Fixed-fee leasehold conveyancing in Clifton:

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Clifton leasehold conveyancing: Q and A’s

Harry (my fiance) and I may need to sub-let our Clifton basement flat temporarily due to taking a sabbatical. We instructed a Clifton conveyancing practice in 2004 but they have since shut and we did not think at the time seek any advice as to whether the lease prohibits the subletting of the flat. How do we find out?

A lease governs relations between the landlord and you the flat owner; specifically, it will indicate if subletting is banned, or permitted but only subject to certain conditions. The rule is that if the lease contains no specific ban or restriction, subletting is allowed. The majority of leases in Clifton do not contain an absolute prevention of subletting – such a provision would adversely affect the market value the flat. Instead, there is usually a basic requirement that the owner notifies the freeholder, possibly supplying a copy of the tenancy agreement.

Expecting to complete next month on a leasehold property in Clifton. Conveyancing lawyers have said that they report fully next week. Are there areas in the report that I should be focusing on?

Your report on title for your leasehold conveyancing in Clifton should include some of the following:

  • The length of the lease term You should be advised as what happens when the lease ends, and aware of the importance of not letting the lease term falling below eighty years
  • The total extent of the demise. This will be the property itself but might incorporate a roof space or basement if applicable.
  • Does the lease prevent you from renting out the property, or having a home office for business
  • Ground rent - how much and when you need to pay, and also know whether this is subject to change
  • The landlord’s rights to access the flat you be made aware that your landlord has rights of access and I know how much notice s/he must provide.
  • Whether the landlord has obligations to ensure rights of quiet enjoyment over your property and do you know what it means in practice?
  • The landlord’s obligations to repair and maintain the building. It is important that you know who is responsible for the repair and maintenance of every part of the building For details of the information to be contained in your report on your leasehold property in Clifton please enquire of your solicitor in ahead of your conveyancing in Clifton

  • I have just appointed agents to market my basement apartment in Clifton.Conveyancing is yet to be initiated but I have just received a quarterly maintenance charge demand – Do I pay up?

    It best that you 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 management companies 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. This will smooth the conveyancing process.

    My wife and I purchased a leasehold house in Clifton. Conveyancing and Skipton Building Society mortgage are in place. I have received a letter from someone claiming to own the freehold. It included a demand for arrears of ground rent dating back to 1998. The conveyancing practitioner in Clifton who acted for me is not around.Do I pay?

    First contact HMLR to make sure that the individual purporting to own the freehold is indeed the new freeholder. It is not necessary to instruct a Clifton conveyancing solicitor to do this as it can be done on-line for less than a fiver. Rest assured that in any event, even if this is the legitimate landlord, under the Limitation Act 1980 the limitation period for recovery of ground rent is six years.

    Do you have any advice for leasehold conveyancing in Clifton with the purpose of saving time on the sale process?

    • A significant proportion of the frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Clifton can be bypassed if you instruct lawyers as soon as you market your property and ask them to put together the leasehold documentation needed by the purchasers’ representatives.
    • If you have carried out any alterations to the residence would they have required Landlord’s consent? In particular have you laid down wooden flooring? Most leases in Clifton state that internal structural changes or laying down wooden flooring calls for a licence issued by the Landlord approving such works. Should you dont have the approvals in place do not contact the landlord without contacting your lawyer before hand.
  • Some Clifton leases require Landlord’s consent to the sale and approval of the buyers. If this is the case, you should place the estate agents on notice to make sure that the purchasers obtain bank and professional references. The bank reference should make it clear that the buyer is able to meet the annual service charge and the actual amount of the service charge should be quoted in the bank’s letter. You will therefore need to provide your estate agents with the service charge figures so that they can pass this information on to the buyers or their solicitors.
  • If you have had conflict with your landlord or managing agents it is essential that these are settled before the property is marketed. The buyers and their solicitors will be nervous about purchasing a property where there is a current dispute. You may need to swallow your pride and pay any arrears of service charge or resolve the dispute prior to the buyers completing the purchase. It is therefore preferable to have any dispute settled ahead of the contract papers being issued to the buyers’ solicitors. You are still duty bound to disclose particulars of the dispute to the purchasers, but it is better to present the dispute as historic as opposed to unresolved.
  • You may think that you are aware of the number of years remaining on your lease but it would be wise to verify this via your lawyers. A purchaser's conveyancer will not be happy to advise their client to where the lease term is under 75 years. In the circumstances it is essential at an early stage that you identify whether the lease requires a lease extension. If it does, contact your solicitors before you put your home on the market for sale.

  • Clifton Conveyancing for Leasehold Flats - Examples of Questions you should consider before Purchasing

      The prefered form of lease arrangement is a share of the freehold. In this situation the lessees benefit from being in charge if their destiny and even though a managing agent is usually employed where it is larger than a house conversion, the managing agent is directed by the tenants. Does the lease have onerous restrictions? What is the name of the managing agents?

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Clifton