Examples of recent questions relating to leasehold conveyancing in Benfleet
My wife and I may need to rent out our Benfleet garden flat for a while due to a new job. We instructed a Benfleet conveyancing practice in 2003 but they have since shut and we did not think at the time seek 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 landlord and you the flat owner; specifically, it will say if subletting is banned, or permitted but only subject to certain conditions. The accepted inference is that if the lease contains no specific ban or restriction, subletting is allowed. Most leases in Benfleet do not contain an absolute prevention of subletting – such a clause would adversely affect the market value the property. In most cases there is simply a requirement that the owner notifies the freeholder, possibly supplying a duplicate of the tenancy agreement.
There are only 72 years remaining on my flat in Benfleet. I am keen to get lease extension but my freeholder is missing. What are my options?
If you meet the appropriate requirements, under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 you can apply to the County Court for an order to dispense with the service of the initial notice. This will enable the lease to be granted an extra 90 years by the magistrate. However, you will be required to prove that you have made all reasonable attempts to locate the lessor. For most situations a specialist may be helpful to try and locate and to produce a report which can be accepted by the court as proof that the freeholder can not be located. It is advisable to get professional help from a conveyancer both on investigating the landlord’s absence and the application to the County Court covering Benfleet.
Planning to exchange soon on a leasehold property in Benfleet. Conveyancing solicitors assured me that they report fully within the next couple of days. Are there areas in the report that I should be focusing on?
The report on title for your leasehold conveyancing in Benfleet should include some of the following:
- You should be sent a copy of the lease
Last month I purchased a leasehold house in Benfleet. Do I have any liability for 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).
Are there common problems that you come across in leases for Benfleet properties?
There is nothing unique about leasehold conveyancing in Benfleet. Most leases is drafted differently and legal mistakes in the legal wording can sometimes mean that certain clauses are missing. The following missing provisions could result in a defective lease:
- A provision to repair to or maintain elements of the building
- A duty to insure the building
- A provision for the recovery of money spent for the benefit of another party.
- Service charge per centages that don't add up correctly leaving a shortfall
A defective lease will likely cause issues when trying to sell a property as they can affect a potential buyer’s ability to obtain a mortgage. HSBC Bank, The Mortgage Works, and Godiva Mortgages Ltd all have very detailed requirements when it comes to what is expected in a lease. If a mortgage lender believes that the lease is problematic they may refuse to grant the mortgage, forcing the buyer to pull out.
Leasehold Conveyancing in Benfleet - Sample of Queries Prior to Purchasing
The majority of Benfleet leasehold properties will be liable to pay a service bill for maintenance of the block set by the freeholder. Where you buy the flat you will have to pay this contribution, normally quarterly accross the year. This can be anything from a few hundred pounds to thousands of pounds for bigger purpose-built blocks. In all likelihood there will be a ground rent for you to pay annual, this is usually not a large amount, say about £50-£100 but you need to check as on occasion it could be surprisingly expensive.
What restrictions are there in the Benfleet Lease?
On the whole the cost for major works tend not to be wrapped into the service charges, albeit that there some managing agents in Benfleet ask tenants to contribute towards a reserve fund and this is used to offset against major works.