Guaranteed fixed fees for Leasehold Conveyancing in Fairwater

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Questions and Answers: Fairwater leasehold conveyancing

My partner and I may need to let out our Fairwater 1st floor flat temporarily due to a career opportunity. We instructed a Fairwater conveyancing firm in 2002 but they have since shut and we did not think at the time seek any advice as to whether the lease prohibits the subletting of the flat. How do we find out?

Even though your previous Fairwater conveyancing lawyer is no longer available you can review your lease to see if you are permitted to let out the premises. The rule is that if the deeds are silent, subletting is permitted. Quite often there is a prerequisite that you are obliged to seek consent via your landlord or other appropriate person before subletting. The net result is that you cannot sublet without first obtaining consent. Such consent should not be unreasonably turned down. If your lease does not allow you to sublet you should ask your landlord for their consent.

Last month I purchased a leasehold house in Fairwater. Am I liable to pay service charges relating to a period prior to 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. However, 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).

Can you provide any advice for leasehold conveyancing in Fairwater from the perspective of expediting the sale process?

  • Much of the delay in leasehold conveyancing in Fairwater can be bypassed if you get in touch lawyers as soon as your agents start marketing the property and request that they start to collate the leasehold documentation needed by the buyers conveyancers.
  • Many freeholders or Management Companies in Fairwater levy fees for providing management packs for a leasehold homes. You or your lawyers should enquire as to the fee that they propose to charge. The management pack can be applied for as soon as you have a buyer, thus accelerating the process. The typical amount of time it takes to receive management information is three weeks. It is the most common cause of frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Fairwater.
  • A minority of Fairwater leases require Licence to Assign from the landlord. If this applies to your lease, you should notify your estate agents to make sure that the purchasers obtain bank and professional references. Any bank reference should make it clear that the buyer is financially capable of paying the annual service charge and the actual amount of the service charge should be quoted in the bank’s letter. You will therefore need to provide your estate agents with the actual amount of the service charge so that they can pass this information on to the buyers or their solicitors.
  • If there is a history of any disputes with your landlord or managing agents it is essential that these are settled prior to the flat being marketed. The buyers and their solicitors will be nervous about purchasing a flat where a dispute is unresolved. You will have to accept that you will have to pay any arrears of service charge or settle the dispute prior to completion of the sale. It is therefore preferable to have any dispute settled prior to the contract papers being issued to the buyers’ solicitors. You are still duty bound to disclose particulars of the dispute to the buyers, but it is clearly preferable to reveal the dispute as historic rather than ongoing.
  • You may think that you are aware of the number of years left on your lease but it would be wise to verify this via your lawyers. A purchaser's lawyer will be unlikely to recommend their client to where the remaining number of years is less than 75 years. In the circumstances it is essential at an as soon as possible that you consider whether the lease for your property needs extending. If it does, contact your solicitors before you put your premises on the market for sale.

  • Completion in due on the sale of our £475000 garden flat in Fairwater on Tuesday in a week. The freeholder has quoted £360 for Certificate of Compliance, insurance certificate and 3 years statements of service charge. Is it legal for a freeholder to charge exorbitant fees for a flat conveyance in Fairwater?

    For most leasehold sales in Fairwater conveyancing will involve, queries regarding the management of a building inevitably needing to be answered directly by the freeholder or its agent, this includes :

    • Completing conveyancing due diligence questions
    • Where consent is required before sale in Fairwater
    • Copies of the building insurance and schedule
    • Deeds of covenant upon sale
    • Registering of the assignment of the change of lessee after a sale
    Your conveyancer will have no control over the level of the charges for this information but the average costs for the information for Fairwater leasehold premises is £350. For Fairwater conveyancing transactions it is customary for the seller to pay for these costs. The landlord or their agents are under no legal obligation to answer such questions most will be willing to do so - albeit often at exorbitant prices where the fees bear little relation to the work involved. Unfortunately there is no law that requires fixed charges for administrative tasks. Neither is there any legal time frame by which they are required to supply answers.

    When it comes to leasehold conveyancing in Fairwater what are the most common lease problems?

    There is nothing unique about leasehold conveyancing in Fairwater. All leases is drafted differently and drafting errors can result in certain clauses are wrong. The following missing provisions could result in a defective lease:

    • A provision to repair to or maintain elements of the building
    • A duty to insure the building
    • Clauses dealing with recovering service charges for expenditure on the building or common parts.
    • Maintenance charge proportions which don’t add up to the correct percentage

    A defective lease can cause problems when trying to sell a property primarily because it impacts on the ability to obtain a mortgage on the property. Lloyds TSB Bank, Virgin Money, and Barclays Direct all have express requirements 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 provide security, forcing the buyer to pull out.

    Fairwater Leasehold Conveyancing - A selection of Queries Prior to buying

      This question is important as a) areas may result in problems for the block as the common areas may start to deteriorate where repairs are not paid for b) if the leaseholders have a dispute with the managing agents you will wish to have all the details Be sure to enquire if there is anything that is prohibited in the lease. For example it is reasonably common in Fairwater leases that pets are not permitted in certain buildings in Fairwater. If you like the apartmentin Fairwater however your dog is not allowed to move with you then you will be presented with a hard compromise. Is anyone aware of any major works anticipated that will add a premium to the maintenance costs?

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Fairwater