Frequently asked questions relating to Denbigh leasehold conveyancing
Helen (my wife) and I may need to rent out our Denbigh ground floor flat for a while due to a career opportunity. We instructed a Denbigh conveyancing firm in 2001 but they have closed and we did not think at the time get any advice as to whether the lease allows us to sublet. How do we find out?
Notwithstanding that your previous Denbigh conveyancing lawyer is no longer around you can review your lease to check if it allows you to sublet the apartment. The rule is that if the deeds are non-specific, subletting is permitted. Quite often there is a prerequisite that you need to seek consent via your landlord or some other party before subletting. The net result is that you cannot sublet without first obtaining consent. Such consent is not allowed to 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 looking at a two apartments in Denbigh both have in the region of 50 years remaining on the lease term. should I be concerned?
There are no two ways about it. A leasehold flat in Denbigh is a wasting asset as a result of the reducing lease term. The nearer the lease gets to its expiry date, the more it adversely affects the marketability of the premises. For most buyers and banks, 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 property 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 Denbigh 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 They may agree to a smaller lump sum and an increase in the ground rent, but to shorter extension terms in return. 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.
I've recently bought a leasehold house in Denbigh. Do I have any liability for service charges for periods before my ownership?
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. A critical element 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 a negotiator for a reputable estate agency in Denbigh where we have witnessed a few leasehold sales derailed due to leases having less than 80 years remaining. I have been given inconsistent advice from local Denbigh conveyancing solicitors. Can you confirm whether the seller of a flat can start the lease extension formalities for the buyer?
As long as 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 wait 2 years for a lease extension. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment has to be done prior to, 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.
Do you have any advice for leasehold conveyancing in Denbigh from the perspective of speeding up the sale process?
- A significant proportion of the frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Denbigh can be reduced where you instruct lawyers as soon as you market your property and ask them to collate the leasehold information which will be required by the purchasers’ conveyancers.
- The majority landlords or managing agents in Denbigh charge for supplying management packs for a leasehold property. You or your lawyers should find out the fee that they propose to charge. The management information can be applied for as soon as you have a buyer, thus accelerating the process. The average time it takes to obtain the necessary information is three weeks. It is the most frequent cause of frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Denbigh.
I own a 1 bedroom flat in Denbigh, conveyancing formalities finalised 3 years ago. Can you shed any light on how much the price could be for a 90 year extension to my lease? Comparable properties in Denbigh with an extended lease are worth £205,000. The ground rent is £50 charged once a year. The lease terminates on 21st October 2085
With 62 years unexpired the likely cost is going to range between £20,000 and £23,000 as well as plus your own and the landlord's "reasonable" professional fees.
The suggested premium range that we have given is a general guide to costs for renewing a lease, but we cannot give you the actual costs without more comprehensive investigations. Do not use this information in a Notice of Claim or as an informal offer. There are no doubt other issues that need to be considered and you obviously should be as accurate as possible in your negotiations. You should not move forward based on this information before getting professional advice.