Frequently asked questions relating to Chalfont St Giles leasehold conveyancing
I wish to let out my leasehold apartment in Chalfont St Giles. Conveyancing solicitor who did the purchase is retired - so can't ask him. Is permission from the freeholder required?
Some leases for properties in Chalfont St Giles do contain a provision to say that subletting is only allowed with permission. The landlord cannot unreasonably refuse but, in such cases, they would need to see references. Experience suggests 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've found a house that appears to meet my requirements, at a great price which is making it more attractive. I have subsequently discovered that the title is leasehold rather than freehold. I am assuming that there are issues buying a house with a leasehold title in Chalfont St Giles. Conveyancing solicitors have are soon to be instructed. Will they explain the issues?
The majority of houses in Chalfont St Giles are freehold and not 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 buying in Chalfont St Giles so you should seriously consider looking for a Chalfont St Giles conveyancing solicitor and check that they have experience in transacting on leasehold houses. As a matter of priority you will need to check the unexpired lease term. As a lessee you will not be entirely free to do whatever you want to the property. The lease comes with conditions such as obtaining the freeholder’spermission to conduct changes to the property. You may also be required to pay a maintenance charge towards the upkeep of the communal areas where the property is located on an estate. Your lawyer will report to you on the legal implications.
I've recently bought a leasehold flat in Chalfont St Giles. Am I liable to pay service charges relating to a period prior to 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).
I am employed by a busy estate agency in Chalfont St Giles where we see a number of leasehold sales jeopardised due to leases having less than 80 years remaining. I have received conflicting advice from local Chalfont St Giles conveyancing solicitors. Please can you confirm whether the vendor of a flat can start the lease extension formalities for the buyer?
As long as 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 to extend their lease. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment needs to be completed prior to, or simultaneously with completion of the disposal of the property.
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.
Our conveyancer has advised that he intends to complete and exchange simultaneously on our sale of a £200000 garden flat in Chalfont St Giles next week. The freeholder has quoted £408 for Certificate of Compliance, insurance certificate and previous years statements of service charge. Is it legal for a freeholder to charge such fees for a leasehold conveyance in Chalfont St Giles?
Chalfont St Giles conveyancing on leasehold flats more often than not requires the buyer’s lawyer submitting questions for the landlord to answer. Although the landlord is under no legal obligation to answer these enquiries most will be willing to assist. They are entitled levy a reasonable charge for answering questions or supplying documentation. There is no upper cap for such fees. The average fee for the information that you are referring to is £350, in some transactions it is above £800. The administration charge invoiced by the landlord must be accompanied by a summary of rights and obligations in relation to administration charges, without which the charge is not strictly payable. Reality however dictates that one has no choice but to pay whatever is demanded should you wish to exchange contracts with the buyer.
Chalfont St Giles Conveyancing for Leasehold Flats - A selection of Questions you should ask before buying
Is the freehold owned collectively by the leaseholders?
Are there any major works on the horizon that will add a premium to the service costs?
Make sure you find out if the the lease includes any unreasonable restrictions in the lease. For example it is reasonably common in Chalfont St Giles leases that pets are not allowed in certain buildings in Chalfont St Giles. If you love the flatin Chalfont St Giles but your cat can’t move with you then you will be presented with a difficult decision.