Fixed-fee leasehold conveyancing in Ladywood:

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My wife and I may need to sub-let our Ladywood 1st floor flat for a while due to a new job. We instructed a Ladywood conveyancing firm in 2002 but they have since shut and we did not have the foresight to get any guidance as to whether the lease prohibits the subletting of the flat. How do we find out?

Notwithstanding that your previous Ladywood conveyancing solicitor is not available you can review your lease to check if it allows you to sublet the premises. The rule is that if the lease is non-specific, subletting is permitted. There may be a precondition that you must seek consent via your landlord or other appropriate person in advance of subletting. This means you not allowed to sublet without prior consent. Such consent must not not be unreasonably refused ore delayed. If your lease prohibits you from subletting the property you should ask your landlord for their consent.

I today plan to offer on a house that appears to be perfect, at a great price which is making it all the more appealing. I have since found out that the title is leasehold as opposed to freehold. I am assuming that there are particular concerns buying a house with a leasehold title in Ladywood. Conveyancing lawyers have not yet been instructed. Will my lawyers set out the implications of buying a leasehold house in Ladywood ?

Most houses in Ladywood are freehold rather than leasehold. This is one of the situations where having a local conveyancer who is familiar with the area can assist with the conveyancing process. We note that you are buying in Ladywood in which case you should be looking for a Ladywood conveyancing solicitor and be sure that they are used to transacting on leasehold houses. As a matter of priority you will need to check the unexpired lease term. As a lessee you will not be at liberty to do whatever you want with the house. The lease will likely included provisions such as obtaining the freeholder’sconsent to carry out alterations. You may also be required to pay a maintenance charge towards the maintenance of the estate where the property is located on an estate. Your lawyer should report to you on the legal implications.

I am looking at a couple of maisonettes in Ladywood which have in the region of 50 years unexpired on the leases. Should I regard a short lease as a deal breaker?

There is no doubt about it. A leasehold flat in Ladywood is a wasting asset as a result of the shortening lease. The closer the lease gets to its expiry date, the more it adversely affects the marketability of the premises. The majority of buyers and banks, leases with under 75 years become less and less attractive. On a more upbeat 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 Ladywood 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 They may agree to a smaller lump sum and an increase in the ground rent, but to shorter extension terms in return. 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.

Do you have any top tips for leasehold conveyancing in Ladywood from the point of view of speeding up the sale process?

  • Much of the frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Ladywood can be reduced where you get in touch lawyers as soon as your agents start marketing the property and request that they start to collate the leasehold documentation needed by the buyers conveyancers.
  • If you have carried out any alterations to the property would they have required Landlord’s consent? Have you, for example installed wooden flooring? Most leases in Ladywood state that internal structural changes or addition of wooden flooring require a licence issued by the Landlord approving such works. If you fail to have the approvals in place you should not communicate with the landlord without checking with your solicitor in advance.
  • Some Ladywood leases require Licence to Assign from the landlord. If this is the case, you should place the estate agents on notice to make sure that the purchasers obtain bank and professional references. Any bank reference should make it clear that the buyer is able to meet the yearly service charge and the actual amount of the service charge should be quoted in the bank’s letter. You will therefore need to provide your estate agents with the service charge figures so that they can pass this information on to the buyers or their solicitors.
  • If you have the benefit of shareholding in the freehold, you should ensure that you are holding the original share document. Obtaining a duplicate share certificate is often a lengthy formality and slows down many a Ladywood conveyancing deal. Where a duplicate share is needed, you should approach the company director and secretary or managing agents (if relevant) for this sooner rather than later.
  • You believe that you know the number of years left on your lease but it would be advisable double-check by asking your solicitors. A buyer’s conveyancer will not be happy to advise their client to where the remaining number of years is under 80 years. In the circumstances it is essential at an early stage that you consider whether the lease term requires a lease extension. If it does, contact your solicitors before you put your property on the market for sale.

  • Our conveyancer has advised that he intends to complete and exchange simultaneously on our sale of a £150000 flat in Ladywood on Monday in a week. The managing agents has quoted £396 for Certificate of Compliance, building insurance schedule and previous years statements of service charge. Is the landlord entitled to charge such fees for a flat conveyance in Ladywood?

    Ladywood conveyancing on leasehold flats nine out of ten times necessitates administration charges invoiced by management companies :

    • Answering conveyancing due diligence questions
    • Where consent is required before sale in Ladywood
    • 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 Ladywood leasehold premises is £350. For Ladywood 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 purchased a basement flat in Ladywood, conveyancing having been completed 2000. 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? Similar flats in Ladywood with over 90 years remaining are worth £253,000. The average or mid-range amount of ground rent is £55 yearly. The lease runs out on 21st October 2089

    You have 68 years left to run we estimate the premium for your lease extension to span between £11,400 and £13,200 plus legals.

    The suggested premium range above a general guide to costs for renewing a lease, but we are not able to supply a more accurate figure without more comprehensive due diligence. Do not use this information in a Notice of Claim or as an informal offer. There may be other issues that need to be considered 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.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Ladywood