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Frequently asked questions relating to Aston leasehold conveyancing

My wife and I may need to sub-let our Aston ground floor flat for a while due to taking a sabbatical. We instructed a Aston conveyancing firm in 2002 but they have closed and we did not think at the time get any advice as to whether the lease prohibits the subletting of the flat. How do we find out?

Even though your previous Aston conveyancing lawyer is not around you can check your lease to see if it allows you to sublet the property. The accepted inference is that if the deeds are non-specific, subletting is allowed. There may be a precondition that you are obliged to obtain consent from your landlord or other appropriate person before subletting. This means you not allowed to sublet in the absence of prior permission. Such consent must not not be unreasonably withheld. If the lease prohibits you from letting out the property you will need to ask your landlord for their consent.

Back In 2004, I bought a leasehold house in Aston. Conveyancing and Santander mortgage are in place. I have received a letter from someone claiming to own the reversionary interest in the property. Attached was a ground rent demand for rent dating back to 1995. The conveyancing solicitor in Aston who acted for me is not around.What should I do?

The first thing you should do is make enquiries of HMLR to be sure that this person is in fact the registered owner of the freehold reversion. It is not necessary to instruct a Aston conveyancing solicitor to do this as you can do this on the Land Registry website for a few pound. Rest assured that regardless, even if this is the rightful freeholder, under the Limitation Act 1980 the limitation period for recovery of ground rent is six years.

I am looking at a two apartments in Aston both have approximately fifty years unexpired on the leases. Do I need to be concerned?

There are plenty of short leases in Aston. The lease is a right to use the property for a prescribed time frame. As a lease gets shorter the marketability of the lease deteriorate and it becomes more expensive to acquire a lease extension. For this reason it is advisable to extend the lease term. It is often difficulties arise selling premises with a short lease because mortgage companies less inclined to grant a loan on properties of this type. Lease extension can be a difficult process. We advise that you get professional assistance from a conveyancer and surveyor with experience in this field

I am employed by a reputable estate agency in Aston where we see a few flat sales derailed due to short leases. I have been given conflicting advice from local Aston conveyancing firms. Can you shed some light as to whether the owner of a flat can start the lease extension process for the purchaser on completion of the sale?

As long as the seller has owned the lease 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. This means that the buyer need not have to wait 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 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 buyer.

In relation to leasehold conveyancing in Aston what are the most common lease defects?

Leasehold conveyancing in Aston is not unique. Most leases is drafted differently and drafting errors can result in certain clauses are missing. The following missing provisions could result in a defective lease:

  • Repairing obligations to or maintain elements of the property
  • Insurance obligations
  • A provision for the recovery of money spent for the benefit of another party.
  • Service charge per centages that don't add up correctly leaving a shortfall

You could encounter difficulties when selling your property if you have a defective lease primarily because it impacts on the ability to obtain a mortgage on the property. Yorkshire Building Society, Barnsley Building Society, and Clydesdale all have express requirements when it comes to what is expected in a lease. If a mortgage lender believes that the lease is defective they may refuse to provide security, obliging the buyer to pull out.

I am the registered owner of a basement flat in Aston, conveyancing having been completed 8 years ago. Can you work out an approximate cost of a lease extension? Similar flats in Aston with a long lease are worth £248,000. The average or mid-range amount of ground rent is £65 per annum. The lease ends on 21st October 2094

With just 72 years left to run we estimate the price of your lease extension to range between £12,400 and £14,200 plus plus your own and the landlord's "reasonable" professional fees.

The suggested premium range that we have given is a general guide to costs for extending a lease, but we are not able to advice on the actual costs in the absence of detailed investigations. Do not use the figures in tribunal or court proceedings. There may be other concerns that need to be considered and you obviously want to be as accurate as possible in your negotiations. Please do not take any other action placing reliance on this information before getting professional advice.

Other Topics

Lease Extensions in Aston