Frequently asked questions relating to Burnley leasehold conveyancing
My wife and I may need to sub-let our Burnley ground floor flat for a while due to a career opportunity. We instructed a Burnley conveyancing practice in 2003 but they have since shut and we did not have the foresight to seek any advice as to whether the lease permits subletting. How do we find out?
A small minority of properties in Burnley do contain a provision to say that subletting is only permitted with prior consent from the landlord. The landlord cannot unreasonably refuse but, in such cases, they would need to review 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 permission.
I am hoping to put an offer on a small detached house that appears to be perfect, at a reasonable figure which is making it all the more appealing. I have just been informed that the title is leasehold as opposed to freehold. I would have thought that there are particular concerns buying a leasehold house in Burnley. Conveyancing lawyers have not yet been instructed. Will my lawyers set out the implications of buying a leasehold house in Burnley ?
Most houses in Burnley are freehold rather than leasehold. In this scenario it’s worth having a local solicitor used to dealing with such properties who can assist with the conveyancing process. We note that you are purchasing in Burnley in which case you should be shopping around for a Burnley conveyancing solicitor and check that they are used to dealing with leasehold houses. First you will need to check the unexpired lease term. As a leaseholder you will not be at liberty to do whatever you want to the property. The lease will likely included provisions for example obtaining the landlord’spermission to conduct alterations. It may be necessary to pay a service charge towards the upkeep of the communal areas where the property is part of an estate. Your lawyer will report to you on the legal implications.
I am tempted by the attractive purchase price for a couple of apartments in Burnley which have about fifty years left on the lease term. Will this present a problem?
There are no two ways about it. A leasehold apartment in Burnley is a wasting asset as a result of the reducing lease term. The closer the lease gets to its expiry date, the more it adversely affects the marketability of the property. For most buyers and mortgage companies, leases with under eighty years become less and less attractive. On a more positive 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 Burnley 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.
Last month I purchased a leasehold house in Burnley. Am I liable to pay service charges for periods before my ownership?
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. It is an essential part 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).
We expect to complete our sale of a £150000 garden flat in Burnley next Monday . The landlords agents has quoted £420 for Landlord’s certificate, building insurance schedule and 3 years service charge statements. Is it legal for a freeholder to charge an administration fee for a leasehold conveyance in Burnley?
Burnley conveyancing on leasehold maisonettes more often than not necessitates the buyer’s conveyancer submitting enquiries for the landlord to answer. Although the landlord is under no legal obligation to respond to these enquiries most will be content to do so. They may invoice a reasonable charge for responding to questions or supplying documentation. There is no set fee. The average fee for the information that you are referring to is £350, in some cases it is above £800. The management information fee levied by the landlord must be sent together with a synopsis of rights and obligations in respect of administration fees, otherwise the charge is technically not due. Reality however dictates that you have no choice but to pay whatever is demanded should you wish to sell the property.
Burnley Leasehold Conveyancing - Examples of Questions you should consider before buying
Who takes responsibility for maintaining and repairing the block?
The prefered form of lease arrangement is a share of the freehold. In this situation the tenants benefit from control and although a managing agent is often employed where the building is bigger than a house conversion, the managing agent retained by the leaseholders.
For most Burnley leaseholds the cost for major works tend not to be included within service charges, albeit that there some managing agents in Burnley ask leasehold owners to contribute towards a reserve fund and this is used to offset against major works.