Fixed-fee leasehold conveyancing in Langford:

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Recently asked questions relating to Langford leasehold conveyancing

Harry (my fiance) and I may need to let out our Langford 1st floor flat temporarily due to a career opportunity. We used a Langford conveyancing firm in 2001 but they have since shut and we did not think at the time get any advice as to whether the lease permits subletting. How do we find out?

A small minority of properties in Langford do contain a provision to say that subletting is only permitted with prior consent from the landlord. The landlord cannot unreasonably withhold but, in such cases, they would need to see references. Experience dictates that problems are usually caused by unsatisfactory tenants rather than owner-occupiers and for that reason you can expect the freeholder to take up the references and consider them carefully before granting permission.

I have recently realised that I have 72 years remaining on my lease in Langford. I now wish to extend my lease but my landlord is missing. What options are available to me?

On the basis that you qualify, under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 you can apply to the County Court for an order to dispense with the service of the initial notice. This will enable the lease to be extended by the magistrate. You will be obliged to prove that you or your lawyers have done all that could be expected to locate the lessor. For most situations an enquiry agent should be helpful to try and locate and prepare an expert document which can be accepted by the court as evidence that the freeholder can not be located. It is wise to seek advice from a solicitor in relation to proving the landlord’s disappearance and the application to the County Court overseeing Langford.

I have just appointed agents to market my 2 bed apartment in Langford.Conveyancing solicitors are to be appointed soon but I have just received a half-yearly service charge demand – should I leave it to the buyer to sort out?

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 management companies 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. This will smooth the conveyancing process.

Last month I purchased a leasehold house in Langford. Do I have any liability for service charges for periods before completion of my purchase?

Where the service charge has already been demanded from the previous lessee and they have not paid you would not usually be personally liable for the arrears. However, your landlord may still be able to take action to forfeit the lease. It is an essential part 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 Langford where we see a number of flat sales put at risk due to leases having less than 80 years remaining. I have been given contradictory information from local Langford conveyancing firms. Can you clarify whether the vendor of a flat can commence the lease extension formalities for the purchaser on completion of the sale?

As long as the seller has owned the lease for at least 2 years it is possible, to serve a Section 42 notice to commence the lease extension process and assign the benefit of the notice to the purchaser. The benefit of this is 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 before, or simultaneously with 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 buyer.

Leasehold Conveyancing in Langford - Sample of Queries Prior to Purchasing

    It is important to be aware whether window replacement or some other significant cost is anticipated that will be shared amongst the leasehold owners and will dramatically impact the level of the maintenance fees or necessitate a one time payment. The best form of lease structure is a share of the freehold. In this scenario the leaseholders benefit from control and even though a managing agent is usually retained if it is bigger than a house conversion, the managing agent is directed by the tenants. It would be wise to find out if the the lease includes any unreasonable restrictions in the lease. For instance it is reasonably common in Langford leases that pets are not allowed in certain buildings in Langford. If you like the apartmentin Langford but your cat can’t live with you then you have a very hard choice.

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Lease Extensions in Langford