Recently asked questions relating to Brixham leasehold conveyancing
Frank (my husband) and I may need to let out our Brixham ground floor flat temporarily due to taking a sabbatical. We instructed a Brixham conveyancing firm in 2001 but they have since shut and we did not think at the time seek any guidance as to whether the lease prohibits the subletting of the flat. How do we find out?
Some leases for properties in Brixham do contain a provision to say that subletting is only allowed with permission. The landlord is not entitled to unreasonably refuse but, in such cases, they would need to see references. Experience dictates 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 a negotiator for a busy estate agent office in Brixham where we have witnessed a few leasehold sales jeopardised due to leases having less than 80 years remaining. I have been given inconsistent advice from local Brixham conveyancing solicitors. Can you shed some light as to whether the owner of a flat can commence the lease extension process for the buyer?
Provided that 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 buyer can avoid having to sit tight for 2 years to extend their lease. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment has to be done prior to, or simultaneously with completion of the sale.
An alternative approach is 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 purchaser.
What are your top tips when it comes to choosing a Brixham conveyancing practice to deal with our lease extension?
When appointing a property lawyer for lease extension works (regardless if they are a Brixham conveyancing practice) it is imperative that he or she should be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of conveyancing. We advise that you speak with several firms including non Brixham conveyancing practices prior to instructing a firm. Where the conveyancing practice is ALEP accredited then so much the better. Some following of questions might be helpful:
- How familiar is the practice with lease extension legislation?
Our conveyancer has advised that he intends to complete and exchange simultaneously on our sale of a £500000 flat in Brixham next Wednesday . The landlords agents has quoted £396 for Certificate of Compliance, building insurance schedule and 3 years statements of service charge. Is the landlord entitled to charge such fees for a flat conveyance in Brixham?
Brixham conveyancing on leasehold flats usually involves fees being levied by freeholders :
- Addressing pre-contract enquiries
- Where consent is required before sale in Brixham
- Supplying insurance information
- Deeds of covenant upon sale
- Registering of the assignment of the change of lessee after a sale
What makes a Brixham lease problematic?
There is nothing unique about leasehold conveyancing in Brixham. All leases are unique and legal mistakes in the legal wording can sometimes mean that certain provisions are not included. For example, if your lease is missing any of the following, it could be defective:
- A provision to repair to or maintain elements of the premises
- A duty to insure the building
- Clauses dealing with recovering service charges for expenditure on the building or common parts.
- Service charge per centages that don't add up correctly leaving a shortfall
A defective lease will likely cause problems when trying to sell a property primarily because it impacts on the ability to obtain a mortgage on the property. Accord Mortgages Ltd, The Mortgage Works, and Godiva Mortgages Ltd all have very detailed 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 provide security, forcing the purchaser to pull out.
Brixham Leasehold Conveyancing - Examples of Queries before buying
In the main the outlay for major works tend not to be incorporated into the service charges, albeit that some managing agents in Brixham require leaseholders to pay into a sinking fund created for the specific intention of establishing a fund for larger works.
How long is the Lease?
Plenty Brixham leasehold properties will have a service bill for maintenance of the building invoiced by the landlord. Where you acquire the apartment you will have to pay this charge, normally in instalments during the year. This could be anything from several hundred pounds to thousands of pounds for buildings with lifts and large communal areas. In all likelihood there will be a rentcharge for you to pay annual, this is usually not a large amount, say about £50-£100 but you need to enquire as sometimes it can be prohibitively expensive.