Cirencester leasehold conveyancing: Q and A’s
My partner and I may need to rent out our Cirencester basement flat for a while due to a new job. We used a Cirencester conveyancing practice in 2002 but they have closed and we did not think at the time seek any advice as to whether the lease permits subletting. How do we find out?
A small minority of properties in Cirencester 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 consent.
Estate agents have just been given the go-ahead to market my 2 bed apartment in Cirencester.Conveyancing has not commenced but I have just received a quarterly maintenance charge demand – what should I do?
The sensible thing to do is pay 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 managing agents 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. Having a clear account will assist your cause and will leave you no worse off financially.
I am looking at a two apartments in Cirencester both have in the region of 50 years unexpired on the leases. Should I regard a short lease as a deal breaker?
There are plenty of short leases in Cirencester. The lease is a right to use the premises for a period of time. As the lease shortens the value of the lease decreases and it becomes more costly to extend the lease. This is why it is advisable to increase the term of the lease. More often than not it is difficulties arise selling premises with a short lease as mortgage lenders less inclined to grant a loan on such properties. Lease extension can be a protracted process. We recommend you get professional help from a solicitor and surveyor with experience in this arena
I am employed by a long established estate agent office in Cirencester where we have witnessed a few leasehold sales jeopardised as a result of leases having less than 80 years remaining. I have received conflicting advice from local Cirencester conveyancing firms. Please can you shed some light as to whether the vendor of a flat can start the lease extension process 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 kick-start the lease extension process and assign the benefit of the notice to the purchaser. The benefit of this is that the proposed purchaser can avoid having to sit tight for 2 years for a lease extension. 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 disposal of the property.
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 buyer.
All being well we will complete the sale of our £225000 garden flat in Cirencester on Tuesday in a week. The freeholder has quoted £408 for Landlord’s certificate, building insurance schedule and previous years service charge statements. Is the landlord entitled to charge exorbitant fees for a leasehold conveyance in Cirencester?
Cirencester conveyancing on leasehold flats normally involves the purchaser’s conveyancer sending questions for the landlord to answer. Although the landlord is not legally bound to address these enquiries most will be willing to assist. They are entitled charge a reasonable administration fee for responding to questions or supplying documentation. There is no set fee. The average fee for the information that you are referring to is £350, in some transactions it is in excess of £800. The management information fee invoiced by the landlord must be sent together with a summary of entitlements and obligations in relation to administration fees, without which the invoice is not strictly payable. In reality one has little choice but to pay whatever is demanded if you want to complete the sale of your home.
Cirencester Conveyancing for Leasehold Flats - Sample of Queries Prior to Purchasing
On the whole the cost for major works are not included within maintenance charges, albeit that there some managing agents in Cirencester obliged tenants to pay into a sinking fund and this is used to offset against larger works.
Best to be warned whether a new roof is being put on or some other major work is due in the near future to be shared amongst the leasehold owners and will dramatically impact the level of the maintenance costs or result in a specific payment.
It would be wise to discover as much as you can concerning the company managing the block as they can either make your life much easier or uncomfortable. Being a leasehold owner you are often in the clutches of the managing agents both financially and when it comes to practical issues like the cleanliness of the communal areas. Ask prospective neighbours if they are happy with their service. On a final note, find out the dates that the service charges are due to the managing agents and specifically what it includes.