Top Five Questions relating to Bury leasehold conveyancing
I am in need of some leasehold conveyancing in Bury. Before I set the wheels in motion I require certainty as to the number of years remaining on the lease.
Assuming the lease is recorded at the land registry - and almost all are in Bury - then the leasehold title will always include the basic details of the lease, namely the date; the term; and the original parties. From a conveyancing perspective such details then enable any prospective buyer and lender to confirm that any lease they are looking at is the one relevant to that title.For any other purpose, such as confirming how long the term was granted for and calculating what is left, then the register should be sufficient on it's own.
Helen (my wife) and I may need to rent out our Bury 1st floor flat for a while due to a career opportunity. We instructed a Bury conveyancing firm in 2001 but they have closed and we did not think at the time seek any guidance as to whether the lease allows us to sublet. How do we find out?
Your lease governs relations between the freeholder and you the leaseholder; in particular, it will set out if subletting is banned, or permitted but only subject to certain conditions. The rule is that if the lease contains no specific ban or restriction, subletting is permitted. Most leases in Bury do not prevent subletting altogether – such a clause would undoubtedly devalue the flat. In most cases there is simply a requirement that the owner notifies the freeholder, possibly supplying a copy of the sublease.
Having checked my lease I have discovered that there are only 68 years unexpired on my flat in Bury. I now wish to get lease extension but my landlord is missing. What are my options?
If you meet the appropriate requirements, under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 you can apply to the County Court for an order to dispense with the service of the initial notice. This will enable the lease to be granted an extra 90 years by the magistrate. You will be obliged to prove that you have used your best endeavours to track down the lessor. On the whole a specialist would be useful to carry out a search and prepare an expert document to be accepted by the court as evidence that the landlord can not be located. It is advisable to get professional help from a solicitor both on devolving into the landlord’s disappearance and the application to the County Court covering Bury.
I've recently bought a leasehold house in Bury. Do I have any liability for service charges for periods before my ownership?
Where the service charge has already been demanded from the previous owner and they have not paid you would not usually be personally liable for the arrears. Strange as it may seem, 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).
I work for a busy estate agent office in Bury where we have witnessed a few leasehold sales put at risk as a result of short leases. I have been given inconsistent advice from local Bury conveyancing solicitors. Please can you clarify whether the owner of a flat can initiate the lease extension process for the buyer?
Provided that the seller has been the owner for at least 2 years it is possible, to serve a Section 42 notice to commence the lease extension process and assign the benefit of the notice to the purchaser. The benefit of this is that the buyer need not have to sit tight for 2 years for a lease extension. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment needs to be completed prior to, or at the same time as completion of the disposal of the property.
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.
I am the registered owner of a ground floor flat in Bury, conveyancing formalities finalised 2001. Can you work out an approximate cost of a lease extension? Comparable properties in Bury with an extended lease are worth £239,000. The ground rent is £65 invoiced every year. The lease ends on 21st October 2090
You have 67 years remaining on your lease we estimate the price of your lease extension to span between £12,400 and £14,200 as well as professional fees.
The suggested premium range that we have given is a general guide to costs for extending a lease, but we are not able to provide the actual costs without more detailed due diligence. Do not use the figures in a Notice of Claim or as an informal offer. There may be additional concerns that need to be considered and clearly you should be as accurate as possible in your negotiations. Please do not take any other action based on this information without first getting professional advice.