Questions and Answers: Brampton leasehold conveyancing
I wish to rent out my leasehold apartment in Brampton. Conveyancing solicitor who did the purchase is retired - so can't ask him. Is permission from the freeholder required?
Notwithstanding that your previous Brampton conveyancing lawyer is not available you can review your lease to check if you are permitted to let out the apartment. The rule is that if the lease is silent, subletting is allowed. There may be a precondition that you need to seek consent from your landlord or some other party before subletting. The net result is you not allowed to sublet in the absence of first obtaining permission. Such consent is not allowed to be unreasonably turned down. If your lease prohibits you from subletting the property you will need to ask your landlord if they are willing to waive this restriction.
Estate agents have just been given the go-ahead to market my ground floor flat in Brampton.Conveyancing is yet to be initiated but I have just received a quarterly maintenance charge invoice – Do I pay up?
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 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 am looking at a couple of flats in Brampton which have about 50 years unexpired on the leases. Should I regard a short lease as a deal breaker?
There is no doubt about it. A leasehold apartment in Brampton is a wasting asset as a result of the reducing lease term. The closer the lease gets to zero years unexpired, the more it reduces the salability of the premises. For most buyers and lenders, leases with less than eighty years become less and less marketable. On a more upbeat note, leaseholders can extend their leases by serving a Section 42 Notice. One stipulation is that they must have owned the premises for two years (unlike a Section 13 notice for purchasing the freehold, when leaseholders can participate from day one of ownership). When successful, they will have the right to an extension of 90 years to the current term and ground rent is effectively reduced to zero. Before moving forward with a purchase of property with a short lease term remaining you should talk to a solicitor specialising in lease extensions and leasehold enfranchisement. We are are happy to put you in touch with Brampton conveyancing experts who will explain the options available to you during an initial telephone conversation free of charge. More often than not it is possible to negotiate informally with the freeholder to extend the lease You may find he or she is happy to negotiate informally and willing to consider your offer straight off, without having to involve anyone else. This will save you time and money and it could help you reach a lower price on the lease. You need to ensure that the agreed terms represent good long-term value compared with the standard benefits of the Section 42 Notice and that onerous clauses are not inserted into any redrafting of the lease.
I am employed by a long established estate agency in Brampton where we have witnessed a few leasehold sales put at risk due to leases having less than 80 years remaining. I have received inconsistent advice from local Brampton conveyancing firms. Can you confirm whether the vendor 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 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 wait 2 years to extend their lease. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment needs to be completed prior to, or simultaneously with completion of the sale.
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.
What are the frequently found deficiencies that you encounter in leases for Brampton properties?
Leasehold conveyancing in Brampton is not unique. All leases are unique and drafting errors can sometimes mean that certain provisions are wrong. The following missing provisions could result in a defective lease:
- A provision to repair to or maintain elements of the premises
- Insurance obligations
- A provision for the recovery of money spent for the benefit of another party.
- Service charge per centages that don't add up correctly leaving a shortfall
A defective lease can cause issues when trying to sell a property as they can affect a potential buyer’s ability to obtain a mortgage. Halifax, Chelsea Building Society, and Nottingham Building Society all have express conveyancing instructions when it comes to what is expected in a lease. If a mortgage lender believes that the lease is defective they may refuse to grant the mortgage, forcing the purchaser to withdraw.
Brampton Conveyancing for Leasehold Flats - Examples of Queries before buying
Plenty Brampton leasehold apartments will have a service bill for the upkeep of the block levied on behalf of the landlord. Where you buy the apartment you will have to meet this charge, usually periodically throughout the year. This could vary from a few hundred pounds to thousands of pounds for blocks with lifts and large common grounds. There will also be a rentcharge to be met yearly, normally this is not a significant sum, say about £25-£75 but you need to enquire as on occasion it can be prohibitively expensive.
You should be aware that where the lease has less than 80 years it will affect the value of the flat. It is worth checking with your lender that they are happy with remaining years on the lease. A short lease means that you will most likely need a lease extension sooner rather than later and it is worth discovering what this will be. Remember, in most cases you will be be obliged to have been the owner of the residence for a couple of years in order to be eligible to exercise a lease extension.
Are any of leasehold owners in arrears of their service charge liability?