Biggleswade leasehold conveyancing: Q and A’s
Harry (my fiance) and I may need to sub-let our Biggleswade basement flat for a while due to a new job. We instructed a Biggleswade conveyancing firm in 2002 but they have closed and we did not think at the time get any advice as to whether the lease permits subletting. How do we find out?
A lease dictates the relationship between the landlord and you the flat owner; 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 specific ban or restriction, subletting is permitted. The majority of leases in Biggleswade do not prevent an absolute prevention of subletting – such a provision would undoubtedly devalue the property. Instead, there is usually a basic requirement that the owner notifies the freeholder, possibly sending a duplicate of the tenancy agreement.
Last month I purchased a leasehold property in Biggleswade. Am I liable to pay service charges relating to a period prior to completion of my purchase?
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 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 reputable estate agency in Biggleswade where we have witnessed a number of flat sales derailed due to short leases. I have received conflicting advice from local Biggleswade conveyancing solicitors. Can you shed some light as to whether the owner of a flat can start the lease extension process for the purchaser on completion of the sale?
Provided that the seller has owned the lease for at least 2 years it is possible, to serve a Section 42 notice to commence the lease extension process and assign the benefit of the notice to the purchaser. The benefit of this is that the proposed purchaser can avoid having to wait 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 purchaser.
Our conveyancer has advised that he intends to complete and exchange simultaneously on the disposal of our £150000 maisonette in Biggleswade next week. The management company has quoted £420 for Certificate of Compliance, building insurance schedule and previous years service charge statements. Is it legal for a freeholder to charge an administration fee for a flat conveyance in Biggleswade?
Biggleswade conveyancing on leasehold flats normally requires the buyer’s lawyer sending enquiries for the landlord to address. Although the landlord is under no legal obligation to answer these enquiries the majority will be willing to do so. They are entitled charge a reasonable administration fee for answering questions or supplying documentation. There is no upper cap for such fees. The average costs for the paperwork that you are referring to is over three hundred pounds, in some cases it is above £800. The management information fee levied by the landlord must be accompanied by a summary of entitlements and obligations in relation to administration fees, otherwise the invoice is not strictly payable. In reality one has little option but to pay whatever is demanded if you want to complete the sale of your home.
When it comes to leasehold conveyancing in Biggleswade what are the most frequent lease defects?
Leasehold conveyancing in Biggleswade is not unique. All leases is drafted differently and legal mistakes in the legal wording can result in certain provisions are erroneous. The following missing provisions could result in a defective lease:
- Repairing obligations to or maintain elements of the property
- Insurance obligations
- A provision for the recovery of money spent for the benefit of another party.
- Maintenance charge proportions which don’t add up to the correct percentage
You will encounter a problem when selling your property if you have a defective lease as they can affect a potential buyer’s ability to obtain a mortgage. Nationwide Building Society, Virgin Money, and Britannia all have very detailed conveyancing instructions when it comes to what is expected in a lease. Where a lender has been advised by their lawyers that the lease does not cover certain provisions they may refuse to provide security, forcing the buyer to pull out.
I purchased a 1st floor flat in Biggleswade, conveyancing formalities finalised half a dozen years ago. Can you let me have an estimate of the premium that my landlord can legally expect in return for granting a renewal of my lease? Equivalent properties in Biggleswade with over 90 years remaining are worth £172,000. The average or mid-range amount of ground rent is £65 per annum. The lease expires on 21st October 2072
With just 50 years remaining on your lease we estimate the premium for your lease extension to span between £38,000 and £44,000 as well as costs.
The figure above a general guide to costs for extending a lease, but we cannot give you the actual costs in the absence of detailed investigations. You should not use the figures in a Notice of Claim or as an informal offer. There are no doubt additional issues that need to be considered and you obviously should be as accurate as possible in your negotiations. You should not take any other action placing reliance on this information before seeking the advice of a professional.