Fixed-fee leasehold conveyancing in Hove:

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Examples of recent questions relating to leasehold conveyancing in Hove

My fiance and I may need to rent out our Hove ground floor flat for a while due to a new job. We instructed a Hove conveyancing firm in 2002 but they have closed and we did not have the foresight to seek any guidance as to whether the lease allows us to sublet. How do we find out?

Even though your previous Hove conveyancing solicitor is not around you can review your lease to see if it allows you to sublet the premises. The rule is that if the lease is non-specific, subletting is allowed. There may be a precondition that you need to seek permission from your landlord or some other party prior to subletting. The net result is you not allowed to sublet in the absence of first obtaining permission. The consent should not be unreasonably withheld. If the lease prohibits you from subletting the property you will need to ask your landlord for their consent.

Last month I purchased a leasehold property in Hove. Am I liable to pay service charges relating to a period prior to completion of my purchase?

In a situation where the service charge has already been demanded from the previous owner 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. A critical element of leasehold conveyancing for your conveyancer to ensure 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 am a negotiator for a busy estate agency in Hove where we have experienced a few flat sales put at risk as a result of leases having less than 80 years remaining. I have received inconsistent advice from local Hove conveyancing firms. Could you confirm whether the owner of a flat can commence 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 kick-start the lease extension process and assign the benefit of the notice to the purchaser. This means that the proposed purchaser 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 has to be done prior to, or at the same time as 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 purchaser.

What are your top tips when it comes to appointing a Hove conveyancing practice to carry out our lease extension conveyancing?

When appointing a property lawyer for lease extension works (regardless if they are a Hove conveyancing firm) it is essential that they be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of work. We advise that you speak with two or three firms including non Hove conveyancing practices before you instructing a firm. Where the conveyancing practice is ALEP accredited then so much the better. Some following of questions could be useful:

  • Can they put you in touch with client in Hove who can give a testimonial?
  • What are the charges for lease extension conveyancing?

  • If all goes to plan we aim to complete the disposal of our £400000 maisonette in Hove next week. The management company has quoted £312 for Landlord’s certificate, building insurance schedule and 3 years service charge statements. Is it legal for a freeholder to charge an administration fee for a flat conveyance in Hove?

    Hove conveyancing on leasehold maisonettes ordinarily necessitates administration charges invoiced by freeholders :

    • Completing pre-contract questions
    • Where consent is required before sale in Hove
    • Copies of the building insurance and schedule
    • Deeds of covenant upon sale
    • Registering of the assignment of the change of lessee after a sale
    Your solicitor will have no control over the level of the charges for this information but the average costs for the information for Hove leasehold premises is £350. For Hove conveyancing transactions it is customary for the seller to pay for these costs. The landlord or their agents are under no legal obligation to answer such questions most will be willing to do so - albeit often at exorbitant prices where the fees bear little relation to the work involved. Unfortunately there is no law that requires fixed charges for administrative tasks. Neither is there any legal time frame by which they are obliged to provide answers.

    I acquired a ground floor flat in Hove, conveyancing was carried out 6 years ago. Can you give me give me an indication of the likely cost of a lease extension? Similar properties in Hove with over 90 years remaining are worth £249,000. The ground rent is £55 levied per year. The lease finishes on 21st October 2096

    With only 74 years unexpired we estimate the price of your lease extension to range between £10,500 and £12,000 plus costs.

    The suggested premium range that we have given is a general guide to costs for extending a lease, but we are not able to advice on the actual costs in the absence of comprehensive investigations. You should not use this information in a Notice of Claim or as an informal offer. There are no doubt additional issues that need to be considered and clearly you want to be as accurate as possible in your negotiations. You should not take any other action placing reliance on this information without first seeking the advice of a professional.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Hove