Fixed-fee leasehold conveyancing in Brentwood:

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Brentwood leasehold conveyancing: Q and A’s

My wife and I may need to rent out our Brentwood garden flat temporarily due to a career opportunity. We instructed a Brentwood conveyancing firm in 2001 but they have since shut and we did not have the foresight to seek any guidance as to whether the lease permits subletting. How do we find out?

Even though your last Brentwood conveyancing solicitor is not around you can check your lease to see if it allows you to sublet the premises. The rule is that if the lease is non-specific, subletting is permitted. Quite often there is a prerequisite that you must seek permission from your landlord or some other party in advance of subletting. This means you not allowed to sublet without first obtaining consent. Such consent must not not be unreasonably turned down. If your lease does not allow you to sublet you should ask your landlord if they are willing to waive this restriction.

Expecting to sign contracts shortly on a basement flat in Brentwood. Conveyancing lawyers have said that they report fully within the next couple of days. What should I be looking out for?

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

  • Details of the parties to the lease, for example these could be the leaseholder (you), head lessor, landlord
  • The total extent of the property. This will be the property itself but might include a roof space or basement if applicable.
  • Setting out your rights in respect of common areas in the block.For instance, does the lease provide for a right of way over an accessway or hallways?
  • Whether your lease has a provision for a sinking fund?
  • Repair and maintenance of the flat
  • 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
  • The landlord’s rights to access the flat you be made aware that your landlord has rights of access and I know how much notice s/he must provide. For details of the information to be contained in your report on your leasehold property in Brentwood please ask your conveyancer in ahead of your conveyancing in Brentwood

  • I am looking at a two flats in Brentwood which have about forty five years left on the leases. Should I regard a short lease as a deal breaker?

    There are no two ways about it. A leasehold apartment in Brentwood is a deteriorating asset as a result of the shortening lease. The nearer the lease gets to its expiry date, the more it reduces the salability of the premises. For most purchasers 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 Brentwood 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 They may agree to a smaller lump sum and an increase in the ground rent, but to shorter extension terms in return. 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 busy estate agency in Brentwood where we see a number of flat sales put at risk due to short leases. I have been given conflicting advice from local Brentwood conveyancing firms. Can you shed some light as to whether the vendor of a flat can start the lease extension process 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 kick-start the lease extension process and assign the benefit of the notice to the purchaser. This means that the proposed purchaser can avoid having to wait 2 years to extend their lease. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment has to be done before, 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.

    All being well we will complete our sale of a £275000 garden flat in Brentwood in just under a week. The landlords agents has quoted £324 for Certificate of Compliance, building insurance schedule and previous years service charge statements. Is it legal for a freeholder to charge exorbitant fees for a flat conveyance in Brentwood?

    Brentwood conveyancing on leasehold apartments usually results in fees being levied by management companies :

    • Answering conveyancing due diligence questions
    • Where consent is required before sale in Brentwood
    • Supplying insurance information
    • Deeds of covenant upon sale
    • Registering of the assignment of the change of lessee after a sale
    Your conveyancer will have no control over the level of the charges for this information but the average costs for the information for Brentwood leasehold property is £350. For Brentwood conveyancing transactions it is customary for the seller to pay for these costs. The landlord or their agents are under no legal obligation to answer such questions most will be willing to do so - albeit often at exorbitant prices where the fees bear little relation to the work involved. Unfortunately there is no law that requires fixed charges for administrative tasks. Neither is there any legal time frame by which they are required to provide the information.

    I have tried to negotiate informally with with my landlord to extend my lease without any joy. Can one make an application to the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal? Can you recommend a Brentwood conveyancing firm to represent me?

    Where there is a missing freeholder or where there is dispute about what the lease extension should cost, under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 it is possible to make an application to the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal to make a decision on the price.

    An example of a Lease Extension case for a Brentwood property is 37 Lodge Court High Street in November 2013. the decision of the LVT was that the premium to be paid for the new lease was £25,559 This case was in relation to 1 flat. The unexpired term was 57.5 years.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Brentwood