Common questions relating to Chesterfield leasehold conveyancing
I am on look out for some leasehold conveyancing in Chesterfield. Before diving in I would like to find out the remaining lease term.
If the lease is recorded at the land registry - and most are in Chesterfield - 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.
I am intending to let out my leasehold flat in Chesterfield. Conveyancing solicitor who did the purchase is retired - so can't ask him. Is permission from the freeholder required?
A lease governs the relationship between the freeholder and you the leaseholder; in particular, it will indicate if subletting is not allowed, or permitted but only subject to certain caveats. The rule is that if the lease contains no specific ban or restriction, subletting is permitted. The majority of leases in Chesterfield do not contain strict prohibition on subletting – such a provision would undoubtedly devalue the property. Instead, there is usually simply a requirement that the owner notifies the freeholder, possibly sending a duplicate of the tenancy agreement.
Last month I purchased a leasehold flat in Chesterfield. Do I have any liability for service charges for periods before my ownership?
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. Strange as it may seem, 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 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).
I am employed by a long established estate agent office in Chesterfield where we have witnessed a few leasehold sales jeopardised due to leases having less than 80 years remaining. I have been given conflicting advice from local Chesterfield conveyancing firms. Could you confirm whether the vendor of a flat can instigate 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 start 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 has to be done before, 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.
What are your top tips when it comes to choosing a Chesterfield conveyancing firm to carry out our lease extension conveyancing?
When appointing a conveyancer for your lease extension (regardless if they are a Chesterfield conveyancing practice) it is imperative that they be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of work. We recommend that you make enquires with two or three firms including non Chesterfield conveyancing practices prior to instructing a firm. Where the conveyancing practice is ALEP accredited then that’s a bonus. Some following of questions could be of use:
- How familiar is the firm with lease extension legislation?
I acquired a 1 bedroom flat in Chesterfield, conveyancing was carried out 2002. Can you let me have an estimated range of the fair premium for a lease extension? Similar flats in Chesterfield with over 90 years remaining are worth £228,000. The ground rent is £60 per annum. The lease finishes on 21st October 2089
With only 67 years left to run the likely cost is going to range between £11,400 and £13,200 as well as professional fees.
The suggested premium range above a general guide to costs for extending a lease, but we are not able to supply a more accurate figure without more comprehensive due diligence. You should not use this information in a Notice of Claim or as an informal offer. There are no doubt additional issues that need to be taken into account 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 seeking the advice of a professional.