Examples of recent questions relating to leasehold conveyancing in Bexhill
Helen (my wife) and I may need to let out our Bexhill ground floor flat for a while due to a career opportunity. We used a Bexhill conveyancing firm in 2001 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?
Notwithstanding that your last Bexhill conveyancing solicitor is not around you can review your lease to see if you are permitted to let out the property. The rule is that if the deeds are silent, subletting is allowed. Quite often there is a prerequisite that you must obtain consent via your landlord or some other party before subletting. This means you not allowed to sublet in the absence of prior permission. The consent must not not be unreasonably turned down. If your lease prohibits you from subletting the property you should ask your landlord for their consent.
There are only 68 years remaining on my flat in Bexhill. I now want to extend my lease but my freeholder is missing. What should I do?
If you meet the appropriate requirements, under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 you can submit an application to the County Court for for permission to dispense with the service of the initial notice. This will enable the lease to be extended by the Court. However, you will be required to prove that you have made all reasonable attempts to track down the lessor. For most situations an enquiry agent should be useful to carry out a search and to produce an expert document to be used as evidence that the landlord can not be located. It is advisable to get professional help from a solicitor both on proving the landlord’s disappearance and the vesting order request to the County Court covering Bexhill.
I've recently bought a leasehold property in Bexhill. Am I liable to pay service charges relating to a period prior to my ownership?
In a situation where the service charge has already been demanded from the previous owner 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. It is an essential part of leasehold conveyancing for your conveyancer to ensure 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 agent office in Bexhill where we see a few flat sales derailed due to short leases. I have been given inconsistent advice from local Bexhill conveyancing solicitors. Can you confirm whether the seller of a flat can start the lease extension formalities for the purchaser on completion of the sale?
Provided that 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 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 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.
What are your top tips when it comes to finding a Bexhill conveyancing firm to carry out our lease extension conveyancing?
When appointing a conveyancer for your lease extension (regardless if they are a Bexhill conveyancing practice) it is most important that he or she should be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of work. We recommend that you speak with several firms including non Bexhill conveyancing practices prior to instructing a firm. Where the conveyancing practice is ALEP accredited then so much the better. Some following of questions could be useful:
- How familiar is the firm with lease extension legislation?
Bexhill Conveyancing for Leasehold Flats - Examples of Questions you should consider before buying
Be sure to enquire if there is anything that is prohibited in the lease. For example it is reasonably common in Bexhill leases that pets are not allowed in in a block in Bexhill. If you love the flatin Bexhill but your dog is not allowed to move with you then you have a very difficult decision.
How long is the Lease?
You will want to find out as much as you can about the managing agents as they will affect your use and enjoyment of the property. As the proprietor of a leasehold property you are frequently at the mercy of the managing agents both financially and when it comes to day to day matters like the tidiness of the common parts. You should not be shy to ask other people if they are happy with them. On a final note, find out the dates that you are obliged pay the service charge to the relevant party and precisely what it includes.