Colchester leasehold conveyancing: Q and A’s
I would like to rent out my leasehold flat in Colchester. Conveyancing solicitor who did the purchase is retired - so can't ask her. Is permission from the freeholder required?
Your lease governs relations between the freeholder and you the leaseholder; specifically, 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. Most leases in Colchester do not contain subletting altogether – such a provision would undoubtedly devalue the flat. In most cases there is a basic requirement that the owner notifies the freeholder, possibly supplying a copy of the sublease.
My wife and I purchased a leasehold flat in Colchester. Conveyancing and Chelsea Building Society mortgage organised. A letter has just been received from someone saying they have taken over the reversionary interest in the property. It included a ground rent demand for rent dating back to 1993. The conveyancing solicitor in Colchester who acted for me is not around.Do I pay?
First make enquiries of the Land Registry to make sure that this person is in fact the new freeholder. There is no need to incur the fees of a Colchester conveyancing firm to do this as you can do this on the Land Registry website for less than a fiver. Rest assured that regardless, even if this is the rightful freeholder, under the Limitation Act 1980 no more than 6 years of rent can be collected.
I am attracted to a two apartments in Colchester which have in the region of forty five years unexpired on the leases. Will this present a problem?
There are no two ways about it. A leasehold apartment in Colchester 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 value of the premises. For most purchasers and mortgage companies, 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 property 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 Colchester conveyancing experts who will explain the options available to you during an initial telephone conversation free of charge. More often than not it is possible to negotiate informally with the freeholder to extend the lease You may find he or she is happy to negotiate informally and willing to consider your offer straight off, without having to involve anyone else. This will save you time and money and it could help you reach a lower price on the lease. 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.
Can you offer any advice when it comes to choosing a Colchester conveyancing firm to deal with our lease extension?
If you are instructing a solicitor for lease extension works (regardless if they are a Colchester conveyancing practice) it is imperative that he or she should be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of work. We suggested that you make enquires with several firms including non Colchester conveyancing practices before you instructing a firm. If the firm is ALEP accredited then so much the better. Some following of questions could be useful:
- How familiar is the firm with lease extension legislation?
If all goes to plan we aim to complete the disposal of our £500000 flat in Colchester in 10 days. The freeholder has quoted £420 for Certificate of Compliance, building insurance schedule and previous years statements of service charge. Is it legal for a freeholder to charge such fees for a flat conveyance in Colchester?
Colchester conveyancing on leasehold apartments normally involves the buyer’s solicitor submitting enquiries for the landlord to address. Although the landlord is under no legal obligation to respond to such questions the majority will be content to do so. They are at liberty charge a reasonable charge for answering enquiries or supplying documentation. There is no upper cap for such fees. The average costs for the information that you are referring to is £350, in some situations it exceeds £800. The administration charge demanded by the landlord must be accompanied by a synopsis of entitlements and obligations in relation to administration fees, without which the charge is not strictly payable. Reality however dictates that you have little choice but to pay whatever is demanded if you want to exchange contracts with the buyer.
Colchester Conveyancing for Leasehold Flats - Examples of Queries Prior to buying
Does the lease include onerous restrictions?
Are there any major works in the planning that will likely add a premium to the service costs?
Make sure you discover if there are any onerous prohibitions in the lease. For example it is reasonably common in Colchester leases that pets are not permitted in in a block in Colchester. If you love the apartmentin Colchester however your dog is not allowed to make the move with you then you have a very difficult decision.