Frequently asked questions relating to Battle leasehold conveyancing
I am intending to let out my leasehold flat in Battle. Conveyancing solicitor who did the purchase is retired - so can't ask her. Is permission from the freeholder required?
Some leases for properties in Battle do contain a provision to say that subletting is only allowed with permission. The landlord cannot unreasonably refuse 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 consent.
Back In 2004, I bought a leasehold flat in Battle. Conveyancing and Alliance & Leicester mortgage are in place. I have received a letter from someone claiming to own the reversionary interest in the property. Attached was a demand for arrears of ground rent dating back to 1997. The conveyancing solicitor in Battle who previously acted has now retired.What should I do?
The first thing you should do is contact the Land Registry to make sure that this person is indeed the new freeholder. It is not necessary to instruct a Battle conveyancing lawyer to do this as it can be done on-line for less than a fiver. You should note that in any event, 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 attracted to a two apartments in Battle both have in the region of 50 years left on the lease term. should I be concerned?
There are plenty of short leases in Battle. The lease is a right to use the premises for a prescribed time frame. As a lease gets shorter the marketability of the lease decreases and it becomes more costly to extend the lease. For this reason it is often a good idea to extend the lease term. More often than not it is difficulties arise selling premises with a short lease as mortgage companies less inclined to grant a loan on properties of this type. Lease extension can be a difficult process. We advise that you seek professional help from a solicitor and surveyor with experience in this arena
Last month I purchased a leasehold flat in Battle. Do I have any liability for service charges relating to a period prior to my ownership?
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 am a negotiator for a long established estate agency in Battle where we have experienced a few flat sales put at risk due to leases having less than 80 years remaining. I have been given conflicting advice from local Battle conveyancing firms. Can you clarify 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 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. This means that the proposed purchaser need not have to sit tight for 2 years for a lease extension. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment has to be done before, or simultaneously with completion of the sale.
Alternatively, it may be possible to extend the lease informally by agreement with the landlord 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.
Battle Conveyancing for Leasehold Flats - A selection of Questions you should ask Prior to Purchasing
Make sure you enquire if the the lease includes any adverse restrictions in the lease. For example plenty of leases prohibit pets being permitted in in a block in Battle. If you like the flatin Battle but your cat can’t live with you then you will be presented with a hard decision.
For most Battle leaseholds the outlay for major works tend not to be included within maintenance charges, although a few managing agents in Battle obliged leaseholders to pay into a sinking fund and this is used to offset against larger repairs or maintenance.
Who manages the building?