Sample questions relating to Bartley Green leasehold conveyancing
My fiance and I may need to rent out our Bartley Green ground floor flat for a while due to a career opportunity. We instructed a Bartley Green conveyancing firm in 2004 but they have since shut and we did not think at the time get any guidance as to whether the lease permits subletting. How do we find out?
Your lease dictates the relationship between the freeholder and you the leaseholder; specifically, it will say if subletting is not allowed, or permitted but only subject to certain conditions. The accepted inference is that if the lease contains no expres ban or restriction, subletting is allowed. The majority of leases in Bartley Green do not contain an absolute prevention of subletting – such a clause would undoubtedly devalue the flat. Instead, there is usually a basic requirement that the owner notifies the freeholder, possibly supplying a duplicate of the sublease.
Estate agents have just been given the go-ahead to market my basement apartment in Bartley Green.Conveyancing lawyers have not yet been instructed but I have just had a quarterly service charge invoice – what should I do?
Your conveyancing lawyer is likely to suggest that you should clear 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. This will smooth the conveyancing process.
I am hoping to put an offer on a small detached house that appears to be perfect, at a reasonable price which is making it more attractive. I have subsequently found out that the title is leasehold rather than freehold. I would have thought that there are particular concerns purchasing a house with a leasehold title in Bartley Green. Conveyancing solicitors have not yet been instructed. Will they explain the issues?
Most houses in Bartley Green are freehold and not leasehold. This is one of the situations where having a local solicitor who is familiar with the area can help the conveyancing process. It is clear that you are buying in Bartley Green in which case you should be looking for a Bartley Green conveyancing practitioner and check that they have experience in advising on leasehold houses. As a matter of priority you will need to check the number of years remaining. As a leaseholder you will not be at liberty to do whatever you want with the house. The lease comes with conditions for example requiring the freeholder’spermission to conduct changes to the property. It may be necessary to pay a maintenance charge towards the maintenance of the estate where the house is part of an estate. Your conveyancer will report to you on the legal implications.
I am a negotiator for a long established estate agent office in Bartley Green where we have witnessed a few flat sales derailed as a result of leases having less than 80 years remaining. I have received inconsistent advice from local Bartley Green conveyancing firms. Please can you clarify whether the owner of a flat can commence the lease extension process for the buyer?
As long as the seller has been the owner for at least 2 years it is possible, to serve a Section 42 notice to start the lease extension process and assign the benefit of the notice to the purchaser. The benefit of this is that the proposed purchaser need not have to wait 2 years for a lease extension. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment has to be done prior to, 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 purchaser.
What are your top tips when it comes to finding a Bartley Green conveyancing practice to deal with our lease extension?
If you are instructing a property lawyer for lease extension works (regardless if they are a Bartley Green conveyancing firm) it is imperative that they be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of work. We advise that you speak with several firms including non Bartley Green conveyancing practices prior to instructing a firm. Where the conveyancing practice is ALEP accredited then so much the better. Some following of questions might be useful:
- How familiar is the practice with lease extension legislation?
Bartley Green Leasehold Conveyancing - A selection of Questions you should consider Prior to buying
How many years remain on the lease?
Are any of leasehold owners in dispute over their service charge liability?
It would be wise to discover as much as possible about the managing agents as they can either make your life much easier or much more difficult. As the owner of a leasehold property you are frequently in the clutches of the managing agents from a financial perspective and when it comes to daily issues such as the cleanliness of the communal areas. You should not be afraid to ask prospective neighbours if they are happy with their service. On a final note, be sure you discover the dates that the service fees are due to the managing agents and precisely what you get for your money.