Questions and Answers: Greenfield leasehold conveyancing
My partner and I may need to rent out our Greenfield 1st floor flat for a while due to a career opportunity. We used a Greenfield conveyancing practice in 2004 but they have closed and we did not think at the time seek any guidance as to whether the lease prohibits the subletting of the flat. How do we find out?
Some leases for properties in Greenfield do contain a provision to say that subletting is only allowed with permission. The landlord is not entitled to unreasonably withhold but, in such cases, they would need to see references. Experience suggests 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 permission.
Estate agents have just been given the go-ahead to market my garden apartment in Greenfield.Conveyancing is yet to be initiated but I have just had a quarterly service charge invoice – Do I pay up?
It best that you pay 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. Having a clear account will assist your cause and will leave you no worse off financially.
I am hoping to put an offer on a small detached house that appears to tick a lot of boxes, at a reasonable figure which is making it more attractive. I have since been informed that it's a leasehold rather than freehold. I would have thought that there are particular concerns purchasing a leasehold house in Greenfield. Conveyancing solicitors have are about to be appointed. Will they explain the issues?
The majority of houses in Greenfield are freehold rather than leasehold. This is one of the situations where having a local solicitor used to dealing with such properties who can help the conveyancing process. We note that you are buying in Greenfield in which case you should be shopping around for a Greenfield conveyancing solicitor and be sure that they have experience in transacting on leasehold houses. As a matter of priority you will need to check the unexpired lease term. Being a tenant you will not be at liberty to do whatever you want to the property. The lease comes with conditions such as requiring the landlord’sconsent to conduct alterations. It may be necessary to pay a maintenance charge towards the upkeep of the communal areas where the house is part of an estate. Your conveyancer should advise you fully on all the issues.
Last month I purchased a leasehold flat in Greenfield. Do I have any liability for service charges for periods before completion of my purchase?
In a situation 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).
What are the frequently found deficiencies that you come across in leases for Greenfield properties?
Leasehold conveyancing in Greenfield is not unique. Most leases is drafted differently and legal mistakes in the legal wording can sometimes mean that certain provisions are missing. For example, if your lease is missing any of the following, it could be defective:
- Repairing obligations to or maintain parts of the property
- A duty to insure the building
- A provision for the recovery of money spent for the benefit of another party.
- Service charge per centages that don't add up correctly leaving a shortfall
You may encounter difficulties when selling your property if you have a defective lease as they can affect a potential buyer’s ability to obtain a mortgage. National Westminster Bank, Bank of Scotland, and Platform Home Loans Ltd all have very detailed 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 grant the mortgage, forcing the purchaser to pull out.
I own a 1 bedroom flat in Greenfield, conveyancing having been completed in 1995. Can you work out an approximate cost of a lease extension? Similar properties in Greenfield with an extended lease are worth £210,000. The average or mid-range amount of ground rent is £60 levied per year. The lease ceases on 21st October 2072
With 51 years left to run we estimate the price of your lease extension to range between £31,400 and £36,200 plus costs.
The suggested premium range above a general guide to costs for extending a lease, but we are not able to provide a more accurate figure without more detailed investigations. Do not use the figures in a Notice of Claim or as an informal offer. There are no doubt additional issues that need to be taken into account and clearly you should be as accurate as possible in your negotiations. Please do not move forward based on this information before seeking the advice of a professional.