Fixed-fee leasehold conveyancing in Cotswolds:

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Sample questions relating to Cotswolds leasehold conveyancing

I wish to let out my leasehold apartment in Cotswolds. Conveyancing solicitor who did the purchase is retired - so can't ask him. Do I need to ask my freeholder for permission?

Notwithstanding that your last Cotswolds conveyancing lawyer is not around you can check your lease to check if it allows you to sublet the property. The rule is that if the deeds are silent, subletting is allowed. There may be a precondition that you need to seek consent via your landlord or some other party prior to subletting. The net result is you not allowed to sublet without first obtaining permission. Such consent must not not be unreasonably refused ore delayed. If the lease does not allow you to sublet you will need to ask your landlord if they are willing to waive this restriction.

I am attracted to a couple of apartments in Cotswolds which have approximately fifty years left on the leases. Do I need to be concerned?

There are plenty of short leases in Cotswolds. The lease is a right to use the premises for a period of time. As a lease gets shorter the saleability of the lease deteriorate and it becomes more costly to extend the lease. For this reason it is generally wise to extend the lease term. More often than not it is difficulties arise selling premises with a short lease as mortgage lenders less inclined to grant a loan on properties of this type. Lease enfranchisement can be a difficult process. We advise that you get professional help from a solicitor and surveyor with experience in this arena

Last month I purchased a leasehold flat in Cotswolds. Am I liable to pay service charges relating to a period prior to my ownership?

In a situation 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. It is an essential part of leasehold conveyancing for your conveyancer to be sure 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 busy estate agent office in Cotswolds where we have witnessed a few flat sales jeopardised as a result of short leases. I have received inconsistent advice from local Cotswolds conveyancing solicitors. Please can you confirm whether the seller of a flat can initiate the lease extension formalities for the purchaser on completion of the sale?

Provided that 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 buyer 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 simultaneously with 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 purchaser.

Can you provide any top tips for leasehold conveyancing in Cotswolds with the intention of expediting the sale process?

  • Much of the delay in leasehold conveyancing in Cotswolds can be bypassed if you get in touch lawyers as soon as you market your property and request that they start to put together the leasehold information needed by the purchasers’ representatives.
  • The majority freeholders or managing agents in Cotswolds levy fees for providing management packs for a leasehold premises. You or your lawyers should discover the actual amount of the charges. The management pack sought on or before finding a buyer, thus reducing delays. The average time it takes to receive management information is three weeks. It is the most usual cause of frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Cotswolds.
  • If you have carried out any alterations to the residence would they have required Landlord’s permission? Have you, for example laid down wooden flooring? Most leases in Cotswolds state that internal structural changes or addition of wooden flooring calls for a licence from the Landlord approving such works. Should you fail to have the consents to hand do not contact the landlord without checking with your lawyer before hand.
  • If you are supposed to have a share in the freehold, you should make sure that you have the original share document. Obtaining a replacement share certificate is often a time consuming formality and slows down many a Cotswolds home move. If a reissued share certificate is required, you should approach the company director and secretary or managing agents (if applicable) for this at the earliest opportunity.
  • You may think that you are aware of the number of years remaining on your lease but it would be wise to double-check via your solicitors. A purchaser's conveyancer will not be happy to advise their client to to exchange contracts if the remaining number of years is under 80 years. In the circumstances it is essential at an as soon as possible that you identify whether the lease requires a lease extension. If it does, contact your solicitors before you put your property on the market for sale.

  • I am the registered owner of a garden flat in Cotswolds, conveyancing formalities finalised 10 years ago. Can you let me have an estimate of the premium that my landlord can legally expect in return for granting a renewal of my lease? Similar flats in Cotswolds with an extended lease are worth £206,000. The ground rent is £60 charged once a year. The lease ceases on 21st October 2077

    With 56 years left to run we estimate the price of your lease extension to be between £26,600 and £30,800 as well as legals.

    The figure that we have given is a general guide to costs for renewing a lease, but we are not able to provide the actual costs in the absence of detailed investigations. You should not use this information in tribunal or court proceedings. There are no doubt other concerns that need to be taken into account and you obviously want to be as accurate as possible in your negotiations. Neither should you take any other action based on this information before getting professional advice.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Cotswolds