Hoole leasehold conveyancing: Q and A’s
I am intending to let out my leasehold flat in Hoole. Conveyancing solicitor who did the purchase is retired - so can't ask her. Is permission from the freeholder required?
Your lease dictates the relationship between the freeholder and you the leaseholder; in particular, it will set out if subletting is prohibited, or permitted but only subject to certain conditions. The rule is that if the lease contains no expres ban or restriction, subletting is permitted. Most leases in Hoole do not contain an absolute prevention of subletting – such a provision would adversely affect the market value the property. In most cases there is a basic requirement that the owner notifies the freeholder, possibly supplying a copy of the tenancy agreement.
There are only 62 years remaining on my lease in Hoole. I am keen to get lease extension but my landlord is missing. What are my options?
If you meet the appropriate requirements, under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 you can submit an application to the County Court for for permission to dispense with the service of the initial notice. This will enable the lease to be granted an extra 90 years by the magistrate. However, you will be required to prove that you or your lawyers have done all that could be expected to locate the landlord. For most situations an enquiry agent may be useful to conduct investigations and to produce an expert document to be accepted by the court as proof that the freeholder is indeed missing. It is advisable to get professional help from a property lawyer both on proving the landlord’s disappearance and the application to the County Court overseeing Hoole.
Back In 2001, I bought a leasehold flat in Hoole. Conveyancing and Lloyds TSB Bank mortgage went though with no issue. A letter has just been received from someone claiming to own the reversionary interest in the property. It included a demand for arrears of ground rent dating back to 1998. The conveyancing solicitor in Hoole who previously acted has now retired.Do I pay?
The first thing you should do is make enquiries of the Land Registry to make sure that the individual purporting to own the freehold is indeed the new freeholder. You do not need to incur the fees of a Hoole conveyancing solicitor to do this as you can do this on the Land Registry website for £3. You should note that in any event, even if this is the rightful 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 Hoole. Do I have any liability for service charges for periods before 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. 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 appointing a Hoole conveyancing practice to deal with our lease extension?
When appointing a solicitor for lease extension works (regardless if they are a Hoole conveyancing practice) 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 Hoole conveyancing practices before you instructing a firm. If the firm is ALEP accredited then that’s a bonus. Some following of questions could be helpful:
- If the firm is not ALEP accredited then why not?
I am the registered owner of a ground floor flat in Hoole, conveyancing was carried out in 2004. Can you let me have an estimate of the premium that my landlord can legally expect in return for granting a renewal of my lease? Equivalent properties in Hoole with a long lease are worth £181,000. The ground rent is £45 invoiced annually. The lease finishes on 21st October 2081
You have 60 years unexpired the likely cost is going to range between £22,800 and £26,400 plus plus your own and the landlord's "reasonable" professional fees.
The figure that we have given is a general guide to costs for extending a lease, but we cannot give you the actual costs in the absence of detailed investigations. Do not use this information in tribunal or court proceedings. There may be additional concerns that need to be taken into account and clearly you should be as accurate as possible in your negotiations. Neither should you move forward placing reliance on this information without first getting professional advice.