Frequently asked questions relating to Cranford leasehold conveyancing
My partner and I may need to rent out our Cranford 1st floor flat temporarily due to a career opportunity. We instructed a Cranford conveyancing firm in 2004 but they have closed and we did not think at the time seek any guidance as to whether the lease allows us to sublet. How do we find out?
Your lease governs relations between the freeholder and you the leaseholder; in particular, it will say if subletting is banned, or permitted but only subject to certain conditions. The accepted inference is that if the lease contains no expres ban or restriction, subletting is allowed. Most leases in Cranford do not contain strict prohibition on subletting – such a provision would adversely affect the market value the property. In most cases there is a basic requirement that the owner notifies the freeholder, possibly supplying a duplicate of the tenancy agreement.
I am employed by a long established estate agent office in Cranford where we have witnessed a number of leasehold sales put at risk as a result of leases having less than 80 years remaining. I have received inconsistent advice from local Cranford conveyancing firms. Please can you clarify whether the vendor of a flat can instigate the lease extension process for the purchaser on completion of the sale?
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 need not have to sit tight for 2 years for a lease extension. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment needs to be completed prior to, or at the same time as completion of the sale.
Alternatively, it may be possible 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.
Do you have any top tips for leasehold conveyancing in Cranford from the perspective of speeding up the sale process?
- A significant proportion of the delay in leasehold conveyancing in Cranford can be avoided if you get in touch lawyers the minute your agents start advertising the property and ask them to collate the leasehold documentation which will be required by the purchasers’ lawyers.
- Some Cranford leases require Licence to Assign from the landlord. If this applies to your lease, it would be prudent to notify your estate agents to make sure that the purchasers obtain financial (bank) and professional references. Any bank reference will need to confirm that the buyers are financially capable of paying the annual 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 service charge figures so that they can pass this information on to the buyers or their lawyers.
We expect to complete the disposal of our £125000 garden flat in Cranford in just under a week. The management company has quoted £372 for Landlord’s certificate, building insurance schedule and 3 years statements of service charge. Is the landlord entitled to charge an administration fee for a flat conveyance in Cranford?
Cranford conveyancing on leasehold apartments usually involves the purchaser’s lawyer submitting enquiries for the landlord to address. Although the landlord is not legally bound to address these enquiries the majority will be willing to assist. They are at liberty levy a reasonable administration fee for answering enquiries or supplying documentation. There is no set fee. The average costs for the paperwork that you are referring to is over three hundred pounds, in some situations it is above £800. The management information fee invoiced by the landlord must be sent together with a summary of rights and obligations in relation to administration fees, without which the invoice is technically not due. In reality one has no option but to pay whatever is requested of you should you wish to complete the sale of your home.
I have attempted and failed to negotiate with my landlord for a lease extension without any joy. Can the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal decide on such issues? Can you recommend a Cranford conveyancing firm to act on my behalf?
Most certainly. We can put you in touch with a Cranford conveyancing firm who can help.
An example of a Freehold Enfranchisement matter before the tribunal for a Cranford residence 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 related to 2 flats. The remaining number of years on the lease was 69 years.
What makes a Cranford lease problematic?
There is nothing unique about leasehold conveyancing in Cranford. Most leases are individual and drafting errors can result in certain clauses are missing. For example, if your lease is missing any of the following, it could be defective:
- A provision to repair to or maintain parts of the building
- A duty to insure the building
- A provision for the recovery of money spent for the benefit of another party.
- Maintenance charge proportions which don’t add up to the correct percentage
A defective lease will likely cause issues when trying to sell a property as they can affect a potential buyer’s ability to obtain a mortgage. Accord Mortgages Ltd, Virgin Money, and Bank of Ireland all have express conveyancing instructions when it comes to what is expected in a lease. Where a lender has been advised by their lawyers that the lease is defective they may refuse to grant the mortgage, forcing the buyer to pull out.