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Heywood leasehold conveyancing Example Support Desk Enquiries

My fiance and I may need to rent out our Heywood ground floor flat for a while due to a new job. We instructed a Heywood conveyancing firm in 2003 but they have closed and we did not have the foresight to seek any advice as to whether the lease permits subletting. How do we find out?

Some leases for properties in Heywood do contain a provision to say that subletting is only allowed with permission. The landlord is not entitled to unreasonably refuse 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 consent.

Last month I purchased a leasehold flat in Heywood. 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. Strange as it may seem, 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 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).

Can you offer any advice when it comes to choosing a Heywood conveyancing firm to carry out our lease extension conveyancing?

If you are instructing a solicitor for lease extension works (regardless if they are a Heywood conveyancing firm) it is essential that he or she should be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of conveyancing. We recommend that you talk with two or three firms including non Heywood conveyancing practices prior to instructing a firm. Where the conveyancing practice is ALEP accredited then so much the better. Some following of questions might be of use:

  • If they are not ALEP accredited then why not?
  • What volume of lease extensions have they carried out in Heywood in the last twenty four months?

  • Can you provide any advice for leasehold conveyancing in Heywood from the point of view of expediting the sale process?

    • Much of the frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Heywood can be reduced if you appoint lawyers as soon as you market your property and ask them to put together the leasehold documentation needed by the purchasers’ lawyers.
    • Many freeholders or managing agents in Heywood levy fees for providing management packs for a leasehold premises. You or your lawyers should find out the fee that they propose to charge. The management information sought on or before finding a buyer, thus accelerating the process. The typical amount of time it takes to receive management information is three weeks. It is the most frequent reason for frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Heywood.
  • In the event that you altered the property did you need the Landlord’s consent? Have you, for example installed wooden flooring? Most leases in Heywood state that internal structural alterations or addition of wooden flooring necessitate a licence issued by the Landlord acquiescing to such alterations. Should you dont have the consents to hand you should not communicate with the landlord without contacting your solicitor in the first instance.
  • Some Heywood leases require Landlord’s consent to the sale and approval of the buyers. If this is the case, it would be prudent to notify your estate agents to make sure that the purchasers obtain bank and professional references. The bank reference should make it clear that the buyer is financially capable of paying the yearly service charge and the actual amount of the service charge should be quoted in the bank’s letter. You will therefore need to provide your estate agents with the actual amount of the service charge so that they can pass this information on to the buyers or their lawyers.
  • If there is a history of any disputes with your freeholder or managing agents it is essential that these are resolved before the property is put on the market. The purchasers and their solicitors will be reluctant to purchase a flat where a dispute is ongoing. You will have to accept that you will have to discharge any arrears of service charge or resolve the dispute prior to completion of the sale. It is therefore preferable to have any dispute settled ahead of the contract papers being issued to the buyers’ solicitors. You are still duty bound to disclose details of the dispute to the buyers, but it is clearly preferable to present the dispute as over rather than unresolved.

  • Completion in due on our sale of a £275000 flat in Heywood in six days. The freeholder has quoted £360 for Landlord’s certificate, building insurance schedule and 3 years statements of service charge. Is it legal for a freeholder to charge an administration fee for a flat conveyance in Heywood?

    Heywood conveyancing on leasehold flats more often than not requires the purchaser’s lawyer sending questions for the landlord to answer. Although the landlord is not legally bound to answer these enquiries the majority will be content to do so. They are entitled invoice a reasonable administration fee for responding to questions or supplying documentation. There is no set fee. The average fee for the paperwork that you are referring to is over three hundred pounds, in some cases it exceeds £800. The management information fee demanded by the landlord must be sent together with a summary of entitlements and obligations in respect of administration charges, otherwise the charge is technically not due. Reality however dictates that one has little choice but to pay whatever is demanded should you wish to sell the property.

    I acquired a garden flat in Heywood, conveyancing having been completed half a dozen years ago. Can you please calculate a probable premium for a statutory lease extension? Similar properties in Heywood with a long lease are worth £213,000. The ground rent is £45 levied per year. The lease comes to an end on 21st October 2092

    With 70 years unexpired the likely cost is going to range between £10,500 and £12,000 as well as plus your own and the landlord's "reasonable" professional fees.

    The suggested premium range that we have given is a general guide to costs for extending a lease, but we are not able to provide a more accurate figure without more comprehensive investigations. You should not use the figures in tribunal or court proceedings. There are no doubt other concerns that need to be taken into account and you obviously want to be as accurate as possible in your negotiations. Please do not take any other action based on this information without first getting professional advice.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Heywood