Questions and Answers: Avonmouth leasehold conveyancing
I am on look out for some leasehold conveyancing in Avonmouth. Before diving in I require certainty as to the unexpired term of the lease.
Assuming the lease is recorded at the land registry - and 99.9% are in Avonmouth - 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.
Frank (my husband) and I may need to rent out our Avonmouth ground floor flat for a while due to a new job. We instructed a Avonmouth conveyancing practice in 2004 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?
Your lease governs the relationship between the freeholder and you the leaseholder; in particular, it will set out if subletting is not allowed, or permitted but only subject to certain caveats. The rule is that if the lease contains no expres ban or restriction, subletting is allowed. The majority of leases in Avonmouth do not contain an absolute prevention of subletting – such a provision would undoubtedly devalue the property. In most cases there is a basic requirement that the owner notifies the freeholder, possibly sending a duplicate of the sublease.
I have just appointed agents to market my 2 bed flat in Avonmouth.Conveyancing has not commenced but I have just received a half-yearly service charge demand – Do I pay up?
Your conveyancing lawyer is likely to suggest that you should pay the service charge 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 managing agents 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. This will smooth the conveyancing process.
Last month I purchased a leasehold house in Avonmouth. 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. However, 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).
Our conveyancer has advised that he intends to complete and exchange simultaneously on the disposal of our £125000 maisonette in Avonmouth in seven days. The freeholder has quoted £408 for Certificate of Compliance, building insurance schedule and 3 years statements of service charge. Is the landlord entitled to charge such fees for a leasehold conveyance in Avonmouth?
Avonmouth conveyancing on leasehold apartments normally necessitates the purchaser’s solicitor sending enquiries for the landlord to answer. Although the landlord is not legally bound to answer these enquiries most will be content to assist. They may charge a reasonable charge for responding to questions or supplying documentation. There is no set fee. The average fee for the paperwork that you are referring to is over three hundred pounds, in some transactions it is in excess of £800. The management information fee levied by the landlord must be accompanied by a synopsis of entitlements and obligations in respect of administration charges, without which the invoice is not strictly payable. In reality one has little choice but to pay whatever is demanded should you wish to exchange contracts with the buyer.
Avonmouth Conveyancing for Leasehold Flats - Examples of Questions you should ask before buying
What is the name of the managing agents?
This question is important as a) areas could cause problems in the block as the common areas may start to deteriorate where services are not paid for b) if the leasehold owners have a dispute with the managing agents you will need to have full disclosure
Where a Avonmouth lease has fewer than 80 years it will impact the value of the apartment. Check with your lender that they are willing to go ahead with the loan given the lease term. A short lease means that you will almost definitely require a lease extension at some point and you need to have some idea of what this would cost. For most Avonmouthlease extensions you will be be obliged to have owned the property for a couple of years in order to be entitled to extend the lease.