Common questions relating to Exeter leasehold conveyancing
I want to sublet my leasehold apartment in Exeter. Conveyancing solicitor who did the purchase is retired - so can't ask her. Is permission from the freeholder required?
The lease dictates relations between the landlord and you the flat owner; specifically, it will indicate if subletting is prohibited, or permitted but only subject to certain conditions. The rule is that if the lease contains no expres ban or restriction, subletting is permitted. Most leases in Exeter do not contain subletting altogether – such a provision would adversely affect the market value the flat. Instead, there is usually a basic requirement that the owner notifies the freeholder, possibly sending a copy of the sublease.
I have just started marketing my basement apartment in Exeter.Conveyancing solicitors are to be appointed soon but I have just had a half-yearly maintenance charge demand – should I leave it to the buyer to sort out?
It best that you discharge the service charge 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 managing agents will not acknowledge the buyer unless 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. This will smooth the conveyancing process.
I've recently bought a leasehold property in Exeter. 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 lessee 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. 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 finding a Exeter conveyancing practice to deal with our lease extension?
When appointing a property lawyer for lease extension works (regardless if they are a Exeter conveyancing practice) it is essential that they be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of conveyancing. We suggested that you speak with two or three firms including non Exeter 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?
What are the frequently found defects that you witness in leases for Exeter properties?
There is nothing unique about leasehold conveyancing in Exeter. All leases is drafted differently and legal mistakes in the legal wording can result in 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 property
- A duty to insure the building
- A provision for the recovery of money spent for the benefit of another party.
- Service charge per centages that don't add up correctly leaving a shortfall
You may have difficulties when selling your property if you have a defective lease primarily because it impacts on the ability to obtain a mortgage on the property. Barclays , The Royal Bank of Scotland, and TSB all have express requirements 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 provide security, obliging the buyer to withdraw.
Leasehold Conveyancing in Exeter - Sample of Questions you should ask Prior to Purchasing
It would be wise to discover as much as possible concerning the managing agents as they will impact your use and enjoyment of the property. As the proprietor of a leasehold property you will be at the mercy of the managing agents from a financial perspective and when it comes to day to day issues like the upkeep of the communal areas. Ask other tenants what they think of them. Finally, find out the dates that you are obliged pay the maintenance charge to the managing agents and precisely what it includes.
In the main the cost for major works tend not to be included within service charges, although there some managing agents in Exeter require tenants to pay into a reserve fund created for the specific purpose of establishing a fund for major works.
What is the length of the lease?