Fixed-fee leasehold conveyancing in Bourne End:

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Frequently asked questions relating to Bourne End leasehold conveyancing

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

A lease dictates the relationship between the landlord and you the leaseholder; specifically, it will say if subletting is prohibited, or permitted but only subject to certain caveats. The accepted inference is that if the lease contains no specific ban or restriction, subletting is allowed. Most leases in Bourne End do not prevent subletting altogether – such a clause would undoubtedly devalue the flat. In most cases there is a basic requirement that the owner notifies the freeholder, possibly supplying a copy of the sublease.

I own a leasehold flat in Bourne End. Conveyancing and Yorkshire Building Society mortgage are in place. A letter has just been received from someone claiming to own the reversionary interest in the property. Attached was a demand for arrears of ground rent dating back to 1993. The conveyancing practitioner in Bourne End who acted for me is not around.Any advice?

The first thing you should do is make enquiries of the Land Registry to make sure that the individual claiming to own the freehold is indeed the new freeholder. There is no need to instruct a Bourne End conveyancing practitioner to do this as it can be done on-line for less than a fiver. You should note that in any event, even if this is the legitimate freeholder, under the Limitation Act 1980 the limitation period for recovery of ground rent is six years.

I've recently bought a leasehold flat in Bourne End. Do I have any liability for service charges for periods before completion of my purchase?

In a situation 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. However, 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).

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

  • Much of the delay in leasehold conveyancing in Bourne End can be reduced where you appoint lawyers as soon as your agents start marketing the property and ask them to collate the leasehold information which will be required by the purchasers’ lawyers.
  • If you have carried out any alterations to the property would they have required Landlord’s permission? In particular have you laid down wooden flooring? Bourne End leases often stipulate that internal structural changes or laying down wooden flooring calls for a licence from the Landlord approving such alterations. If you fail to have the approvals in place do not contact the landlord without checking with your conveyancer in advance.
  • Some Bourne End leases require Landlord’s consent to the sale and approval of the buyers. If this is the case, you should place the estate agents on notice to make sure that the purchasers put in hand financial (bank) and professional references. Any bank reference should make it clear that the buyer is financially capable of paying the yearly service charge and the actual amount of the service charge should be quoted in the bank’s letter. You will therefore need to provide your estate agents with the actual amount of the service charge so that they can pass this information on to the buyers or their lawyers.
  • If you hold a share in a the Management Company, you should ensure that you are holding the original share document. Organising a replacement share certificate is often a lengthy formality and slows down many a Bourne End home move. If a duplicate share is necessary, do contact the company director and secretary or managing agents (if applicable) for this sooner rather than later.
  • You believe that you know the number of years remaining on your lease but it would be wise to verify this via your conveyancers. A buyer’s lawyer will not be happy to advise their client to proceed with the purchase of a leasehold property the lease term is less than 80 years. It is therefore important at an as soon as possible that you identify whether the lease for your property needs extending. If it does, contact your solicitors before you put your home on the market for sale.

  • All being well we will complete our sale of a £475000 apartment in Bourne End next Tuesday . The management company has quoted £360 for Landlord’s certificate, building insurance schedule and previous years statements of service charge. Is the landlord entitled to charge an administration fee for a leasehold conveyance in Bourne End?

    Bourne End conveyancing on leasehold apartments more often than not necessitates the buyer’s lawyer sending enquiries for the landlord to answer. Although the landlord is not legally bound to answer such questions most will be content to do so. They may charge a reasonable administration fee for responding to enquiries or supplying documentation. There is no upper cap for such fees. The average costs for the information that you are referring to is £350, in some situations it is above £800. The administration charge demanded by the landlord must be accompanied by a summary of rights and obligations in respect of administration charges, without which the charge is not strictly payable. In reality one has no choice but to pay whatever is demanded should you wish to complete the sale of your home.

    I am the registered owner of a leasehold flat in Bourne End, conveyancing formalities finalised in 1999. Can you give me give me an indication of the likely cost of a lease extension? Corresponding properties in Bourne End with an extended lease are worth £227,000. The ground rent is £65 yearly. The lease ceases on 21st October 2072

    You have 50 years remaining on your lease we estimate the price of your lease extension to range between £38,000 and £44,000 plus costs.

    The figure that we have given is a general guide to costs for extending a lease, but we are not able to provide a more accurate figure in the absence of comprehensive due diligence. You should not use this information in tribunal or court proceedings. There are no doubt additional issues that need to be taken into account and you obviously should be as accurate as possible in your negotiations. You should not move forward placing reliance on this information without first getting professional advice.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Bourne End