Greenfield leasehold conveyancing: Q and A’s
I am intending to let out my leasehold flat in Greenfield. Conveyancing solicitor who did the purchase is retired - so can't ask her. Is permission from the freeholder required?
Some leases for properties in Greenfield do contain a provision to say that subletting is only permitted with prior consent from the landlord. The landlord cannot unreasonably withhold but, in such cases, they would need to review references. Experience dictates that problems are usually caused by unsatisfactory tenants rather than owner-occupiers and for that reason you can expect the freeholder to take up the references and consider them carefully before granting consent.
Having checked my lease I have discovered that there are only 72 years remaining on my lease in Greenfield. I now want to extend my lease but my landlord is missing. What should I do?
If you qualify, under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 you can apply to the County Court for for permission to dispense with the service of the initial notice. This will mean that your lease can be lengthened by the magistrate. However, you will be required to demonstrate that you or your lawyers have made all reasonable attempts to find the lessor. For most situations an enquiry agent may be useful to carry out a search and prepare a report to be accepted by the court as proof that the freeholder is indeed missing. It is advisable to get professional help from a conveyancer both on investigating the landlord’s disappearance and the vesting order request to the County Court covering Greenfield.
I have just appointed agents to market my ground floor flat in Greenfield.Conveyancing has not commenced but I have just received a yearly maintenance charge invoice – Do I pay up?
The sensible thing to do is clear the invoice 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 managing agents 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've recently bought a leasehold property in Greenfield. Do I have any liability for service charges relating to a period prior to my ownership?
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. Strange as it may seem, 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).
Can you offer any advice when it comes to choosing a Greenfield conveyancing practice to carry out our lease extension conveyancing?
When appointing a conveyancer for your lease extension (regardless if they are a Greenfield conveyancing practice) it is most important that they be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of conveyancing. We recommend that you speak with several firms including non Greenfield conveyancing practices before you 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?
I bought a ground floor flat in Greenfield, conveyancing was carried out in 2005. Can you work out an approximate cost of a lease extension? Equivalent properties in Greenfield with over 90 years remaining are worth £260,000. The ground rent is £60 levied per year. The lease finishes on 21st October 2073
You have 53 years left to run we estimate the premium for your lease extension to range between £34,200 and £39,600 as well as costs.
The figure above a general guide to costs for extending a lease, but we cannot give you a more accurate figure in the absence of comprehensive due diligence. Do not use the figures in a Notice of Claim or as an informal offer. There are no doubt other concerns that need to be considered and clearly you want to be as accurate as possible in your negotiations. Please do not take any other action based on this information without first getting professional advice.