Fixed-fee leasehold conveyancing in Belper:

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Belper leasehold conveyancing: Q and A’s

I am intending to sublet my leasehold apartment in Belper. Conveyancing solicitor who did the purchase is retired - so can't ask him. Do I need to ask my freeholder for permission?

Some leases for properties in Belper do contain a provision to say that subletting is only allowed with permission. The landlord is not entitled to 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.

Expecting to exchange soon on a studio apartment in Belper. Conveyancing lawyers have said that they are sending me a report next week. Are there areas in the report that I should be focusing on?

Your report on title for your leasehold conveyancing in Belper should include some of the following:

  • Does the lease require carpeting throughout thus preventing wood flooring?
  • Does the lease prevent you from renting out the property, or having a home office for business
  • An explanation as to the provision in the lease to pay service charges - with regard to both the building, and the more general rights a leaseholder has
  • Whether your lease has a provision for a sinking fund?
  • You should have a good understanding of the insurance provisions
  • Repair and maintenance of the flat
  • The landlord’s obligations to repair and maintain the building. It is important that you know who is responsible for the repair and maintenance of every part of the building For details of the information to be contained in your report on your leasehold property in Belper please ask your lawyer in ahead of your conveyancing in Belper

  • Last month I purchased a leasehold flat in Belper. Do I have any liability for service charges relating to a period prior to 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. Strange as it may seem, 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 employed by a busy estate agency in Belper 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 Belper conveyancing solicitors. Please can you shed some light as to whether the owner of a flat can commence 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. The benefit of this is that the buyer can avoid having 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.

    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 purchaser.

    Our conveyancer has advised that he intends to complete and exchange simultaneously on the disposal of our £325000 maisonette in Belper in six days. The management company has quoted £396 for Certificate of Compliance, insurance certificate and previous years service charge statements. Is the landlord entitled to charge exorbitant fees for a flat conveyance in Belper?

    For most leasehold sales in Belper conveyancing will involve, queries regarding the management of a building inevitably needing to be answered directly by the freeholder or its agent, this includes :

    • Answering pre-contract questions
    • Where consent is required before sale in Belper
    • Supplying insurance information
    • Deeds of covenant upon sale
    • Registering of the assignment of the change of lessee after a sale
    Your conveyancer will have no control over the level of the charges for this information but the average costs for the information for Belper leasehold property is £350. For Belper conveyancing transactions it is customary for the seller to pay for these costs. The landlord or their agents are under no legal obligation to answer such questions most will be willing to do so - albeit often at exorbitant prices where the fees bear little relation to the work involved. Unfortunately there is no law that requires fixed charges for administrative tasks. Neither is there any legal time frame by which they are obliged to supply the information.

    I invested in buying a 2 bed flat in Belper, conveyancing formalities finalised in 2002. How much will my lease extension cost? Corresponding flats in Belper with over 90 years remaining are worth £230,000. The ground rent is £60 yearly. The lease finishes on 21st October 2084

    With just 64 years remaining on your lease we estimate the price of your lease extension to be between £13,300 and £15,400 as well as plus your own and the landlord's "reasonable" professional fees.

    The suggested premium range above a general guide to costs for extending a lease, but we are not able to provide a more accurate figure in the absence of detailed investigations. You should not use this information in a Notice of Claim or as an informal offer. There are no doubt other concerns that need to be taken into account and clearly you should be as accurate as possible in your negotiations. Please do not move forward based on this information without first getting professional advice.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Belper