Frequently asked questions relating to Frenchay Common leasehold conveyancing
My fiance and I may need to let out our Frenchay Common garden flat for a while due to a career opportunity. We used a Frenchay Common conveyancing firm in 2001 but they have since shut and we did not have the foresight to get any advice as to whether the lease prohibits the subletting of the flat. How do we find out?
Your lease dictates the relationship between the freeholder and you the flat owner; in particular, it will set out if subletting is not allowed, or permitted but only subject to certain conditions. The rule is that if the lease contains no specific ban or restriction, subletting is permitted. The majority of leases in Frenchay Common do not prevent subletting altogether – such a clause would adversely affect the market value the property. In most cases there is a basic requirement that the owner notifies the freeholder, possibly supplying a duplicate of the sublease.
I am attracted to a couple of maisonettes in Frenchay Common which have about 50 years left on the leases. should I be concerned?
A lease is a legal document that entitles you to use the property for a prescribed time frame. As the lease shortens the value of the lease decreases and results in it becoming more expensive to extend the lease. This is why it is generally wise to increase the term of the lease. More often than not it is difficulties arise selling premises with a short lease as mortgage companies may be unwilling to lend money on properties of this type. Lease enfranchisement can be a protracted process. We recommend you seek professional assistance from a conveyancer and surveyor with experience in this field
Last month I purchased a leasehold property in Frenchay Common. Do I have any liability for service charges relating to a period prior to my ownership?
In a situation 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 be sure 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 busy estate agency in Frenchay Common where we have experienced a number of leasehold sales derailed as a result of short leases. I have received contradictory information from local Frenchay Common conveyancing solicitors. Please can you confirm whether the vendor of a flat can start the lease extension formalities for the purchaser on completion of the sale?
Provided that the seller has owned the lease for at least 2 years it is possible, to serve a Section 42 notice to commence the lease extension process and assign the benefit of the notice to the purchaser. The benefit of this is that the buyer need not have to wait 2 years to extend their lease. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment has to be done before, or simultaneously with completion of the disposal of the property.
Alternatively, it may be possible 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 purchaser.
What are your top tips when it comes to finding a Frenchay Common conveyancing firm to carry out our lease extension conveyancing?
When appointing a property lawyer for your lease extension (regardless if they are a Frenchay Common conveyancing firm) it is essential that they be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of conveyancing. We advise that you make enquires with two or three firms including non Frenchay Common conveyancing practices prior to instructing a firm. If the firm is ALEP accredited then so much the better. Some following of questions could be of use:
- How many lease extensions has the firm carried out in Frenchay Common in the last twenty four months?
Frenchay Common Conveyancing for Leasehold Flats - Sample of Questions you should consider Prior to buying
Is there a share of the freehold?
Is anyone aware of any major works on the horizon that will likely add a premium to the maintenance fees?
Who are the managing agents?