Earley leasehold conveyancing: Q and A’s
My fiance and I may need to rent out our Earley basement flat temporarily due to taking a sabbatical. We instructed a Earley conveyancing practice in 2004 but they have closed and we did not think at the time get any guidance as to whether the lease prohibits the subletting of the flat. How do we find out?
A lease dictates the relationship between the freeholder and you the flat owner; specifically, it will say if subletting is banned, or permitted but only subject to certain conditions. The rule is that if the lease contains no specific ban or restriction, subletting is allowed. The majority of leases in Earley do not contain strict prohibition on subletting – such a clause 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.
I am hoping to put an offer on a small detached house that seems to meet my requirements, at a great price which is making it more attractive. I have subsequently found out that it's a leasehold rather than freehold. I would have thought that there are particular concerns buying a house with a leasehold title in Earley. Conveyancing solicitors have not yet been appointed. Will they explain the issues?
Most houses in Earley are freehold and not leasehold. In this scenario it’s worth having a local solicitor who is familiar with the area can assist with the conveyancing process. We note that you are purchasing in Earley so you should seriously consider looking for a Earley conveyancing practitioner and be sure that they have experience in dealing with leasehold houses. As a matter of priority you will need to check the number of years remaining. Being a leaseholder you will not be entirely free to do whatever you want to the property. The lease comes with conditions such as requiring the freeholder’spermission to conduct changes to the property. You may also be required to pay a maintenance charge towards the maintenance of the communal areas where the property is located on an estate. Your solicitor should advise you fully on all the issues.
I own a leasehold flat in Earley. Conveyancing and Norwich and Peterborough Building Society mortgage went though with no issue. I have received a letter from someone saying they have taken over the freehold. Attached was a demand for arrears of ground rent dating back to 1991. The conveyancing practitioner in Earley who acted for me is not around.What should I do?
The first thing you should do is contact HMLR to be sure that the individual claiming to own the freehold is in fact the new freeholder. You do not need to instruct a Earley conveyancing firm to do this as you can do this on the Land Registry website for £3. Rest assured that regardless, even if this is the legitimate landlord, under the Limitation Act 1980 the limitation period for recovery of ground rent is six years.
Do you have any advice for leasehold conveyancing in Earley with the purpose of speeding up the sale process?
- Much of the frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Earley can be reduced where you get in touch lawyers as soon as you market your property and ask them to collate the leasehold information which will be required by the buyers lawyers.
- In the event that you altered the property did you need the Landlord’s consent? Have you, for example installed wooden flooring? Most leases in Earley state that internal structural changes or addition of wooden flooring calls for a licence from the Landlord approving such alterations. Where you fail to have the approvals to hand you should not contact the landlord without checking with your lawyer before hand.
What makes a Earley lease defective?
There is nothing unique about leasehold conveyancing in Earley. All leases are unique and legal mistakes in the legal wording can sometimes mean that certain clauses are erroneous. For example, if your lease is missing any of the following, it could be defective:
- A provision to repair to or maintain elements of the premises
- A duty to insure the building
- A provision for the recovery of money spent for the benefit of another party.
- Maintenance charge proportions which don’t add up to the correct percentage
You will have a problem when selling your property if you have a defective lease as they can affect a potential buyer’s ability to obtain a mortgage. Halifax, Norwich and Peterborough Building Society, and Aldermore all have express conveyancing instructions when it comes to what is expected in a lease. Where a lender has been advised by their lawyers that the lease does not cover certain provisions they may refuse to grant the mortgage, forcing the purchaser to pull out.
Earley Leasehold Conveyancing - Sample of Queries Prior to Purchasing
Please note if it is less than eighty years it will have adverse implications on the marketability of the property. It is worth checking with your lender that they are willing to to proceed given the lease term. A short lease means that you will almost definitely have to extend the lease sooner rather than later and it is worth discovering how much this will be. For most Earleylease extensions you would need to own the property for a couple of years in order to be legally able to carry out a lease extension.
How many of the leaseholders are in arrears for their maintenance charge payments?
The majority of Earley leasehold apartments will have a service charge for maintenance of the building set by the management company. If you buy the flat you will have to meet this liability, normally in instalments during the year. This can be anything from several hundred pounds to thousands of pounds for blocks with lifts and large communal areas. There will also be a ground rent for you to pay yearly, ordinarily this is not a significant figure, say about £25-£75 but you should to check as sometimes it could be prohibitively expensive.