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Questions and Answers: Cowley leasehold conveyancing

I wish to rent out my leasehold apartment in Cowley. Conveyancing solicitor who did the purchase is retired - so can't ask him. Do I need to ask my freeholder for permission?

The lease governs the relationship between the freeholder and you the leaseholder; specifically, it will set out 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. Most leases in Cowley do not contain an absolute prevention of subletting – such a provision would adversely affect the market value the flat. Instead, there is usually a basic requirement that the owner notifies the freeholder, possibly supplying a copy of the tenancy agreement.

I have just started marketing my basement apartment in Cowley.Conveyancing solicitors are to be appointed soon but I have just received a half-yearly maintenance charge invoice – Do I pay up?

The sensible thing to do is pay 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 unless 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. Having a clear account will assist your cause and will leave you no worse off financially.

My wife and I purchased a leasehold house in Cowley. Conveyancing and Yorkshire Building Society mortgage went though with no issue. A letter has just been received from someone claiming to own the reversionary interest in the property. It included a ground rent demand for rent dating back to 1996. The conveyancing practitioner in Cowley who acted for me is not around.Any advice?

The first thing you should do is contact HMLR to be sure that the individual purporting to own the freehold is in fact the new freeholder. There is no need to instruct a Cowley conveyancing firm to do this as you can do this on the Land Registry website for a few pound. Rest assured that in any event, even if this is the legitimate freeholder, under the Limitation Act 1980 no more than 6 years of rent can be collected.

I've recently bought a leasehold flat in Cowley. Do I have any liability for service charges for periods before completion of my purchase?

In a situation 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. It is an essential part 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).

After years of dialogue we are unable to agree with our landlord on how much the lease extension should cost for our flat in Cowley. Can we issue an application to the Residential Property Tribunal Service?

Absolutely. We are happy to put you in touch with a Cowley conveyancing firm who can help.

An example of a Freehold Enfranchisement case for a Cowley premises is 164 Nestles Avenue in October 2013. The tribunal agreed with the proposed price of £20,158 for the freehold and determined that that sum is the amount to be paid into court This case was in relation to 2 flats. The the number of years remaining on the existing lease(s) was 69 years.

In relation to leasehold conveyancing in Cowley what are the most common lease defects?

There is nothing unique about leasehold conveyancing in Cowley. Most leases are unique and drafting errors can sometimes mean that certain provisions are missing. The following missing provisions could result in a defective lease:

  • Repairing obligations to or maintain parts of the property
  • A duty to insure the building
  • Clauses dealing with recovering service charges for expenditure on the building or common parts.
  • Service charge per centages that don't add up correctly leaving a shortfall

You will encounter difficulties when selling your property if you have a defective lease primarily because it impacts on the ability to obtain a mortgage on the property. Accord Mortgages Ltd, Barnsley Building Society, and Barclays Direct all have very detailed conveyancing instructions when it comes to what is expected in a lease. If a mortgage lender believes that the lease does not cover certain provisions they may refuse to provide security, obliging the buyer to pull out.

Other Topics

Lease Extensions in Cowley