Questions and Answers: Locksbottom leasehold conveyancing
My fiance and I may need to rent out our Locksbottom ground floor flat temporarily due to a career opportunity. We used a Locksbottom conveyancing practice in 2003 but they have closed and we did not have the foresight to seek any advice as to whether the lease allows us to sublet. How do we find out?
Some leases for properties in Locksbottom do contain a provision to say that subletting is only allowed with permission. The landlord cannot unreasonably withhold but, in such cases, they would need to review references. Experience dictates 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 am hoping to put an offer on a small detached house that seems to meet my requirements, at a great figure which is making it more attractive. I have since been informed that it's a leasehold rather than freehold. I would have thought that there are particular concerns purchasing a house with a leasehold title in Locksbottom. Conveyancing lawyers have are about to be appointed. Will my lawyers set out the implications of buying a leasehold house in Locksbottom ?
The majority of houses in Locksbottom are freehold and not leasehold. This is one of the situations where having a local solicitor used to dealing with such properties who can assist with the conveyancing process. We note that you are buying in Locksbottom so you should seriously consider shopping around for a Locksbottom conveyancing solicitor and check that they have experience in advising on leasehold houses. As a matter of priority you will need to check the number of years remaining. As a leaseholder you will not be entirely free to do whatever you want to the property. The lease will likely included provisions such as requiring the landlord’sconsent to carry out alterations. It may be necessary to pay a service charge towards the upkeep of the communal areas where the property is located on an estate. Your conveyancer should report to you on the legal implications.
I am looking at a couple of maisonettes in Locksbottom which have in the region of 50 years unexpired on the leases. Should I regard a short lease as a deal breaker?
There are plenty of short leases in Locksbottom. The lease is a legal document that entitles you to use the property for a prescribed time frame. As a lease gets shorter the saleability of the lease deteriorate and it becomes more costly to acquire a lease extension. For this reason it is generally wise to increase the term of the lease. More often than not it is difficult to sell a property with a short lease because mortgage lenders may be reluctant to lend money on such properties. Lease enfranchisement can be a protracted process. We recommend you get professional assistance from a solicitor and surveyor with experience in this arena
Can you offer any advice when it comes to choosing a Locksbottom conveyancing practice to deal with our lease extension?
When appointing a property lawyer for lease extension works (regardless if they are a Locksbottom conveyancing practice) it is essential that they be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of work. We advise that you make enquires with several firms including non Locksbottom conveyancing practices prior to instructing a firm. If the firm is ALEP accredited then that’s a bonus. Some following of questions could be of use:
- How experienced is the practice with lease extension legislation?
I have given up trying to purchase the freehold in Locksbottom. Can the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal adjudicate on premiums?
Where there is a missing landlord or where there is disagreement about what the lease extension should cost, under the relevant legislation it is possible to make an application to the First-tier Tribunal (Property Chamber) to calculate the premium.
An example of a Lease Extension decision for a Locksbottom residence is 1 Southlands Court Southlands Road in September 2013. The Leasehold Valuation Tribunal determined that the premium to be paid by the tenant on the grant of a new lease, in accordance with section 56 and Schedule 13 of the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 was £30,541 This case was in relation to 1 flat. The the unexpired residue of the current lease was 50.57 years.
What are the frequently found deficiencies that you witness in leases for Locksbottom properties?
There is nothing unique about leasehold conveyancing in Locksbottom. Most leases are individual and legal mistakes in the legal wording can sometimes mean that certain provisions are wrong. The following missing provisions could result in a defective lease:
- A provision to repair to or maintain elements of the premises
- Insurance obligations
- A provision for the recovery of money spent for the benefit of another party.
- Service charge per centages that don't add up correctly leaving a shortfall
You will encounter a problem when selling your property if you have a defective lease as they can affect a potential buyer’s ability to obtain a mortgage. HSBC Bank, Leeds Building Society, and Clydesdale all have very detailed requirements when it comes to what is expected in a lease. If a mortgage lender believes that the lease is problematic they may refuse to provide security, obliging the buyer to pull out.