Recently asked questions relating to Dunstable leasehold conveyancing
My wife and I may need to let out our Dunstable ground floor flat temporarily due to a new job. We used a Dunstable conveyancing firm in 2003 but they have closed and we did not think at the time seek any advice as to whether the lease allows us to sublet. How do we find out?
The lease governs relations between the landlord and you the leaseholder; in particular, it will indicate if subletting is not allowed, or permitted but only subject to certain caveats. The accepted inference is that if the lease contains no specific ban or restriction, subletting is allowed. The majority of leases in Dunstable do not prevent subletting altogether – such a provision would adversely affect the market value the property. In most cases there is simply a requirement that the owner notifies the freeholder, possibly supplying a copy of the sublease.
I have just appointed agents to market my 2 bed flat in Dunstable.Conveyancing lawyers have not yet been instructed but I have just had a quarterly service charge invoice – should I leave it to the buyer to sort out?
Your conveyancing lawyer is likely to suggest that you should clear the invoice as normal because all ground rent and service charges will be apportioned on completion, so you will be reimbursed by the buyer for the period running from after the completion date to the next payment date. Most management companies will not acknowledge the buyer until the service charges have been paid and are up to date so it is important for both buyer and seller for the seller to show that they are up to date. Having a clear account will assist your cause and will leave you no worse off financially.
I today plan to offer on a house that appears to meet my requirements, at a reasonable price which is making it more attractive. I have since discovered that it's a leasehold as opposed to freehold. I am assuming that there are issues purchasing a leasehold house in Dunstable. Conveyancing lawyers have are soon to be instructed. Will they explain the issues?
The majority of houses in Dunstable are freehold and not leasehold. In this scenario it’s worth having a local solicitor used to dealing with such properties who can help the conveyancing process. We note that you are buying in Dunstable so you should seriously consider looking for a Dunstable conveyancing solicitor and be sure that they have experience in transacting on leasehold houses. As a matter of priority you will need to check the number of years remaining. As a leaseholder you will not be entirely free to do whatever you want to the property. The lease will likely included provisions such as requiring the freeholder’sconsent to carry out alterations. It may be necessary to pay a maintenance charge towards the maintenance of the estate where the property is located on an estate. Your lawyer will appraise you on the various issues.
Last month I purchased a leasehold flat in Dunstable. 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 owner 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).
What are your top tips when it comes to finding a Dunstable conveyancing firm to deal with our lease extension?
When appointing a property lawyer for lease extension works (regardless if they are a Dunstable conveyancing practice) it is most important that they be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of conveyancing. We recommend that you speak with several firms including non Dunstable conveyancing practices before you instructing a firm. If the firm is ALEP accredited then that’s a bonus. Some following of questions could be useful:
- If the firm is not ALEP accredited then what is the reason?
I bought a garden flat in Dunstable, conveyancing having been completed in 2004. 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? Corresponding properties in Dunstable with a long lease are worth £186,000. The average or mid-range amount of ground rent is £65 invoiced annually. The lease comes to an end on 21st October 2073
With just 53 years left to run we estimate the premium for your lease extension to span between £29,500 and £34,000 plus costs.
The suggested premium range above a general guide to costs for renewing a lease, but we cannot give you a more accurate figure without more comprehensive due diligence. You should not use this information in a Notice of Claim or as an informal offer. There are no doubt additional issues that need to be considered and you obviously want to be as accurate as possible in your negotiations. Please do not move forward based on this information without first getting professional advice.