Top Five Questions relating to Flint leasehold conveyancing
Jane (my partner) and I may need to rent out our Flint basement flat for a while due to a career opportunity. We used a Flint conveyancing firm in 2004 but they have closed and we did not think at the time seek any guidance as to whether the lease allows us to sublet. How do we find out?
Notwithstanding that your last Flint conveyancing lawyer is not around you can check your lease to see if it allows you to sublet the property. The accepted inference is that if the deeds are silent, subletting is allowed. There may be a precondition that you must seek consent from your landlord or some other party in advance of subletting. This means that you cannot sublet without prior permission. Such consent should not be unreasonably turned down. If the lease prohibits you from subletting the property you will need to ask your landlord for their consent.
I only have 68 years left on my lease in Flint. I now want to extend my lease but my landlord is can not be found. What options are available to me?
On the basis that 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 an order to dispense with the service of the initial notice. This will enable the lease to be granted an extra 90 years by the magistrate. You will be obliged to demonstrate that you have made all reasonable attempts to find the freeholder. On the whole an enquiry agent would be useful to conduct investigations and prepare an expert document which can be accepted by the court as proof that the freeholder is indeed missing. It is wise to seek advice from a conveyancer in relation to investigating the landlord’s absence and the vesting order request to the County Court overseeing Flint.
Last month I purchased a leasehold property in Flint. Do I have any liability for 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. 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 choosing a Flint conveyancing practice to deal with our lease extension?
When appointing a property lawyer for your lease extension (regardless if they are a Flint conveyancing firm) it is most important that he or she should be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of conveyancing. We recommend that you speak with two or three firms including non Flint conveyancing practices prior to instructing a firm. If the firm is ALEP accredited then so much the better. Some following of questions might be of use:
- How experienced is the firm with lease extension legislation?
Are there frequently found deficiencies that you witness in leases for Flint properties?
There is nothing unique about leasehold conveyancing in Flint. Most leases are unique and legal mistakes in the legal wording can sometimes mean that certain sections are erroneous. The following missing provisions could result in a defective lease:
- Repairing obligations to or maintain parts of the premises
- A duty to insure the building
- 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
You will have difficulties when selling your property if you have a defective lease as they can affect a potential buyer’s ability to obtain a mortgage. Halifax, Chelsea Building Society, and TSB 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 is defective they may refuse to provide security, forcing the buyer to withdraw.
Leasehold Conveyancing in Flint - Examples of Questions you should consider Prior to buying
Does this lease have more than 80 years remaining?
Be sure to discover if there is anything that is prohibited in the lease. For instance it is fairly common in Flint leases that pets are not allowed in certain buildings in Flint. If you like the apartmentin Flint but your cat is not allowed to move with you then you will be faced difficult compromise.
In the main the cost for major works are not wrapped into the maintenance charges, although there some managing agents in Flint ask leaseholders to pay into a sinking fund created for the specific purpose of establishing a fund for larger repairs or maintenance.