Fixed-fee leasehold conveyancing in Fulwell:

When it comes to leasehold conveyancing in Fulwell, you will need to appoint a conveyancing solicitor with leasehold experience. Whether your mortgage company is to be Santander, RBS or Bradford & Bingley make sure you choose a lawyer on their approved list. Find a Fulwell conveyancing lawyer with our search tool

Questions and Answers: Fulwell leasehold conveyancing

My partner and I may need to sub-let our Fulwell 1st floor flat temporarily due to taking a sabbatical. We instructed a Fulwell conveyancing firm in 2003 but they have since shut and we did not think at the time seek any guidance as to whether the lease prohibits the subletting of the flat. How do we find out?

A small minority of properties in Fulwell do contain a provision to say that subletting is only allowed with permission. The landlord cannot unreasonably refuse but, in such cases, they would need to review references. Experience suggests 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 consent.

I own a leasehold flat in Fulwell. Conveyancing and Lloyds TSB Bank mortgage are in place. A letter has just been received from someone saying they have taken over the freehold. It included a ground rent demand for rent dating back to 1991. The conveyancing solicitor in Fulwell who acted for me is not around.Any advice?

First make enquiries of the Land Registry to make sure that the individual purporting to own the freehold is indeed the new freeholder. There is no need to instruct a Fulwell conveyancing practitioner to do this as it can be done on-line for a few pound. You should note that regardless, even if this is the rightful freeholder, under the Limitation Act 1980 no more than 6 years of rent can be collected.

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

Where the service charge has already been demanded from the previous owner and they have not paid you would not usually be personally liable for the arrears. However, 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).

I am a negotiator for a busy estate agent office in Fulwell where we see a few leasehold sales derailed due to short leases. I have received contradictory information from local Fulwell conveyancing solicitors. Can you clarify whether the owner of a flat can initiate the lease extension process for the purchaser on completion of the sale?

As long as the seller has owned the lease for at least 2 years it is possible, to serve a Section 42 notice to start the lease extension process and assign the benefit of the notice to the purchaser. The benefit of this is that the proposed purchaser can avoid having to sit tight for 2 years to extend their lease. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment needs to be completed before, or at the same time as completion of the sale.

Alternatively, it may be possible to agree the lease extension with the freeholder 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 Fulwell from the perspective of speeding up the sale process?

  • A significant proportion of the delay in leasehold conveyancing in Fulwell can be bypassed if you get in touch lawyers the minute your agents start advertising the property and request that they start to put together the leasehold information which will be required by the purchasers’ representatives.
  • Many freeholders or managing agents in Fulwell levy fees for supplying management packs for a leasehold premises. You or your lawyers should find out the fee that they propose to charge. The management pack sought as soon as you have a buyer, thus accelerating the process. The average time it takes to obtain the necessary information is three weeks. It is the most usual cause of delay in leasehold conveyancing in Fulwell.
  • Some Fulwell leases require Licence to Assign from the landlord. If this applies to your lease, you should place the estate agents on notice to make sure that the purchasers put in hand 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.
  • If you have had any disputes with your freeholder or managing agents it is very important that these are settled before the property is put on the market. The buyers and their solicitors will be reluctant to purchase a property where a dispute is ongoing. You may need to swallow your pride and discharge any arrears of service charge or resolve the dispute prior to completion of the sale. It is therefore preferable to have any dispute settled ahead of the contract papers being issued to the buyers’ solicitors. You are still duty bound to disclose particulars of the dispute to the buyers, but it is better to reveal the dispute as historic rather than unsettled.
  • You may think that you are aware of the number of years left on your lease but it would be advisable verify this by asking your conveyancers. A purchaser's conveyancer will be unlikely to recommend their client to where the lease term is below 80 years. It is therefore important at an early stage that you identify whether the lease term requires a lease extension. If it does, contact your solicitors before you put your property on the market for sale.

  • I am the leaseholder of a a ground floor purpose built flat in Fulwell. In the absence of agreement between myself and the landlord, can the Leasehold valuation Tribunal determine the sum payable for the purchase of the freehold?

    You certainly can. We are happy to put you in touch with a Fulwell conveyancing firm who can help.

    An example of a Lease Extension decision for a Fulwell residence is Ground Floor Flat 91 Bath Road in May 2009. in a case where the freeholder could not be traced, the Brentford County Court ordered that the Lease be surrendered in return for the grant of a new lease of the Premises at a premium determined by the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal. The tribunal concluded that the price payable by the Applicant for the new lease of the premises be £15,900 This case was in relation to 1 flat. The unexpired lease term was 60.45 years.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Fulwell