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Common questions relating to Kelvedon leasehold conveyancing

Helen (my wife) and I may need to let out our Kelvedon ground floor flat for a while due to a career opportunity. We instructed a Kelvedon conveyancing firm in 2001 but they have closed and we did not have the foresight to seek any advice as to whether the lease prohibits the subletting of the flat. How do we find out?

A lease dictates the relationship between the freeholder and you the leaseholder; in particular, it will say if subletting is prohibited, or permitted but only subject to certain caveats. The rule is that if the lease contains no specific ban or restriction, subletting is permitted. Most leases in Kelvedon do not prevent an absolute prevention of subletting – such a provision would undoubtedly devalue the flat. Instead, there is usually simply a requirement that the owner notifies the freeholder, possibly sending a copy of the sublease.

I today plan to offer on a house that appears to meet my requirements, at a reasonable price which is making it more attractive. I have since found out that the title is leasehold rather than freehold. I would have thought that there are particular concerns buying a house with a leasehold title in Kelvedon. Conveyancing solicitors have not yet been instructed. Will they explain the issues?

Most houses in Kelvedon are freehold rather than leasehold. In this scenario it’s worth having a local conveyancer who is familiar with the area can assist with the conveyancing process. We note that you are buying in Kelvedon so you should seriously consider shopping around for a Kelvedon conveyancing solicitor and check that they are used to dealing with leasehold houses. First you will need to check the number of years remaining. Being a tenant you will not be entirely free to do whatever you want to the property. The lease comes with conditions such as obtaining the freeholder’sconsent to carry out changes to the property. It may be necessary to pay a contribution towards the maintenance of the estate where the house is part of an estate. Your lawyer should appraise you on the various issues.

I am employed by a long established estate agency in Kelvedon where we have witnessed a few leasehold sales derailed due to leases having less than 80 years remaining. I have received inconsistent advice from local Kelvedon conveyancing firms. Can you clarify whether the seller of a flat can commence the lease extension process for the purchaser on completion of the sale?

Provided that the seller has been the owner 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. The benefit of this is that the buyer need not have 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 extend the lease informally by agreement with the landlord 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.

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

When appointing a conveyancer for lease extension works (regardless if they are a Kelvedon conveyancing practice) it is imperative that he or she should be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of work. We suggested that you talk with two or three firms including non Kelvedon conveyancing practices prior to instructing a firm. Where the conveyancing practice is ALEP accredited then so much the better. Some following of questions could be helpful:

  • What volume of lease extensions have they carried out in Kelvedon in the last year?
  • Can they put you in touch with client in Kelvedon who can give a testimonial?

  • Completion in due on our sale of a £300000 garden flat in Kelvedon in just under a week. The freeholder has quoted £300 for Landlord’s certificate, insurance certificate and previous years service charge statements. Is it legal for a freeholder to charge exorbitant fees for a flat conveyance in Kelvedon?

    For the majority of leasehold sales in Kelvedon conveyancing will involve, questions about the management of a building inevitably needing to be answered directly by the freeholder or its agent, this includes :

    • Addressing conveyancing due diligence enquiries
    • Where consent is required before sale in Kelvedon
    • 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 conveyancer will have no control over the level of the charges for this information but the average costs for the information for Kelvedon leasehold property is £350. For Kelvedon 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.

    Kelvedon Conveyancing for Leasehold Flats - A selection of Queries Prior to buying

      You should be aware that where the lease has no more than eighty years it will have adverse implications on the salability of the property. Check with your mortgage company that they are willing to to proceed given the lease term. A short lease means that you will almost definitely need a lease extension sooner rather than later and it is worth finding out how much this will be. Remember, in most cases you will need to own the residence for two years before you are eligible to extend the lease. Who are the managing agents? Best to be warned if redecorating or some other major work is pending to be shared amongst the tenants and will dramatically impact the level of the maintenance charges or require a one off payment.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Kelvedon