realised that I have Sixty One years left on my flat in Ampthill. I am keen to get lease extension but my landlord is absent. What options are available to me?
If you qualify, under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 you can apply to the County Court for an order to dispense with the service of the initial notice. This will enable the lease to be granted an extra 90 years by the magistrate. You will be obliged to prove that you or your lawyers have done all that could be expected to track down the landlord. In some cases a specialist may be helpful to try and locate and to produce an expert document to be used as proof that the freeholder can not be located. It is wise to seek advice from a conveyancer in relation to investigating the landlord’s disappearance and the vesting order request to the County Court overseeing Ampthill.
Can you provide any advice for leasehold conveyancing in Ampthill with the purpose of saving time on the sale process?
- A significant proportion of the delay in leasehold conveyancing in Ampthill can be avoided where you instruct lawyers as soon as your agents start advertising the property and ask them to put together the leasehold documentation which will be required by the buyers lawyers.
- If you have carried out any alterations to the premises would they have required Landlord’s permission? In particular have you laid down wooden flooring? Most leases in Ampthill state that internal structural changes or addition of wooden flooring necessitate a licence issued by the Landlord approving such changes. Where you fail to have the approvals in place do not communicate with the landlord without checking with your conveyancer before hand.
Our conveyancer has advised that he intends to complete and exchange simultaneously on our sale of a £200000 garden flat in Ampthill next week. The freeholder has quoted £312 for Landlord’s certificate, building insurance schedule and 3 years service charge statements. Is the landlord entitled to charge such fees for a leasehold conveyance in Ampthill?
Ampthill conveyancing on leasehold apartments usually requires the buyer’s conveyancer sending questions for the landlord to answer. Although the landlord is under no legal obligation to address these enquiries most will be content to assist. They may levy a reasonable administration fee for answering enquiries or supplying documentation. There is no upper cap for such fees. The average fee for the paperwork that you are referring to is £350, in some cases it is above £800. The management information fee required by the landlord must be sent together with a summary of entitlements and obligations in respect of administration charges, otherwise the invoice is not strictly payable. In reality one has no choice but to pay whatever is requested of you if you want to exchange contracts with the buyer.
What are the common defects that you come across in leases for Ampthill properties?
There is nothing unique about leasehold conveyancing in Ampthill. Most leases are unique and drafting errors can result in certain provisions are not included. The following missing provisions could result in a defective lease:
- A provision to repair to or maintain parts of the building
- Insurance obligations
- Clauses dealing with recovering service charges for expenditure on the building or common parts.
- Service charge per centages that don't add up correctly leaving a shortfall
A defective lease can cause problems when trying to sell a property as they can affect a potential buyer’s ability to obtain a mortgage. Halifax, The Royal Bank of Scotland, and Barclays Direct all have express 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, obliging the buyer to pull out.
Ampthill Conveyancing for Leasehold Flats - Sample of Questions you should consider before Purchasing
It would be sensible to find out as much as you can about the company managing the block as they will either make your living at the property much simpler or uncomfortable. As the owner 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 upkeep of the common parts. Don't be afraid to ask other people whether they are happy with their service. Finally, find out the dates that the service fees are due to the managing agents and specifically what it includes.
It is important to be aware if window replacement or some other significant cost is coming up that will be shared between the leasehold owners and will materially impact the level of the service costs or result in a specific payment.
Plenty Ampthill leasehold properties will have a service bill for the upkeep of the block levied on behalf of the landlord. Where you acquire the apartment you will have to meet this liability, normally periodically throughout the year. This may be anything from a couple of hundred pounds to thousands of pounds for blocks with lifts and large common grounds. There will also be a rentcharge to be met annual, ordinarily this is not a exorbitant figure, say approximately £25-£75 but you need to check it because sometimes it can be many hundreds of pounds.