Fixed-fee leasehold conveyancing in Blackburn:

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Recently asked questions relating to Blackburn leasehold conveyancing

I want to sublet my leasehold apartment in Blackburn. Conveyancing solicitor who did the purchase is retired - so can't ask him. Do I need to ask my freeholder for permission?

Some leases for properties in Blackburn do contain a provision to say that subletting is only permitted with prior consent from the landlord. The landlord is not entitled to unreasonably withhold but, in such cases, they would need to review references. Experience suggests 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 recently realised that I have Seventy years unexpired on my lease in Blackburn. I now wish to get lease extension but my freeholder is can not be found. What are my options?

If you qualify, under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 you can submit an application to the County Court for an order to dispense with the service of the initial notice. This will mean that your lease can be extended by the Court. However, you will be required to prove that you have done all that could be expected to find the landlord. In some cases an enquiry agent may be helpful to carry out a search and to produce an expert document to be accepted by the court as proof that the landlord is indeed missing. It is advisable to get professional help from a conveyancer both on devolving into the landlord’s disappearance and the application to the County Court overseeing Blackburn.

My wife and I purchased a leasehold flat in Blackburn. Conveyancing and Barclays Direct 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 Blackburn who acted for me is not around.Any advice?

First make enquiries of HMLR to be sure that this person is indeed the registered owner of the freehold reversion. There is no need to instruct a Blackburn conveyancing lawyer to do this as it can be done on-line for a few pound. You should note 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.

I've recently bought a leasehold property in Blackburn. Am I liable to pay service charges relating to a period prior to my ownership?

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. It is an essential part 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).

I am a negotiator for a long established estate agent office in Blackburn where we have witnessed a number of leasehold sales put at risk due to short leases. I have been given inconsistent advice from local Blackburn conveyancing solicitors. Could you confirm whether the owner of a flat can commence the lease extension formalities for the buyer?

As long as 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 need not have to wait 2 years to extend their lease. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment needs to be completed before, or simultaneously with completion of the disposal of the property.

An alternative approach is to agree the lease extension with the freeholder 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.

I am the registered owner of a ground floor flat in Blackburn, conveyancing formalities finalised in 2000. Can you work out an approximate cost of a lease extension? Equivalent flats in Blackburn with over 90 years remaining are worth £227,000. The average or mid-range amount of ground rent is £60 invoiced annually. The lease ceases on 21st October 2097

With just 76 years remaining on your lease we estimate the price of your lease extension to be between £8,600 and £9,800 as well as professional fees.

The figure above a general guide to costs for extending a lease, but we cannot give you a more accurate figure in the absence of comprehensive due diligence. Do not use the figures in tribunal or court proceedings. There may be additional concerns that need to be considered and you obviously should be as accurate as possible in your negotiations. Please do not move forward placing reliance on this information without first getting professional advice.

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Lease Extensions in Blackburn