Questions and Answers: Bishopsworth leasehold conveyancing
My wife and I may need to rent out our Bishopsworth 1st floor flat for a while due to taking a sabbatical. We used a Bishopsworth conveyancing firm in 2002 but they have closed and we did not have the foresight to seek any advice 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 consent.
I’m about to sell my ground floor apartment in Bishopsworth.Conveyancing has not commenced but I have just had a half-yearly service charge demand – Do I pay up?
Your conveyancing lawyer is likely to suggest that you should clear the invoice 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 managing agents 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. This will smooth the conveyancing process.
I own a leasehold flat in Bishopsworth. Conveyancing and Virgin Money mortgage are in place. A letter has just been received from someone saying they have taken over the freehold. Attached was a demand for arrears of ground rent dating back to 1991. The conveyancing solicitor in Bishopsworth who acted for me is not around.What should I do?
The first thing you should do is contact the Land Registry to make sure that this person is in fact the new freeholder. There is no need to instruct a Bishopsworth conveyancing solicitor to do this as it can be done on-line for a few pound. Rest assured that regardless, even if this is the rightful freeholder, under the Limitation Act 1980 the limitation period for recovery of ground rent is six years.
Last month I purchased a leasehold house in Bishopsworth. 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. 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).
What makes a Bishopsworth lease defective?
There is nothing unique about leasehold conveyancing in Bishopsworth. Most leases are individual and legal mistakes in the legal wording can sometimes mean that certain provisions are erroneous. For example, if your lease is missing any of the following, it could be defective:
- Repairing obligations to or maintain elements of the premises
- 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
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. Barclays , Barnsley Building Society, and Clydesdale all have express requirements when it comes to what is expected in a lease. If a mortgage lender believes that the lease does not cover certain provisions they may refuse to grant the mortgage, forcing the purchaser to pull out.
Leasehold Conveyancing in Bishopsworth - Examples of Questions you should consider Prior to buying
It is important to be aware whether window replacement or some other major work is due shortly that will be shared between the leasehold owners and could well dramatically increase the the service fees or necessitate a specific invoice.
For many Bishopsworth leaseholds the outlay for major works are not incorporated into the service charges, although there some managing agents in Bishopsworth ask tenants to contribute towards a sinking fund created for the specific purpose of building a fund for major works.
What prohibitions exist in the Bishopsworth Lease?