Quality lawyers for Leasehold Conveyancing in Handsworth

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Frequently asked questions relating to Handsworth leasehold conveyancing

Frank (my husband) and I may need to let out our Handsworth ground floor flat temporarily due to taking a sabbatical. We used a Handsworth 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 allows us to sublet. How do we find out?

Your lease dictates the relationship 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 specific ban or restriction, subletting is permitted. The majority of leases in Handsworth do not contain an absolute prevention of subletting – such a clause would undoubtedly devalue the property. Instead, there is usually a basic requirement that the owner notifies the freeholder, possibly supplying a duplicate of the sublease.

Looking forward to exchange soon on a leasehold property in Handsworth. Conveyancing lawyers have said that they will have a report out to me on Monday. Are there areas in the report that I should be focusing on?

The report on title for your leasehold conveyancing in Handsworth should include some of the following:

  • Are you allowed to have a pet in the flat?
  • Ground rent - how much and when you need to pay, and also know whether this will change in the future
  • An explanation as to the provision in the lease to pay service charges - with regard to both the building, and the more general rights a leaseholder has
  • Changes to the flat (alterations and additions)
  • The landlord’s obligations to repair and maintain the building. It is important that you know who is responsible for the repair and maintenance of every part of the building
  • What you can do if a neighbour breach a clause of their lease?
  • What the implications are if you breach a clause of your lease? For a comprehensive list of information to be included in your report on your leasehold property in Handsworth please enquire of your conveyancer in advance of your conveyancing in Handsworth

  • I’m about to sell my 2 bed apartment in Handsworth.Conveyancing has not commenced but I have just received a half-yearly service 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 am a negotiator for a long established estate agency in Handsworth where we have witnessed a number of flat sales derailed as a result of leases having less than 80 years remaining. I have been given contradictory information from local Handsworth conveyancing solicitors. Please can you shed some light as to whether the seller of a flat can commence the lease extension process 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 kick-start the lease extension process and assign the benefit of the notice to the purchaser. The benefit of this is that the buyer 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 needs to be completed before, or simultaneously with completion of the sale.

    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 makes a Handsworth lease unmortgageable?

    There is nothing unique about leasehold conveyancing in Handsworth. Most leases is drafted differently and drafting errors can result in certain sections are not included. For example, if your lease is missing any of the following, it could be defective:

    • Repairing obligations to or maintain elements of the property
    • Insurance obligations
    • A provision for the recovery of money spent for the benefit of another party.
    • Maintenance charge proportions which don’t add up to the correct percentage

    A defective lease will likely cause problems when trying to sell a property primarily because it impacts on the ability to obtain a mortgage on the property. Lloyds TSB Bank, Virgin Money, and TSB all have express requirements when it comes to what is expected in a lease. If a mortgage lender believes that the lease does not cover certain provisions they may refuse to grant the mortgage, obliging the buyer to pull out.

    Leasehold Conveyancing in Handsworth - Examples of Questions you should consider before buying

      Its a good idea to find out as much as possible about the company managing the block as they will impact your use and enjoyment of the property. As the proprietor of a leasehold property you are frequently in the clutches of the managing agents from a financial perspective and when it comes to day to day issues like the tidiness of the common parts. You should not be afraid to ask prospective neighbours if they are happy with their management. On a final note, investigate as to the dates that the service charges are due to the appropriate party and precisely what you get for your money. If a Handsworth lease has less than eighty years it will impact the value of the flat. Check with your mortgage company that they are happy with remaining years on the lease. Leases with fewer than 80 years remaining means that you will almost definitely need a lease extension at some point and it is worth finding out what this would cost. Remember, in most cases you would be be obliged to have owned the residence for two years before you are entitled to carry out a lease extension. The majority of Handsworth leasehold properties will be liable to pay a service bill for the upkeep of the block levied on behalf of the landlord. Where you buy the property you will have to meet this contribution, normally in instalments during the year. This could vary from a couple of hundred pounds to thousands of pounds for buildings with lifts and large communal areas. In all probability there will be a ground rent to be met yearly, ordinarily this is not a exorbitant sum, say approximately £50-£100 but you should to check it because on occasion it could be many hundreds of pounds.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Handsworth