Leasehold Conveyancing in Cotham - Get a Quote from the leasehold experts approved by your lender

Need to find a solicitor for leasehold conveyancing in Cotham on your lender’s panel? Use our search tool to find leading local Cotham conveyancing practitioners or nationwide solicitors on your lender’s panel .

Questions and Answers: Cotham leasehold conveyancing

My husband and I may need to rent out our Cotham basement flat for a while due to taking a sabbatical. We used a Cotham conveyancing firm 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 dictates the relationship between the freeholder and you the leaseholder; specifically, it will indicate if subletting is prohibited, or permitted but only subject to certain caveats. The rule is that if the lease contains no specific ban or restriction, subletting is allowed. The majority of leases in Cotham do not prevent subletting altogether – such a clause would undoubtedly devalue the flat. In most cases there is simply a requirement that the owner notifies the freeholder, possibly sending a copy of the sublease.

Back In 2009, I bought a leasehold flat in Cotham. Conveyancing and Skipton Building Society mortgage organised. A letter has just been received from someone claiming to own the reversionary interest in the property. It included a ground rent demand for rent dating back to 1993. The conveyancing solicitor in Cotham who previously acted has long since retired.Any advice?

First make enquiries of HMLR to be sure that the individual purporting to own the freehold is in fact the new freeholder. It is not necessary to instruct a Cotham conveyancing firm to do this as it can be done on-line for a few pound. You should note that in any event, even if this is the legitimate freeholder, under the Limitation Act 1980 no more than 6 years of rent can be collected.

I am a negotiator for a busy estate agency in Cotham where we see a number of flat sales jeopardised as a result of leases having less than 80 years remaining. I have received conflicting advice from local Cotham conveyancing solicitors. Could you clarify whether the owner of a flat can instigate the lease extension process for the purchaser on completion of the sale?

As long as the seller has owned the lease 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 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 needs to be completed before, or at the same time as completion of the disposal of the property.

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.

What advice can you give us when it comes to appointing a Cotham conveyancing practice to deal with our lease extension?

When appointing a property lawyer for lease extension works (regardless if they are a Cotham conveyancing firm) it is imperative that they be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of conveyancing. We recommend that you speak with two or three firms including non Cotham conveyancing practices prior to instructing a firm. Where the conveyancing practice is ALEP accredited then so much the better. Some following of questions might be helpful:

  • How familiar is the practice with lease extension legislation?
  • How many lease extensions have they completed in Cotham in the last twenty four months?

  • Can you provide any top tips for leasehold conveyancing in Cotham with the intention of saving time on the sale process?

    • Much of the frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Cotham can be reduced if you appoint lawyers as soon as your agents start marketing the property and request that they start to put together the leasehold information needed by the buyers conveyancers.
    • The majority freeholders or Management Companies in Cotham charge for supplying management packs for a leasehold homes. You or your lawyers should discover the actual amount of the charges. The management information can be applied for on or before finding a buyer, thus reducing delays. The typical amount of time it takes to obtain the necessary information is three weeks. It is the most usual reason for frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Cotham.
  • In the event that you altered the property did you need the Landlord’s approval? In particular have you laid down wooden flooring? Cotham leases often stipulate that internal structural alterations or laying down wooden flooring calls for a licence from the Landlord consenting to such changes. Should you fail to have the paperwork in place you should not contact the landlord without contacting your conveyancer in advance.
  • If you are supposed to have a share in the freehold, you should make sure that you are holding the original share document. Organising a re-issued share certificate can be a lengthy process and frustrates many a Cotham home move. If a duplicate share certificate is needed, you should approach the company director and secretary or managing agents (where relevant) for this at the earliest opportunity.
  • You may think that you are aware of the number of years left on your lease but you should verify this via your lawyers. A purchaser's lawyer will not be happy to advise their client to proceed with the purchase of a leasehold property the remaining number of years is less than 75 years. It is therefore important at an as soon as possible that you identify whether the lease term for your property needs extending. If it does, contact your solicitors before you put your property on the market for sale.

  • Cotham Conveyancing for Leasehold Flats - A selection of Queries Prior to buying

      What is the name of the managing agents? It would be wise to investigate if there is anything that is prohibited in the lease. By way of example it is fairly common in Cotham leases that pets are not permitted in certain buildings in Cotham. If you like the apartmentin Cotham however your cat can’t make the move with you then you will be faced difficult choice. How many of the leaseholders are in arrears for their maintenance charge payments?

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Cotham