Frequently asked questions relating to Haddenham leasehold conveyancing
Jane (my partner) and I may need to rent out our Haddenham garden flat temporarily due to taking a sabbatical. We instructed a Haddenham conveyancing firm in 2004 but they have since shut and we did not have the foresight to get any advice as to whether the lease permits subletting. How do we find out?
The lease dictates relations between the landlord and you the flat owner; specifically, it will set out if subletting is prohibited, or permitted but only subject to certain caveats. The rule is that if the lease contains no expres ban or restriction, subletting is allowed. The majority of leases in Haddenham do not contain subletting altogether – such a provision would undoubtedly devalue the property. In most cases there is a basic requirement that the owner notifies the freeholder, possibly sending a copy of the tenancy agreement.
I have recently realised that I have 68 years unexpired on my flat in Haddenham. I now wish to get lease extension but my freeholder is can not be found. What are my options?
If you qualify, under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 you can submit an application to the County Court for an order to dispense with the service of the initial notice. This will enable the lease to be extended by the Court. However, you will be required to prove that you or your lawyers have done all that could be expected to find the lessor. On the whole an enquiry agent may be useful to conduct investigations and prepare a report to be used as evidence that the landlord is indeed missing. It is wise to seek advice from a solicitor in relation to devolving into the landlord’s absence and the vesting order request to the County Court overseeing Haddenham.
Last month I purchased a leasehold house in Haddenham. Am I liable to pay service charges relating to a period prior to my ownership?
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).
I work for a busy estate agent office in Haddenham where we see a few leasehold sales jeopardised as a result of short leases. I have been given conflicting advice from local Haddenham conveyancing solicitors. Can you confirm 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 commence the lease extension process and assign the benefit of the notice to the purchaser. The benefit of this is 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 has to be done before, or simultaneously with completion of the sale.
Alternatively, it may be possible to agree the lease extension with the freeholder 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.
Can you offer any advice when it comes to appointing a Haddenham conveyancing practice to deal with our lease extension?
If you are instructing a property lawyer for lease extension works (regardless if they are a Haddenham conveyancing firm) it is imperative that he or she should 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 Haddenham conveyancing practices prior to instructing a firm. Where the conveyancing practice is ALEP accredited then that’s a bonus. Some following of questions could be helpful:
- How experienced is the firm with lease extension legislation?
I purchased a 1 bedroom flat in Haddenham, conveyancing formalities finalised half a dozen years ago. How much will my lease extension cost? Corresponding properties in Haddenham with a long lease are worth £203,000. The average or mid-range amount of ground rent is £55 invoiced every year. The lease comes to an end on 21st October 2090
With 69 years left to run we estimate the premium for your lease extension to be between £9,500 and £11,000 plus professional fees.
The figure above a general guide to costs for renewing a lease, but we cannot give you the actual costs in the absence of comprehensive due diligence. Do not use the figures in a Notice of Claim or as an informal offer. There may be additional concerns that need to be considered and clearly you want to be as accurate as possible in your negotiations. You should not move forward based on this information without first seeking the advice of a professional.