Frequently asked questions relating to Leigh leasehold conveyancing
My partner and I may need to let out our Leigh 1st floor flat temporarily due to a new job. We instructed a Leigh conveyancing practice in 2004 but they have since shut and we did not have the foresight to get any advice as to whether the lease allows us to sublet. How do we find out?
A small minority of properties in Leigh do contain a provision to say that subletting is only permitted with prior consent from the landlord. The landlord cannot unreasonably refuse 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 am hoping to put an offer on a small detached house that appears to be perfect, at a great figure which is making it all the more appealing. I have since been informed that the title is leasehold rather than freehold. I am assuming that there are issues purchasing a house with a leasehold title in Leigh. Conveyancing advisers have not yet been appointed. Will they explain the issues?
Most houses in Leigh are freehold and not leasehold. This is one of the situations where having a local solicitor used to dealing with such properties who can assist with the conveyancing process. It is clear that you are buying in Leigh so you should seriously consider shopping around for a Leigh conveyancing solicitor and check that they are used to dealing with leasehold houses. First you will need to check the unexpired lease term. Being a tenant you will not be entirely free to do whatever you want to the property. The lease comes with conditions for example obtaining the freeholder’sconsent to conduct alterations. It may be necessary to pay a service charge towards the upkeep of the estate where the house is part of an estate. Your conveyancer will advise you fully on all the issues.
I am attracted to a two maisonettes in Leigh both have about forty five years remaining on the lease term. Should I regard a short lease as a deal breaker?
There are no two ways about it. A leasehold flat in Leigh is a wasting asset as a result of the shortening lease. The closer the lease gets to zero years unexpired, the more it adversely affects the salability of the property. For most purchasers and lenders, leases with under 75 years become less and less attractive. On a more positive note, leaseholders can extend their leases by serving a Section 42 Notice. One stipulation is that they must have owned the property 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 premises 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 Leigh 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 any new 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.
Last month I purchased a leasehold house in Leigh. Am I liable to pay service charges relating to a period prior to my ownership?
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. 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).
Can you offer any advice when it comes to appointing a Leigh conveyancing firm to carry out our lease extension conveyancing?
When appointing a property lawyer for your lease extension (regardless if they are a Leigh conveyancing firm) it is imperative that they be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of work. We suggested that you talk with several firms including non Leigh conveyancing practices prior to instructing a firm. If the firm is ALEP accredited then so much the better. Some following of questions might be useful:
- How experienced is the firm with lease extension legislation?
Leigh Leasehold Conveyancing - A selection of Queries Prior to buying
Make sure you find out if there is anything that is prohibited in the lease. For instance some leases prohibit pets being permitted in certain buildings in Leigh. If you love the flatin Leigh yet your cat can’t live with you then you will be faced difficult determination.
Best to be warned whether changing the roof or some other significant cost is coming up to be shared between the leaseholders and will materially increase the the service fees or result in a one time payment.
Are there any major works in the planning that will increase the maintenance costs?