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Botany Bay leasehold conveyancing: Q and A’s

Having had my offer accepted I require leasehold conveyancing in Botany Bay. Before I set the wheels in motion I want to be sure as to the remaining lease term.

Assuming the lease is recorded at the land registry - and most are in Botany Bay - then the leasehold title will always include the short particulars of the lease, namely the date; the term; and the original parties. From a conveyancing perspective such details then enable any prospective buyer and lender to confirm that any lease they are looking at is the one relevant to that title.For any other purpose, such as confirming how long the term was granted for and calculating what is left, then the register should be sufficient on it's own.

I would like to let out my leasehold apartment in Botany Bay. Conveyancing solicitor who did the purchase is retired - so can't ask him. Do I need to ask my freeholder for permission?

Notwithstanding that your last Botany Bay conveyancing lawyer is not available you can check your lease to check if you are permitted to let out the property. The accepted inference is that if the lease is silent, subletting is permitted. Quite often there is a prerequisite that you must seek permission via your landlord or other appropriate person before subletting. This means you not allowed to sublet without first obtaining permission. The consent must not not be unreasonably withheld. If your lease prohibits you from letting out the property you should ask your landlord for their consent.

Due to complete next month on a leasehold property in Botany Bay. Conveyancing lawyers have said that they report fully within the next couple of days. Are there areas in the report that I should be focusing on?

Your report on title for your leasehold conveyancing in Botany Bay should include some of the following:

  • You should be sent a copy of the lease
  • Details of the parties to the lease, for example these could be the leaseholder (you), head lessor, landlord
  • Does the lease prevent you from subletting the flat, or having a home office for business
  • You should be told what counts as a Nuisance in the lease
  • You should have a good understanding of the insurance provisions
  • Changes to the flat (alterations and additions)
  • Whether the landlord has obligations to ensure rights of quiet enjoyment over your property and do you know what it means in practice? For details of the information to be included in your report on your leasehold property in Botany Bay please enquire of your conveyancer in advance of your conveyancing in Botany Bay

  • I've recently bought a leasehold flat in Botany Bay. 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 be sure 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).

    Do you have any advice for leasehold conveyancing in Botany Bay from the perspective of saving time on the sale process?

    • A significant proportion of the frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Botany Bay can be avoided if you appoint lawyers the minute you market your property and request that they start to collate the leasehold documentation which will be required by the purchasers’ lawyers.
    • The majority freeholders or Management Companies in Botany Bay levy fees for supplying management packs for a leasehold homes. You or your lawyers should discover the fee that they propose to charge. The management information can be applied for as soon as you have a buyer, thus reducing delays. The typical amount of time it takes to receive management information is three weeks. It is the most usual cause of frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Botany Bay.
  • Some Botany Bay leases require Landlord’s consent to the sale and approval of the buyers. If this applies to your lease, it would be prudent to place the estate agents on notice to make sure that the purchasers obtain financial (bank) and professional references. The bank reference should make it clear that the buyer is financially capable of paying 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 actual amount of the service charge so that they can pass this information on to the buyers or their lawyers.
  • If you have had conflict with your freeholder or managing agents it is essential that these are resolved prior to the flat being put on the market. The purchasers and their solicitors will be warry about purchasing a flat where there is a current dispute. You may need to swallow your pride and pay any arrears of service charge or resolve the dispute prior to completion of the sale. It is therefore preferable to have any dispute settled prior to the contract papers being issued to the buyers’ solicitors. You will still have to reveal details of the dispute to the purchasers, but it is clearly preferable to present the dispute as over rather than unresolved.
  • You may think that you are aware of the number of years left on your lease but you should double-check by asking your conveyancers. A purchaser's conveyancer will not be happy to advise their client to where the remaining number of years is below 75 years. It is therefore essential at an early stage that you identify whether the lease term for your property needs extending. If it does, contact your solicitors before you put your property on the market for sale.

  • I have tried to negotiate informally with with my landlord for a lease extension without success. Can the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal adjudicate on such issues? Can you recommend a Botany Bay conveyancing firm to represent me?

    You certainly can. We can put you in touch with a Botany Bay conveyancing firm who can help.

    An example of a Freehold Enfranchisement case for a Botany Bay residence is 23 Beaconsfield Road in July 2013. The Tribunals decided that the amount payable was £31,203 for the freehold. This case was in relation to 2 flats. The remaining number of years on the lease was 70.31 years.