Examples of recent questions relating to leasehold conveyancing in Kempston
Helen (my wife) and I may need to sub-let our Kempston ground floor flat for a while due to a new job. We instructed a Kempston conveyancing firm in 2001 but they have closed and we did not have the foresight to get any guidance as to whether the lease allows us to sublet. How do we find out?
The lease governs the relationship between the landlord and you the leaseholder; specifically, it will set out if subletting is not allowed, or permitted but only subject to certain caveats. The accepted inference is that if the lease contains no specific ban or restriction, subletting is allowed. The majority of leases in Kempston do not contain an absolute prevention of subletting – such a provision would undoubtedly devalue the property. Instead, there is usually a basic requirement that the owner notifies the freeholder, possibly sending a duplicate of the tenancy agreement.
I am hoping to put an offer on a small detached house that appears to meet my requirements, at a great price which is making it all the more appealing. I have subsequently been informed that it's a leasehold rather than freehold. I would have thought that there are issues buying a house with a leasehold title in Kempston. Conveyancing advisers have are soon to be appointed. Will they explain the issues?
The majority of houses in Kempston are freehold rather than leasehold. This is one of the situations where having a local conveyancer used to dealing with such properties who can assist with the conveyancing process. We note that you are purchasing in Kempston so you should seriously consider shopping around for a Kempston conveyancing practitioner and check that they have experience in dealing with leasehold houses. First you will need to check the number of years remaining. As a lessee you will not be at liberty to do whatever you want to the property. The lease will likely included provisions for example requiring the landlord’spermission to carry out changes to the property. You may also be required to pay a contribution towards the upkeep of the communal areas where the property is located on an estate. Your solicitor will advise you fully on all the issues.
Last month I purchased a leasehold property in Kempston. Am I liable to pay service charges for periods before 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 employed by a busy estate agent office in Kempston where we have witnessed a few flat sales put at risk as a result of short leases. I have been given conflicting advice from local Kempston conveyancing firms. Can you clarify whether the seller of a flat can start the lease extension process for the buyer?
As long as the seller has owned the lease for at least 2 years it is possible, to serve a Section 42 notice to start the lease extension process and assign the benefit of the notice to the purchaser. The benefit of this is that the buyer can avoid having to sit tight for 2 years for a lease extension. 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 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 purchaser.
What are the common problems that you witness in leases for Kempston properties?
Leasehold conveyancing in Kempston is not unique. All leases are individual and drafting errors can result in certain clauses are erroneous. The following missing provisions could result in a defective lease:
- A provision to repair to or maintain parts of the building
- A duty to insure the building
- Clauses dealing with recovering service charges for expenditure on the building or common parts.
- Maintenance charge proportions which don’t add up to the correct percentage
A defective lease will likely cause problems when trying to sell a property primarily because it impacts on the ability to obtain a mortgage on the property. National Westminster Bank, Skipton Building Society, and Barclays Direct all have express conveyancing instructions when it comes to what is expected in a lease. Where a lender has been advised by their lawyers that the lease is defective they may refuse to provide security, forcing the purchaser to pull out.
I acquired a 2 bed flat in Kempston, conveyancing formalities finalised half a dozen years ago. Can you let me have an estimated range of the fair premium for a lease extension? Corresponding flats in Kempston with an extended lease are worth £249,000. The ground rent is £65 charged once a year. The lease expires on 21st October 2099
With just 79 years unexpired we estimate the premium for your lease extension to range between £10,500 and £12,000 as well as 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 a more accurate figure without more comprehensive investigations. You should not use this information in tribunal or court proceedings. There may be additional concerns that need to be taken into account and you obviously want to be as accurate as possible in your negotiations. You should not move forward based on this information before getting professional advice.