Questions and Answers: Canford Cliffs leasehold conveyancing
I wish to rent out my leasehold flat in Canford Cliffs. Conveyancing solicitor who did the purchase is retired - so can't ask her. Is permission from the freeholder required?
Some leases for properties in Canford Cliffs 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’m about to sell my garden flat in Canford Cliffs.Conveyancing is yet to be initiated but I have just had a yearly service charge invoice – what should I do?
Your conveyancing lawyer is likely to suggest that you should discharge 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 management companies will not acknowledge the buyer unless 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 attracted to a two apartments in Canford Cliffs both have in the region of fifty years unexpired on the leases. Will this present a problem?
There is no doubt about it. A leasehold apartment in Canford Cliffs is a wasting asset as a result of the shortening lease. The nearer the lease gets to zero years unexpired, the more it reduces the salability of the property. For most buyers and lenders, leases with under 75 years become less and less marketable. 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 property 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 premises 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 Canford Cliffs 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 agent office in Canford Cliffs where we have experienced a number of leasehold sales put at risk due to short leases. I have been given contradictory information from local Canford Cliffs conveyancing solicitors. Please can you clarify whether the seller of a flat can start 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. The benefit of this is 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 before, or at the same time as 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 purchaser.
What are your top tips when it comes to choosing a Canford Cliffs conveyancing practice to deal with our lease extension?
When appointing a solicitor for your lease extension (regardless if they are a Canford Cliffs conveyancing practice) it is imperative that they be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of work. We recommend that you speak with two or three firms including non Canford Cliffs conveyancing practices prior to instructing a firm. If the firm is ALEP accredited then that’s a bonus. Some following of questions could be helpful:
- If the firm is not ALEP accredited then what is the reason?
I acquired a 1 bedroom flat in Canford Cliffs, conveyancing formalities finalised in 2001. Can you let me have an estimated range of the fair premium for a lease extension? Equivalent properties in Canford Cliffs with over 90 years remaining are worth £240,000. The ground rent is £65 levied per year. The lease comes to an end on 21st October 2095
You have 72 years left to run we estimate the price of your lease extension to range between £8,600 and £9,800 as well as professional fees.
The figure that we have given is a general guide to costs for renewing a lease, but we cannot give you the actual costs in the absence of comprehensive due diligence. You should not use the figures in tribunal or court proceedings. There may be additional issues that need to be considered and clearly you should be as accurate as possible in your negotiations. You should not move forward placing reliance on this information before seeking the advice of a professional.