Frequently asked questions relating to Heathfield leasehold conveyancing
I want to rent out my leasehold flat in Heathfield. Conveyancing solicitor who did the purchase is retired - so can't ask him. Do I need to ask my freeholder for their consent?
Notwithstanding that your previous Heathfield conveyancing solicitor is no longer available you can review your lease to check if it allows you to sublet the property. The rule is that if the deeds are silent, subletting is permitted. Quite often there is a prerequisite that you are obliged to obtain permission from your landlord or some other party in advance of subletting. The net result is you not allowed to sublet in the absence of prior consent. Such consent must not not be unreasonably withheld. If the lease prohibits you from letting out the property you should ask your landlord if they are willing to waive this restriction.
I own a leasehold flat in Heathfield. Conveyancing and Alliance & Leicester mortgage are in place. I have received a letter from someone saying they have taken over the reversionary interest in the property. Attached was a ground rent demand for rent dating back to 1993. The conveyancing solicitor in Heathfield who acted for me is not around.What should I do?
First contact HMLR to make sure that this person is indeed the new freeholder. There is no need to instruct a Heathfield conveyancing practitioner to do this as it can be done on-line for £3. You should note that in any event, even if this is the legitimate freeholder, under the Limitation Act 1980 the limitation period for recovery of ground rent is six years.
Last month I purchased a leasehold property in Heathfield. Am I liable to pay 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. 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 long established estate agency in Heathfield where we see a number of leasehold sales put at risk due to short leases. I have been given inconsistent advice from local Heathfield conveyancing solicitors. Could you shed some light as to whether the seller of a flat can initiate 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 needs to be completed prior to, or at the same time as 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 buyer.
What are the common defects that you come across in leases for Heathfield properties?
Leasehold conveyancing in Heathfield is not unique. All leases is drafted differently and legal mistakes in the legal wording can result in certain clauses are wrong. The following missing provisions could result in a defective lease:
- Repairing obligations to or maintain elements of the premises
- 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
You may have difficulties when selling your property if you have a defective lease primarily because it impacts on the ability to obtain a mortgage on the property. Yorkshire Building Society, Norwich and Peterborough Building Society, and Nottingham Building Society all have very detailed requirements when it comes to what is expected in a lease. If a mortgage lender believes that the lease is defective they may refuse to grant the mortgage, forcing the purchaser to pull out.
Leasehold Conveyancing in Heathfield - Sample of Questions you should ask before Purchasing
How is the lease structured?
How many years remain on the lease?
Who are the managing agents?