Questions and Answers: Dursley leasehold conveyancing
I would like to rent out my leasehold flat in Dursley. Conveyancing solicitor who did the purchase is retired - so can't ask him. Do I need to ask my freeholder for permission?
The lease governs relations between the freeholder and you the leaseholder; specifically, it will say if subletting is not allowed, or permitted but only subject to certain caveats. The rule is that if the lease contains no specific ban or restriction, subletting is allowed. The majority of leases in Dursley do not contain strict prohibition on subletting – 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 sending a copy of the tenancy agreement.
I have recently realised that I have 68 years left on my flat in Dursley. I am keen to get lease extension but my freeholder is can not be found. What are my options?
If you meet the appropriate requirements, under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 you can submit an application to the County Court for for permission to dispense with the service of the initial notice. This will mean that your lease can be granted an extra 90 years by the Court. You will be obliged to demonstrate that you have used your best endeavours to track down the landlord. For most situations an enquiry agent should be useful to carry out a search and prepare a report which can be accepted by the court as evidence that the freeholder can not be located. It is wise to seek advice from a property lawyer both on proving the landlord’s absence and the application to the County Court covering Dursley.
Last month I purchased a leasehold property in Dursley. Am I liable to pay service charges relating to a period prior to 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. 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).
Can you offer any advice when it comes to appointing a Dursley conveyancing firm to deal with our lease extension?
If you are instructing a conveyancer for your lease extension (regardless if they are a Dursley conveyancing practice) it is most important that he or she should be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of work. We suggested that you make enquires with several firms including non Dursley conveyancing practices before you instructing a firm. If the firm is ALEP accredited then that’s a bonus. Some following of questions could be of use:
- If the firm is not ALEP accredited then what is the reason?
In relation to leasehold conveyancing in Dursley what are the most frequent lease problems?
There is nothing unique about leasehold conveyancing in Dursley. All leases are individual and drafting errors can sometimes mean that certain provisions are missing. For example, if your lease is missing any of the following, it could be defective:
- Repairing obligations to or maintain elements of the premises
- Insurance obligations
- Clauses dealing with recovering service charges for expenditure on the building or common parts.
- Service charge per centages that don't add up correctly leaving a shortfall
A defective lease will likely cause issues when trying to sell a property primarily because it impacts on the ability to obtain a mortgage on the property. National Westminster Bank, Coventry Building Society, and Alliance & Leicester all have express conveyancing instructions when it comes to what is expected in a lease. If a mortgage lender believes that the lease does not cover certain provisions they may refuse to grant the mortgage, obliging the purchaser to withdraw.
Dursley Leasehold Conveyancing - Examples of Questions you should consider before buying
Generally speaking the cost for major works tend not to be incorporated into the maintenance charges, albeit that there some managing agents in Dursley require leaseholders to contribute towards a sinking fund created for the specific purpose of establishing a fund for major works.
It is important to be aware if fixing the lift or some other significant cost is due in the near future to be shared between the leaseholders and could well dramatically increase the the service fees or result in a one time payment.
How long is the Lease?