Frequently asked questions relating to Leamouth leasehold conveyancing
Helen (my wife) and I may need to let out our Leamouth ground floor flat temporarily due to taking a sabbatical. We instructed a Leamouth conveyancing firm in 2002 but they have closed and we did not think at the time seek any advice as to whether the lease permits subletting. How do we find out?
A lease governs relations between the landlord and you the flat owner; in particular, it will set out if subletting is banned, or permitted but only subject to certain conditions. The rule is that if the lease contains no expres ban or restriction, subletting is allowed. Most leases in Leamouth do not contain an absolute prevention of subletting – such a clause would adversely affect the market value the property. Instead, there is usually simply a requirement that the owner notifies the freeholder, possibly supplying a duplicate of the tenancy agreement.
I am looking at a two maisonettes in Leamouth which have about forty five years unexpired on the lease term. Will this present a problem?
A lease is a legal document that entitles you to use the property for a prescribed time frame. As a lease gets shorter the marketability of the lease deteriorate and it becomes more costly to acquire a lease extension. For this reason it is advisable to extend the lease term. More often than not it is difficulties arise selling premises with a short lease as mortgage lenders less inclined to grant a loan on such properties. Lease enfranchisement can be a protracted process. We advise that you seek professional assistance from a solicitor and surveyor with experience in this field
I've recently bought a leasehold flat in Leamouth. Am I liable to pay service charges for periods before my ownership?
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).
What advice can you give us when it comes to finding a Leamouth conveyancing firm to carry out our lease extension conveyancing?
When appointing a solicitor for lease extension works (regardless if they are a Leamouth conveyancing firm) it is most important that they be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of work. We advise that you speak with several firms including non Leamouth conveyancing practices prior to instructing a firm. Where the conveyancing practice is ALEP accredited then that’s a bonus. Some following of questions might be useful:
- How familiar is the firm with lease extension legislation?
Having spent years of negotiations we simply can't agree with our landlord on how much the lease extension should cost for our flat in Leamouth. Can we issue an application to the Residential Property Tribunal Service?
if there is a absentee landlord or if there is dispute about the premium for a lease extension, under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 it is possible to make an application to the First-tier Tribunal (Property Chamber) to decide the sum to be paid.
An example of a Lease Extension decision for a Leamouth property is 46 Credon Road in January 2014. On 11 September 2013 Deputy District Judge Price sitting at the Bow County Court made a vesting order that the freeholder surrender his lease and be granted a new lease of the Premises on such terms as may be determined by the First Tier Tribunal (Property Chamber).The appropriate sum as concluded by the Tribunal was £7225 This case related to 1 flat. The the number of years remaining on the existing lease(s) was 69.77 years.
What are the frequently found defects that you encounter in leases for Leamouth properties?
Leasehold conveyancing in Leamouth is not unique. All leases are individual and legal mistakes in the legal wording can result in certain provisions are erroneous. 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
- Insurance obligations
- 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
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. Birmingham Midshires, Bank of Scotland, and TSB all have express requirements 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 grant the mortgage, obliging the purchaser to withdraw.