Launceston leasehold conveyancing: Q and A’s
My fiance and I may need to sub-let our Launceston ground floor flat for a while due to a new job. We used a Launceston conveyancing firm in 2001 but they have since shut and we did not think at the time seek any advice 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 indicate if subletting is not allowed, or permitted but only subject to certain caveats. The rule is that if the lease contains no expres ban or restriction, subletting is permitted. The majority of leases in Launceston do not prevent an absolute prevention of subletting – such a provision would undoubtedly devalue the property. In most cases there is a basic requirement that the owner notifies the freeholder, possibly sending a duplicate of the sublease.
I am looking at a couple of flats in Launceston both have in the region of fifty years unexpired on the lease term. Should I regard a short lease as a deal breaker?
A lease is a legal document that entitles you to use the property for a prescribed time frame. As a lease gets shorter the marketability of the lease decreases and results in it becoming more expensive to acquire a lease extension. For this reason it is generally wise to increase the term of the lease. Sometimes it is difficulties arise selling premises with a short lease as mortgage lenders may be reluctant to lend money on properties of this type. Lease enfranchisement can be a difficult process. We recommend you get professional assistance from a conveyancer and surveyor with experience in this arena
I am a negotiator for a busy estate agent office in Launceston where we see a few flat sales jeopardised due to short leases. I have been given inconsistent advice from local Launceston conveyancing firms. Can you confirm whether the seller of a flat can commence the lease extension formalities for the buyer?
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 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.
All being well we will complete our sale of a £325000 garden flat in Launceston next Tuesday . The managing agents has quoted £408 for Landlord’s certificate, insurance certificate and 3 years service charge statements. Is it legal for a freeholder to charge exorbitant fees for a flat conveyance in Launceston?
Launceston conveyancing on leasehold flats typically results in administration charges invoiced by freeholders :
- Answering conveyancing due diligence enquiries
- Where consent is required before sale in Launceston
- Copies of the building insurance and schedule
- Deeds of covenant upon sale
- Registering of the assignment of the change of lessee after a sale
Are there common defects that you encounter in leases for Launceston properties?
There is nothing unique about leasehold conveyancing in Launceston. Most leases are individual and legal mistakes in the legal wording can sometimes mean that certain clauses are missing. The following missing provisions could result in a defective lease:
- Repairing obligations to or maintain elements of the premises
- Insurance obligations
- A provision for the recovery of money spent for the benefit of another party.
- Service charge per centages that don't add up correctly leaving a shortfall
A defective lease can cause issues when trying to sell a property as they can affect a potential buyer’s ability to obtain a mortgage. Birmingham Midshires, Norwich and Peterborough Building Society, and Godiva Mortgages Ltd all have very detailed requirements when it comes to what is expected in a lease. Where a lender has been advised by their lawyers that the lease does not cover certain provisions they may refuse to provide security, forcing the purchaser to pull out.
Leasehold Conveyancing in Launceston - Sample of Questions you should ask before Purchasing
Does the lease have onerous restrictions?
Who is in charge of the block?
Many Launceston leasehold apartments will incur a service bill for maintenance of the building invoiced on behalf of the management company. Should you buy the apartment you will have to pay this contribution, usually periodically accross the year. This can differ from several hundred pounds to thousands of pounds for large purpose-built buildings. In all probability there will be a rentcharge for you to pay yearly, this is usually not a large sum, say approximately £25-£75 but you need to enquire as occasionally it can be surprisingly expensive.