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Questions and Answers: Bishopsworth leasehold conveyancing

Having had my offer accepted I require leasehold conveyancing in Bishopsworth. Before I get started I require certainty as to the number of years remaining on the lease.

Assuming the lease is recorded at the land registry - and almost all are in Bishopsworth - then the leasehold title will always include the basic details of the lease, namely the date; the term; and the original parties. From a conveyancing perspective such details then enable any prospective buyer and lender to confirm that any lease they are looking at is the one relevant to that title.For any other purpose, such as confirming how long the term was granted for and calculating what is left, then the register should be sufficient on it's own.

Harry (my fiance) and I may need to sub-let our Bishopsworth ground floor flat temporarily due to a career opportunity. We instructed a Bishopsworth conveyancing practice in 2001 but they have since shut and we did not think at the time seek any guidance as to whether the lease prohibits the subletting of the flat. How do we find out?

A small minority of properties in Bishopsworth do contain a provision to say that subletting is only permitted with prior consent from the landlord. The landlord cannot unreasonably withhold but, in such cases, they would need to review references. Experience dictates 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 permission.

I have just started marketing my garden flat in Bishopsworth.Conveyancing lawyers have not yet been instructed but I have just had a quarterly maintenance charge invoice – what should I do?

It best that you pay the service charge as normal because all ground rent and service charges will be apportioned on completion, so you will be reimbursed by the buyer for the period running from after the completion date to the next payment date. Most management companies will not acknowledge the buyer until the service charges have been paid and are up to date so it is important for both buyer and seller for the seller to show that they are up to date. Having a clear account will assist your cause and will leave you no worse off financially.

I work for a busy estate agency in Bishopsworth where we have witnessed a number of leasehold sales derailed due to leases having less than 80 years remaining. I have been given inconsistent advice from local Bishopsworth conveyancing solicitors. Can you clarify whether the vendor of a flat can commence the lease extension process for the buyer?

As long as the seller has been the owner for at least 2 years it is possible, to serve a Section 42 notice to kick-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 sit tight for 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 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.

If all goes to plan we aim to complete our sale of a £475000 flat in Bishopsworth next Tuesday . The management company has quoted £312 for Landlord’s certificate, insurance certificate and previous years statements of service charge. Is the landlord entitled to charge such fees for a flat conveyance in Bishopsworth?

Bishopsworth conveyancing on leasehold flats more often than not necessitates the buyer’s conveyancer sending enquiries for the landlord to address. Although the landlord is not legally bound to respond to these enquiries the majority will be content to do so. They may levy a reasonable charge for answering enquiries or supplying documentation. There is no upper cap for such fees. The average fee for the paperwork that you are referring to is over three hundred pounds, in some transactions it is in excess of £800. The management information fee demanded by the landlord must be accompanied by a summary of entitlements and obligations in respect of administration fees, without which the invoice is not strictly payable. In reality you have no choice but to pay whatever is requested of you should you wish to exchange contracts with the buyer.

Bishopsworth Leasehold Conveyancing - A selection of Questions you should consider Prior to Purchasing

    The prefered form of lease structure is where the freehold interest is in the ownership of the leaseholders. In this arrangement the leaseholders benefit from control and even though a managing agent is frequently employed where the building is bigger than a house conversion, the managing agent acts for the leaseholders themselves. How many years remain on the lease? It is important to be aware whether changing the roof or some other significant cost is due shortly that will be shared amongst the tenants and will materially increase the the maintenance fees or necessitate a one time payment.

Other Topics

Lease Extensions in Bishopsworth