Experts for Leasehold Conveyancing in Darley Abbey

Whether you are buying or selling leasehold flat in Darley Abbey, our panel of leasehold conveyancing experts will help you move with as little stress as possible. Find a Darley Abbey conveyancing lawyer with our search tool

Darley Abbey leasehold conveyancing: Q and A’s

I would like to sublet my leasehold flat in Darley Abbey. Conveyancing solicitor who did the purchase is retired - so can't ask him. Is permission from the freeholder required?

Notwithstanding that your previous Darley Abbey conveyancing lawyer is no longer around you can review your lease to see if you are permitted to let out the apartment. The accepted inference is that if the deeds are silent, subletting is allowed. Quite often there is a prerequisite that you need to seek permission via your landlord or some other party prior to subletting. This means you not allowed to sublet in the absence of first obtaining consent. Such consent is not allowed to be unreasonably refused ore delayed. If the lease does not allow you to sublet you should ask your landlord for their consent.

I've recently bought a leasehold flat in Darley Abbey. Am I liable to pay service charges relating to a period prior to completion of my purchase?

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. However, 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 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).

I am a negotiator for a long established estate agency in Darley Abbey where we see a number of flat sales jeopardised due to short leases. I have been given conflicting advice from local Darley Abbey conveyancing firms. Could you clarify whether the seller of a flat can instigate the lease extension process for the buyer?

As long as the seller has been the owner for at least 2 years it is possible, to serve a Section 42 notice to kick-start 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 has to be done before, or simultaneously with completion of the sale.

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 buyer.

What advice can you give us when it comes to choosing a Darley Abbey conveyancing practice to carry out our lease extension conveyancing?

When appointing a property lawyer for your lease extension (regardless if they are a Darley Abbey conveyancing practice) it is imperative that they be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of work. We suggested that you talk with several firms including non Darley Abbey conveyancing practices prior to instructing a firm. Where the conveyancing practice is ALEP accredited then that’s a bonus. Some following of questions might be helpful:

  • What volume of lease extensions have they completed in Darley Abbey in the last 12 months?
  • What are the legal fees for lease extension conveyancing?

  • Do you have any advice for leasehold conveyancing in Darley Abbey from the point of view of expediting the sale process?

    • Much of the frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Darley Abbey can be reduced where you appoint lawyers as soon as your agents start advertising the property and ask them to put together the leasehold information needed by the purchasers’ representatives.
    • The majority landlords or managing agents in Darley Abbey 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 receive management information is three weeks. It is the most frequent cause of delay in leasehold conveyancing in Darley Abbey.
  • If you have carried out any alterations to the property would they have required Landlord’s permission? In particular have you installed wooden flooring? Darley Abbey leases often stipulate that internal structural changes or installing wooden flooring calls for a licence from the Landlord acquiescing to such works. Should you fail to have the approvals in place you should not communicate with the landlord without checking with your conveyancer first.
  • Some Darley Abbey leases require Licence to Assign from the landlord. If this applies to your lease, you should notify your estate agents to make sure that the purchasers obtain financial (bank) and professional references. The bank reference should make it clear that the buyer is able to meet the yearly 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 purchasers or their lawyers.
  • If there is a history of any disputes with your landlord or managing agents it is very important that these are resolved before the property is marketed. The buyers and their solicitors will be reluctant to purchase a flat where there is an ongoing dispute. You will have to accept that you will have to discharge any arrears of service charge or settle the dispute prior to completion of the sale. 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 details of the dispute to the buyers, but it is clearly preferable to reveal the dispute as historic rather than unsettled.

  • Darley Abbey Conveyancing for Leasehold Flats - A selection of Questions you should consider before buying

      You should be aware if it is fewer than 80 years it will impact the value of the property. Check with your mortgage company that they are willing to go ahead with the loan given the lease term. A short lease means that you will probably require a lease extension at some point and it is worth discovering what this would cost. For most Darley Abbeylease extensions you will need to own the premises for two years before you are entitled to exercise a lease extension. The majority of Darley Abbey leasehold flats will have a service charge for the upkeep of the building levied by the management company. Should you purchase the apartment you will have to meet this contribution, usually quarterly during the year. This may differ from two or three hundred pounds to thousands of pounds for large purpose-built blocks. There will also be a ground rent to be met annual, this is usually not a significant sum, say approximately £50-£100 but you need to check it because occasionally it could be surprisingly expensive. The best form of lease structure 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 frequently employed if it is bigger than a house conversion, the managing agent employed by the leaseholders.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Darley Abbey