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Questions and Answers: Bletchley leasehold conveyancing

Harry (my fiance) and I may need to let out our Bletchley ground floor flat for a while due to a career opportunity. We used a Bletchley conveyancing firm in 2002 but they have since shut and we did not think at the time get any advice as to whether the lease prohibits the subletting of the flat. How do we find out?

Some leases for properties in Bletchley do contain a provision to say that subletting is only allowed with permission. The landlord cannot unreasonably withhold but, in such cases, they would need to see 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 consent.

I am hoping to sign contracts shortly on a leasehold property in Bletchley. Conveyancing solicitors assured me that they will have a report out to me within the next couple of days. Are there areas in the report that I should be focusing on?

The report on title for your leasehold conveyancing in Bletchley should include some of the following:

  • You should receive a copy of the lease
  • The unexpired lease term You should be advised as what happens when the lease expires, and informed of the importance of the 80 year mark
  • Setting out your rights in relation to the communal areas in the block.By way of example, does the lease grant a right of way over a path or staircase?
  • An explanation as to the provision in the lease to pay service charges - with regard to both the building, and the more general rights a leaseholder has
  • You should have a good understanding of the insurance provisions
  • I don't know whether the lease allows me to alter or improve anything in the flat - you should know whether it applies to all alterations or just structural alteration, and whether consent is required
  • Whether the landlord has obligations to ensure rights of quiet enjoyment over your property and do you know what it means in practice? For a comprehensive list of information to be included in your report on your leasehold property in Bletchley please enquire of your lawyer in advance of your conveyancing in Bletchley

  • Estate agents have just been given the go-ahead to market my garden apartment in Bletchley.Conveyancing lawyers have not yet been instructed but I have just received a half-yearly service charge demand – what should I do?

    The sensible thing to do is 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 unless 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.

    My wife and I purchased a leasehold flat in Bletchley. Conveyancing and Platform Home Loans Ltd mortgage organised. A letter has just been received from someone claiming to own the reversionary interest in the property. Attached was a ground rent demand for rent dating back to 1998. The conveyancing practitioner in Bletchley who acted for me is not around.Any advice?

    The first thing you should do is contact HMLR to be sure that the individual purporting to own the freehold is indeed the new freeholder. You do not need to instruct a Bletchley conveyancing practitioner to do this as it can be done on-line for £3. Rest assured that in any event, even if this is the rightful freeholder, under the Limitation Act 1980 the limitation period for recovery of ground rent is six years.

    Do you have any top tips for leasehold conveyancing in Bletchley with the intention of speeding up the sale process?

    • A significant proportion of the delay in leasehold conveyancing in Bletchley can be reduced if you appoint lawyers the minute you market your property and request that they start to collate the leasehold documentation which will be required by the buyers solicitors.
    • Many freeholders or managing agents in Bletchley charge for providing management packs for a leasehold premises. You or your lawyers should discover the fee that they propose to charge. The management information can be applied for as soon as you have a buyer, thus accelerating the process. The typical amount of time it takes to obtain the necessary information is three weeks. It is the most usual reason for delay in leasehold conveyancing in Bletchley.
  • If there is a history of conflict with your landlord or managing agents it is very important that these are resolved before the property is put on the market. The purchasers and their solicitors will be reluctant to purchase a flat where a dispute is unsettled. You will have to accept that you will have to pay any arrears of service charge or settle the dispute prior to completion of the sale. It is therefore preferable to have any dispute settled prior to the contract papers being issued to the buyers’ solicitors. You are still duty bound to disclose details of the dispute to the purchasers, but it is clearly preferable to present the dispute as over as opposed to unsettled.
  • If you have the benefit of shareholding in the Management Company, you should ensure that you have the original share document. Organising a re-issued share certificate can be a lengthy formality and delays many a Bletchley home move. Where a duplicate share certificate is required, do contact the company director and secretary or managing agents (where relevant) for this as soon as possible.
  • You believe that you know the number of years remaining on your lease but you should verify this by asking your lawyers. A purchaser's conveyancer will be unlikely to recommend their client to proceed with the purchase of a leasehold property the remaining number of years is less than 80 years. In the circumstances it is essential at an as soon as possible that you identify whether the lease term requires a lease extension. If it does, contact your solicitors before you put your premises on the market for sale.

  • I am the registered owner of a 2 bed flat in Bletchley, conveyancing formalities finalised in 1997. How much will my lease extension cost? Equivalent properties in Bletchley with over 90 years remaining are worth £212,000. The average or mid-range amount of ground rent is £65 invoiced annually. The lease ends on 21st October 2091

    You have 71 years left to run the likely cost is going to range between £11,400 and £13,200 plus legals.

    The figure above a general guide to costs for renewing a lease, but we are not able to supply the actual costs in the absence of detailed due diligence. Do not use this information in tribunal or court proceedings. There are no doubt additional concerns that need to be taken into account and clearly you should be as accurate as possible in your negotiations. You should not take any other action based on this information without first getting professional advice.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Bletchley