Frequently asked questions relating to Cleckheaton leasehold conveyancing
Helen (my wife) and I may need to let out our Cleckheaton ground floor flat temporarily due to taking a sabbatical. We used a Cleckheaton conveyancing firm in 2004 but they have since shut and we did not think at the time get any advice as to whether the lease allows us to sublet. How do we find out?
Even though your last Cleckheaton conveyancing lawyer is no longer around you can review your lease to check if you are permitted to let out the apartment. The accepted inference is that if the lease is non-specific, subletting is permitted. Quite often there is a prerequisite that you must obtain consent via your landlord or other appropriate person prior to subletting. This means you not allowed to sublet in the absence of first obtaining consent. The consent is not allowed to be unreasonably refused ore delayed. If your lease does not allow you to sublet you should ask your landlord for their consent.
I have just appointed agents to market my ground floor apartment in Cleckheaton.Conveyancing is yet to be initiated but I have just had a yearly service charge invoice – Do I pay up?
Your conveyancing lawyer is likely to suggest that you should clear 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 couple of flats in Cleckheaton which have approximately forty five years remaining on the leases. Will this present a problem?
There is no doubt about it. A leasehold flat in Cleckheaton is a wasting asset as a result of the shortening lease. The nearer the lease gets to its expiry date, the more it adversely affects the value of the property. The majority of buyers and banks, leases with less than 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 Cleckheaton 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 any new 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 property in Cleckheaton. Do I have any liability for service charges relating to a period prior to completion of my purchase?
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. A critical element 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 reputable estate agent office in Cleckheaton where we have witnessed a number of leasehold sales put at risk as a result of leases having less than 80 years remaining. I have been given inconsistent advice from local Cleckheaton conveyancing solicitors. Could you shed some light as to whether the seller of a flat can commence 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 proposed purchaser 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 sale.
Alternatively, it may be possible to agree the lease extension with the freeholder 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.
I am the registered owner of a 1 bedroom flat in Cleckheaton, conveyancing formalities finalised 2000. Can you work out an approximate cost of a lease extension? Similar flats in Cleckheaton with an extended lease are worth £166,000. The average or mid-range amount of ground rent is £50 charged once a year. The lease terminates on 21st October 2077
With only 54 years unexpired we estimate the premium for your lease extension to range between £26,600 and £30,800 as well as legals.
The figure that we have given is a general guide to costs for extending a lease, but we are not able to supply a more accurate figure in the absence of detailed due diligence. Do not use this information in a Notice of Claim or as an informal offer. There may be additional issues that need to be taken into account and you obviously should be as accurate as possible in your negotiations. Please do not move forward based on this information without first getting professional advice.