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Recently asked questions relating to Frenchay leasehold conveyancing

Harry (my fiance) and I may need to let out our Frenchay 1st floor flat temporarily due to taking a sabbatical. We instructed a Frenchay conveyancing firm in 2001 but they have closed and we did not have the foresight to seek any advice as to whether the lease permits subletting. How do we find out?

The lease governs the relationship between the freeholder and you the leaseholder; in particular, it will say if subletting is not allowed, or permitted but only subject to certain caveats. The rule is that if the lease contains no specific ban or restriction, subletting is permitted. The majority of leases in Frenchay do not contain an absolute prevention of subletting – 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 supplying a duplicate of the tenancy agreement.

Having checked my lease I have discovered that there are only Seventy years remaining on my flat in Frenchay. I am keen to get lease extension but my landlord is can not be found. What should I do?

If you meet the appropriate requirements, under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 you can apply 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 Court. However, you will be required to demonstrate that you have done all that could be expected to find the lessor. On the whole an enquiry agent would be helpful to carry out a search and to produce an expert document to be accepted by the court as evidence that the landlord can not be located. It is advisable to get professional help from a solicitor in relation to investigating the landlord’s absence and the application to the County Court overseeing Frenchay.

I’m about to sell my basement flat in Frenchay.Conveyancing lawyers have not yet been instructed but I have just had a yearly maintenance charge invoice – what should I do?

The sensible thing to do is 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 management companies 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 am looking at a couple of apartments in Frenchay which have approximately forty five years unexpired on the lease term. Will this present a problem?

There are no two ways about it. A leasehold apartment in Frenchay is a wasting asset as a result of the reducing lease term. The nearer the lease gets to its expiry date, the more it reduces the marketability of the premises. The majority of buyers and banks, leases with less than eighty years become less and less attractive. On a more upbeat note, leaseholders can extend their leases by serving a Section 42 Notice. One stipulation is that they must have owned the property for two years (unlike a Section 13 notice for purchasing the freehold, when leaseholders can participate from day one of ownership). When successful, they will have the right to an extension of 90 years to the current term and ground rent is effectively reduced to zero. Before moving forward with a purchase of a residence with a short lease term remaining you should talk to a solicitor specialising in lease extensions and leasehold enfranchisement. We are are happy to put you in touch with Frenchay conveyancing experts who will explain the options available to you during an initial telephone conversation free of charge. More often than not it is possible to negotiate informally with the freeholder to extend the lease You may find he or she is happy to negotiate informally and willing to consider your offer straight off, without having to involve anyone else. This will save you time and money and it could help you reach a lower price on the lease. You need to ensure that the agreed terms represent good long-term value compared with the standard benefits of the Section 42 Notice and that onerous clauses are not inserted into any redrafting of the lease.

Can you provide any advice for leasehold conveyancing in Frenchay with the intention of speeding up the sale process?

  • A significant proportion of the frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Frenchay can be bypassed if you instruct lawyers as soon as your agents start advertising the property and ask them to collate the leasehold information which will be required by the buyers solicitors.
  • 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 Frenchay state that internal structural alterations or installing wooden flooring necessitate a licence from the Landlord consenting to such alterations. Should you dont have the paperwork to hand you should not contact the landlord without checking with your lawyer before hand.
  • A minority of Frenchay leases require Landlord’s consent to the sale and approval of the buyers. If this is the case, it would be prudent to notify your estate agents to make sure that the purchasers obtain bank and professional references. Any bank reference will need to confirm that the buyers are financially capable of paying the yearly 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 service charge figures so that they can pass this information on to the buyers or their solicitors.
  • If there is a history of conflict with your landlord or managing agents it is essential that these are resolved prior to the flat being put on the market. The purchasers and their solicitors will be reluctant to purchase a flat where there is an ongoing dispute. You will have to accept that you will have to pay any arrears of service charge or resolve the dispute prior to the buyers completing the purchase. It is therefore preferable to have any dispute settled ahead of the contract papers being issued to the buyers’ solicitors. You will still have to reveal details of the dispute to the buyers, but it is clearly preferable to present the dispute as over rather than unsettled.
  • You may think that you are aware of the number of years remaining on your lease but you should double-check via your lawyers. A purchaser's conveyancer will be unlikely to recommend their client to to exchange contracts if the remaining number of years is below 80 years. In the circumstances it is essential at an early stage that you identify whether the lease term for your property needs extending. If it does, contact your solicitors before you put your home on the market for sale.

  • Frenchay Leasehold Conveyancing - Examples of Queries before buying

      The best form of lease arrangement is if the freehold reversion is in the ownership of the leaseholders. In this situation the tenants benefit from being in charge if their destiny and notwithstanding that a managing agent is usually employed where the building is larger than a house conversion, the managing agent acts for the leaseholders themselves. Who takes responsibility for maintaining and repairing the building? Best to be warned if a new roof is being put on or some other significant cost is due in the near future that will be shared by the leaseholders and may well materially increase the the maintenance costs or require a one time invoice.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Frenchay