Frequently asked questions relating to Hedon leasehold conveyancing
My wife and I may need to let out our Hedon 1st floor flat temporarily due to a new job. We used a Hedon conveyancing firm in 2001 but they have since shut and we did not have the foresight to get any guidance as to whether the lease prohibits the subletting of the flat. How do we find out?
Even though your previous Hedon conveyancing solicitor is not around you can review your lease to see if you are permitted to let out the property. The rule is that if the deeds are silent, subletting is permitted. There may be a precondition that you are obliged to seek permission from your landlord or some other party before subletting. The net result is that you cannot sublet without prior consent. Such consent is not allowed to be unreasonably turned down. If the lease prohibits you from letting out the property you should ask your landlord for their consent.
I have recently realised that I have 68 years remaining on my flat in Hedon. I now wish to extend my lease but my freeholder is missing. What options are available to me?
If you qualify, under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 you can apply to the County Court for an order to dispense with the service of the initial notice. This will mean that your lease can be lengthened by the Court. You will be obliged to demonstrate that you have used your best endeavours to locate the freeholder. For most situations a specialist may be helpful to conduct investigations and prepare an expert document to be accepted by the court as proof that the freeholder is indeed missing. It is wise to seek advice from a solicitor in relation to devolving into the landlord’s disappearance and the application to the County Court covering Hedon.
I am tempted by the attractive purchase price for a two flats in Hedon both have in the region of fifty years remaining on the leases. should I be concerned?
There is no doubt about it. A leasehold flat in Hedon is a deteriorating asset as a result of the reducing lease term. The nearer the lease gets to its expiry date, the more it reduces the value of the property. The majority of purchasers and lenders, leases with under eighty years become less and less marketable. On a more positive note, leaseholders can extend their leases by serving a Section 42 Notice. One stipulation is that they must have owned the premises for two years (unlike a Section 13 notice for purchasing the freehold, when leaseholders can participate from day one of ownership). When successful, they will have the right to an extension of 90 years to the current term and ground rent is effectively reduced to zero. Before moving forward with a purchase of premises with a short lease term remaining you should talk to a solicitor specialising in lease extensions and leasehold enfranchisement. We are are happy to put you in touch with Hedon conveyancing experts who will explain the options available to you during an initial telephone conversation free of charge. More often than not it is possible to negotiate informally with the freeholder to extend the lease You may find he or she is happy to negotiate informally and willing to consider your offer straight off, without having to involve anyone else. This will save you time and money and it could help you reach a lower price on the lease. You need to ensure that any new terms represent good long-term value compared with the standard benefits of the Section 42 Notice and that onerous clauses are not inserted into any redrafting of the lease.
I am a negotiator for a busy estate agency in Hedon where we have experienced a number of flat sales jeopardised as a result of short leases. I have received contradictory information from local Hedon conveyancing firms. Can you shed some light as to whether the vendor of a flat can start the lease extension formalities for the buyer?
As long as the seller has owned the lease for at least 2 years it is possible, to serve a Section 42 notice to 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 to extend their lease. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment needs to be completed before, or simultaneously with completion of the sale.
An alternative approach is 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.
Are there common deficiencies that you witness in leases for Hedon properties?
There is nothing unique about leasehold conveyancing in Hedon. All leases is drafted differently and legal mistakes in the legal wording can sometimes mean that certain sections are not included. The following missing provisions could result in a defective lease:
- A provision to repair to or maintain elements of the building
- A duty to insure the building
- 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 will encounter a problem when selling your property if you have a defective lease primarily because it impacts on the ability to obtain a mortgage on the property. Nationwide Building Society, The Royal Bank of Scotland, and Bank of Ireland 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 provide security, forcing the buyer to pull out.
Leasehold Conveyancing in Hedon - Examples of Queries Prior to buying
What is the the remaining lease term?
It would be wise to find out as much as you can about the managing agents as they will either make life much easier or problematic. As the owner of a leasehold property you will be in the clutches of the managing agents both financially and when it comes to day to day issues like the tidiness of the communal areas. You should not be shy to ask prospective neighbours whether they are happy with their management. On a final note, investigate as to the dates that you are obliged pay the service charge to the relevant party and precisely what it includes.
How many of the leaseholders are in arrears for their maintenance charge payments?