Common questions relating to Barnard Castle leasehold conveyancing
I am intending to let out my leasehold apartment in Barnard Castle. Conveyancing solicitor who did the purchase is retired - so can't ask him. Is permission from the freeholder required?
A small minority of properties in Barnard Castle do contain a provision to say that subletting is only allowed with permission. The landlord cannot unreasonably withhold but, in such cases, they would need to see references. Experience suggests that problems are usually caused by unsatisfactory tenants rather than owner-occupiers and for that reason you can expect the freeholder to take up the references and consider them carefully before granting permission.
I've recently bought a leasehold property in Barnard Castle. Am I liable to pay service charges for periods before completion of my purchase?
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. 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 work for a long established estate agency in Barnard Castle 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 Barnard Castle conveyancing solicitors. Could you confirm 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 commence 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 wait 2 years to extend their lease. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment has to be done prior to, or simultaneously with completion of the disposal of the property.
Alternatively, it may be possible 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.
What are your top tips when it comes to finding a Barnard Castle conveyancing practice to deal with our lease extension?
When appointing a property lawyer for your lease extension (regardless if they are a Barnard Castle conveyancing practice) it is imperative that they be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of conveyancing. We recommend that you speak with two or three firms including non Barnard Castle conveyancing practices before you instructing a firm. Where the conveyancing practice is ALEP accredited then so much the better. Some following of questions could be helpful:
- What volume of lease extensions has the firm carried out in Barnard Castle in the last 12 months?
We expect to complete our sale of a £425000 maisonette in Barnard Castle in 8 days. The landlords agents has quoted £324 for Landlord’s certificate, building insurance schedule and previous years service charge statements. Is the landlord entitled to charge such fees for a flat conveyance in Barnard Castle?
Barnard Castle conveyancing on leasehold apartments normally involves the buyer’s lawyer sending enquiries for the landlord to address. Although the landlord is under no legal obligation to answer such questions the majority will be content to do so. They may levy a reasonable charge for answering questions 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 transactions it is above £800. The administration charge required by the landlord must be sent together with a summary of rights and obligations in relation to administration charges, without which the charge is not strictly payable. In reality you have little option but to pay whatever is requested of you if you want to complete the sale of your home.
Barnard Castle Conveyancing for Leasehold Flats - A selection of Queries before Purchasing
What is the service charge and ground rent on the apartment?
In the main the cost for major works tend not to be included within maintenance charges, albeit that some managing agents in Barnard Castle require tenants to pay into a reserve fund and this is used to offset against major works.
Please inform me if there are any major works in the near future that could increase the maintenance fees?