Fixed-fee leasehold conveyancing in Flint:

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Flint leasehold conveyancing: Q and A’s

Jane (my partner) and I may need to sub-let our Flint basement flat temporarily due to a new job. We instructed a Flint conveyancing practice in 2002 but they have closed and we did not have the foresight to 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 leaseholder; in particular, it will set out if subletting is prohibited, or permitted but only subject to certain caveats. The accepted inference is that if the lease contains no expres ban or restriction, subletting is permitted. Most leases in Flint do not contain subletting altogether – such a clause 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 recently realised that I have Sixty One years left on my lease in Flint. I am keen to extend my lease but my landlord is absent. What should I do?

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 enable the lease to be granted an extra 90 years by the Court. You will be obliged to prove that you or your lawyers have used your best endeavours to find the landlord. In some cases an enquiry agent should be useful to try and locate and prepare a report which can be accepted by the court as evidence that the landlord can not be located. It is wise to seek advice from a conveyancer both on devolving into the landlord’s disappearance and the application to the County Court covering Flint.

I am hoping to complete next month on a leasehold property in Flint. Conveyancing solicitors inform me that they report fully tomorrow. What should I be looking out for?

The report on title for your leasehold conveyancing in Flint should include some of the following:

  • The total extent of the property. This will be the flat itself but could also incorporate a loft or basement if appropriate.
  • Are pets allowed in the flat?
  • Does the lease prevent you from renting out the property, or having a home office for business
  • You should be told what counts as a Nuisance in the lease
  • Changes to the flat (alterations and additions)
  • I don't know whether the lease allows me to alter or improve anything in the flat - you should know whether it applies to all alterations or just structural alteration, and whether consent is required
  • The landlord’s obligations to repair and maintain the building. It is important that you know who is responsible for the repair and maintenance of every part of the building For details of the information to be contained in your report on your leasehold property in Flint please enquire of your solicitor in advance of your conveyancing in Flint

  • I've recently bought a leasehold property in Flint. 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. 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).

    I work for a reputable estate agent office in Flint where we see a few leasehold sales jeopardised due to leases having less than 80 years remaining. I have received contradictory information from local Flint conveyancing solicitors. Can you shed some light as to whether the seller of a flat can initiate the lease extension formalities for the buyer?

    As long as the seller has been the owner for at least 2 years it is possible, to serve a Section 42 notice to start the lease extension process and assign the benefit of the notice to the purchaser. This means that the proposed purchaser can avoid having to sit tight for 2 years for a lease extension. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment needs to be completed prior to, or at the same time as completion of the sale.

    An alternative approach is to extend the lease informally by agreement with the landlord either before or after the sale. If you are informally negotiating there are no rules and so you cannot insist on the landlord agreeing to grant an extension or transferring the benefit of an agreement to the buyer.

    Flint Conveyancing for Leasehold Flats - Examples of Queries Prior to Purchasing

      It is important to be aware if window replacement or some other major work is due in the foreseeable future that will be shared by the leasehold owners and will materially impact the level of the maintenance charges or necessitate a one time invoice. Is there a share of the freehold? Who is in charge of the building?

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Flint