Questions and Answers: Horfield leasehold conveyancing
Harry (my fiance) and I may need to sub-let our Horfield 1st floor flat temporarily due to a new job. We used a Horfield conveyancing firm in 2001 but they have since shut and we did not think at the time seek any guidance as to whether the lease allows us to sublet. How do we find out?
Notwithstanding that your last Horfield conveyancing lawyer is not available you can check your lease to check if you are permitted to let out the premises. The accepted inference is that if the lease is silent, subletting is allowed. There may be a precondition that you are obliged to seek permission via your landlord or other appropriate person prior to subletting. This means that you cannot sublet without first obtaining permission. The consent is not allowed to be unreasonably turned down. If the lease does not allow you to sublet you should ask your landlord if they are willing to waive this restriction.
I have just appointed agents to market my basement apartment in Horfield.Conveyancing lawyers have not yet been instructed but I have just received a yearly service charge demand – what should I do?
It best that you discharge the service charge 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 until 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. Having a clear account will assist your cause and will leave you no worse off financially.
I am hoping to put an offer on a small detached house that seems to tick a lot of boxes, at a reasonable figure which is making it more attractive. I have just discovered that the title is leasehold rather than freehold. I am assuming that there are issues purchasing a house with a leasehold title in Horfield. Conveyancing advisers have are soon to be instructed. Will my lawyers set out the risks of buying a leasehold house in Horfield ?
The majority of houses in Horfield are freehold and not leasehold. This is one of the situations where having a local solicitor used to dealing with such properties who can help the conveyancing process. It is clear that you are purchasing in Horfield in which case you should be shopping around for a Horfield conveyancing solicitor and check that they are used to advising on leasehold houses. First you will need to check the unexpired lease term. Being a tenant you will not be at liberty to do whatever you want to the property. The lease comes with conditions such as obtaining the freeholder’spermission to conduct alterations. It may be necessary to pay a service charge towards the upkeep of the estate where the house is part of an estate. Your solicitor will appraise you on the various issues.
I am looking at a couple of maisonettes in Horfield which have about forty five years remaining on the leases. Should I regard a short lease as a deal breaker?
There are no two ways about it. A leasehold apartment in Horfield is a deteriorating asset as a result of the shortening lease. The nearer the lease gets to its expiry date, the more it adversely affects the salability of the property. For most purchasers and mortgage companies, leases with less than 75 years become less and less attractive. 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 a residence 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 Horfield conveyancing experts who will explain the options available to you during an initial telephone conversation free of charge. A more straightforward and quicker method of extending would be to contact your landlord directly and sound him out on the prospect of extending 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 the agreed 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.
What are your top tips when it comes to choosing a Horfield conveyancing firm to carry out our lease extension conveyancing?
When appointing a conveyancer for your lease extension (regardless if they are a Horfield conveyancing practice) it is essential that he or she should be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of conveyancing. We suggested that you speak with two or three firms including non Horfield conveyancing practices before you instructing a firm. Where the conveyancing practice is ALEP accredited then that’s a bonus. Some following of questions could be of use:
- If they are not ALEP accredited then why not?
Horfield Leasehold Conveyancing - A selection of Questions you should consider before buying
This question is helpful as a) areas can result in problems for the block as the communal areas may begin to deteriorate where maintenance remain unpaid b) if the tenants have an issue with the managing agents you will wish to have all the details
Plenty Horfield leasehold apartments will incur a service charge for maintenance of the block set by the management company. If you acquire the property you will have to pay this amount, normally in instalments accross the year. This could differ from several hundred pounds to thousands of pounds for bigger purpose-built blocks. There will also be a rentcharge for you to pay yearly, ordinarily this is not a exorbitant figure, say around £25-£75 but you need to check as on occasion it can be surprisingly expensive.
Please note that where the lease has no more than 80 years it will impact the salability of the flat. It is worth checking with your bank that they are content with remaining years on the lease. Leases with less than 80 years remaining means that you will most likely have to extend the lease at some point and you need to have some idea of what this will be. For most Horfieldlease extensions you would be be obliged to have been the owner of the property for 24 months in order to be eligible to carry out a lease extension.