Frequently asked questions relating to Cross Hands leasehold conveyancing
I want to sublet my leasehold flat in Cross Hands. Conveyancing solicitor who did the purchase is retired - so can't ask him. Is permission from the freeholder required?
A lease dictates the relationship between the freeholder and you the flat owner; in particular, it will say if subletting is prohibited, or permitted but only subject to certain conditions. The accepted inference is that if the lease contains no specific ban or restriction, subletting is allowed. The majority of leases in Cross Hands do not prevent subletting altogether – such a provision would adversely affect the market value the property. Instead, there is usually a basic requirement that the owner notifies the freeholder, possibly supplying a duplicate of the sublease.
Back In 2001, I bought a leasehold house in Cross Hands. Conveyancing and Halifax mortgage went though with no issue. I have received a letter from someone saying they have taken over the freehold. It included a demand for arrears of ground rent dating back to 1992. The conveyancing solicitor in Cross Hands who previously acted has long since retired.Any advice?
The first thing you should do is make enquiries of HMLR to make sure that this person is in fact the new freeholder. There is no need to incur the fees of a Cross Hands conveyancing solicitor 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 looking at a couple of flats in Cross Hands which have about 50 years remaining on the lease term. Should I regard a short lease as a deal breaker?
There are no two ways about it. A leasehold flat in Cross Hands is a deteriorating asset as a result of the reducing lease term. The nearer the lease gets to its expiry date, the more it reduces the salability of the premises. The majority of buyers and banks, leases with under 75 years become less and less attractive. On a more upbeat 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 Cross Hands 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 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 the agreed 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.
Last month I purchased a leasehold house in Cross Hands. Am I liable to pay service charges for periods before 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).
All being well we will complete the sale of our £450000 garden flat in Cross Hands in nine days. The management company has quoted £336 for Certificate of Compliance, insurance certificate and previous years statements of service charge. Is the landlord entitled to charge such fees for a flat conveyance in Cross Hands?
Cross Hands conveyancing on leasehold flats often necessitates the purchaser’s conveyancer sending questions for the landlord to answer. Although the landlord is not legally bound to respond to these enquiries most will be willing to do so. They are entitled invoice a reasonable administration fee for responding to questions or supplying documentation. There is no upper cap for such fees. The average costs for the paperwork that you are referring to is over three hundred pounds, in some transactions it is above £800. The management information fee demanded by the landlord must be accompanied by a synopsis of entitlements and obligations in relation to administration fees, otherwise the charge is technically not due. Reality however dictates that you have little option but to pay whatever is requested of you should you wish to exchange contracts with the buyer.
Leasehold Conveyancing in Cross Hands - A selection of Questions you should ask Prior to Purchasing
How long is the Lease?
Where a Cross Hands lease has fewer than eighty years it will affect the salability of the property. Check with your mortgage company that they are willing to to proceed given the lease term. Leases with fewer than 80 years remaining means that you will almost definitely have to extend the lease sooner rather than later and it is worth finding out what this would cost. Remember, in most cases you will be required to have owned the premises for two years in order to be entitled to exercise a lease extension.
How many of the leaseholders are in arrears for their service charge payments?