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Top Five Questions relating to Chesterfield leasehold conveyancing

I would like to rent out my leasehold flat in Chesterfield. Conveyancing solicitor who did the purchase is retired - so can't ask him. Do I need to ask my freeholder for their consent?

Some leases for properties in Chesterfield 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 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 have just started marketing my garden flat in Chesterfield.Conveyancing lawyers have not yet been instructed but I have just had a yearly service charge invoice – should I leave it to the buyer to sort out?

It best that you 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 management companies 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 attracted to a couple of apartments in Chesterfield which have in the region of forty five years remaining on the leases. Will this present a problem?

There is no doubt about it. A leasehold apartment in Chesterfield is a wasting asset as a result of the shortening lease. The closer the lease gets to its expiry date, the more it reduces the salability of the premises. For most purchasers and lenders, 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 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 Chesterfield conveyancing experts who will explain the options available to you during an initial telephone conversation free of charge. A more straightforward and quicker method of extending would be to contact your landlord directly and sound him out on the prospect of extending 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've recently bought a leasehold house in Chesterfield. Am I liable to pay service charges relating to a period prior to completion of my purchase?

In a situation 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. However, your landlord may still be able to take action to forfeit the lease. A critical element of leasehold conveyancing for your conveyancer to be sure 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).

What advice can you give us when it comes to appointing a Chesterfield conveyancing practice to deal with our lease extension?

When appointing a property lawyer for your lease extension (regardless if they are a Chesterfield conveyancing firm) it is most important that he or she should be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of conveyancing. We recommend that you make enquires with two or three firms including non Chesterfield conveyancing practices before you instructing a firm. If the firm is ALEP accredited then so much the better. Some following of questions might be helpful:

  • How familiar is the practice with lease extension legislation?
  • What are the legal fees for lease extension work?

  • I own a 2 bed flat in Chesterfield, conveyancing formalities finalised half a dozen years ago. Can you shed any light on how much the price could be for a 90 year extension to my lease? Corresponding flats in Chesterfield with over 90 years remaining are worth £236,000. The ground rent is £50 invoiced every year. The lease terminates on 21st October 2098

    With only 77 years unexpired we estimate the price of your lease extension to range between £8,600 and £9,800 plus professional fees.

    The figure that we have given is a general guide to costs for renewing a lease, but we cannot give you a more accurate figure without more detailed investigations. Do not use this information in tribunal or court proceedings. There are no doubt other concerns that need to be taken into account and you obviously want to be as accurate as possible in your negotiations. You should not move forward placing reliance on this information before getting professional advice.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Chesterfield