Fixed-fee leasehold conveyancing in Chalfont St Peter:

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Common questions relating to Chalfont St Peter leasehold conveyancing

Harry (my fiance) and I may need to sub-let our Chalfont St Peter ground floor flat temporarily due to a career opportunity. We instructed a Chalfont St Peter conveyancing firm in 2004 but they have since shut and we did not think at the time get any guidance as to whether the lease allows us to sublet. How do we find out?

A small minority of properties in Chalfont St Peter do contain a provision to say that subletting is only allowed with permission. The landlord cannot unreasonably withhold 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 have just appointed agents to market my ground floor apartment in Chalfont St Peter.Conveyancing solicitors are to be appointed soon but I have just had a half-yearly service charge demand – Do I pay up?

The sensible thing to do is clear the invoice 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 managing agents will not acknowledge the buyer until 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. Having a clear account will assist your cause and will leave you no worse off financially.

I am a negotiator for a long established estate agent office in Chalfont St Peter where we see a number of leasehold sales derailed due to leases having less than 80 years remaining. I have been given conflicting advice from local Chalfont St Peter conveyancing solicitors. Can you shed some light as to whether the vendor of a flat can start the lease extension formalities for the buyer?

As long as the seller has owned the lease 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 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 needs to be completed before, or at the same time as 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 £325000 flat in Chalfont St Peter in 10 days. The managing agents has quoted £384 for Certificate of Compliance, insurance certificate and 3 years statements of service charge. Is the landlord entitled to charge such fees for a leasehold conveyance in Chalfont St Peter?

For the majority of leasehold sales in Chalfont St Peter conveyancing will involve, questions about the management of a building inevitably needing to be answered directly by the freeholder or its agent, this includes :

  • Answering pre-exchange enquiries
  • Where consent is required before sale in Chalfont St Peter
  • Supplying insurance information
  • Deeds of covenant upon sale
  • Registering of the assignment of the change of lessee after a sale
Your solicitor will have no control over the level of the charges for this information but the average costs for the information for Chalfont St Peter leasehold premises is £350. For Chalfont St Peter conveyancing transactions it is customary for the seller to pay for these costs. The landlord or their agents are under no legal obligation to answer such questions most will be willing to do so - albeit often at exorbitant prices where the fees bear little relation to the work involved. Unfortunately there is no law that requires fixed charges for administrative tasks. Neither is there any legal time frame by which they are required to provide the information.

After years of negotiations we simply can't agree with our landlord on how much the lease extension should cost for our flat in Chalfont St Peter. Can we issue an application to the Residential Property Tribunal Service?

Where there is a absentee landlord or where there is disagreement about the premium for a lease extension, under the relevant statutes you can apply to the First-tier Tribunal (Property Chamber) to judgment on the price payable.

An example of a Lease Extension decision for a Chalfont St Peter residence is Flats 8, 11 and 15 Craigmore Court 46 Murray Road in December 2013. The tribunal held that the price payable by the Applicant tenant of Flat 8 to acquire an extended lease shall be £26,438 plus £1 to the intermediate lessee . The tribunal held that the price payable by the Applicant tenants of Flat 11 to acquire an extended lease shall be £26,791 plus £1 to the intermediate lessee. The tribunal held that the price payable by the Applicant tenant of Flat 15 to acquire an extended lease shall be £26,638 plus £1 to the intermediate lessee . This case affected 3 flats. The unexpired lease term was 71 years.

What are the common defects that you come across in leases for Chalfont St Peter properties?

There is nothing unique about leasehold conveyancing in Chalfont St Peter. Most leases is drafted differently and drafting errors can result in certain provisions are not included. The following missing provisions could result in a defective lease:

  • Repairing obligations to or maintain elements of the premises
  • Insurance obligations
  • A provision for the recovery of money spent for the benefit of another party.
  • Maintenance charge proportions which don’t add up to the correct percentage

A defective lease will likely cause issues when trying to sell a property as they can affect a potential buyer’s ability to obtain a mortgage. Nationwide Building Society, Barnsley Building Society, and TSB all have very detailed requirements when it comes to what is expected in a lease. Where a lender has been advised by their lawyers that the lease is defective they may refuse to provide security, forcing the purchaser to withdraw.

Other Topics

Lease Extensions in Chalfont St Peter