Experts for Leasehold Conveyancing in Shirley

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Questions and Answers: Shirley leasehold conveyancing

Frank (my husband) and I may need to sub-let our Shirley basement flat for a while due to a career opportunity. We instructed a Shirley conveyancing firm in 2004 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?

Even though your previous Shirley conveyancing lawyer is no longer around you can check your lease to check if it allows you to sublet the premises. The accepted inference is that if the lease is silent, subletting is allowed. There may be a precondition that you are obliged to seek consent via your landlord or other appropriate person before subletting. The net result is that you cannot sublet in the absence of prior permission. Such consent must not not be unreasonably withheld. If the lease does not allow you to sublet you should ask your landlord for their consent.

I have just appointed agents to market my 2 bed flat in Shirley.Conveyancing lawyers have not yet been instructed but I have just had a quarterly maintenance charge invoice – should I leave it to the buyer to sort out?

Your conveyancing lawyer is likely to suggest that you should 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.

I am a negotiator for a busy estate agency in Shirley where we see a number of flat sales derailed due to short leases. I have received contradictory information from local Shirley conveyancing solicitors. Can you shed some light as to whether the vendor of a flat can start the lease extension process for the purchaser on completion of the sale?

Provided that the seller has been the owner for at least 2 years it is possible, to serve a Section 42 notice to commence the lease extension process and assign the benefit of the notice to the purchaser. The benefit of this is that the buyer need not have to wait 2 years for a lease extension. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment needs to be completed before, or simultaneously with completion of the disposal of the property.

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 buyer.

Our conveyancer has advised that he intends to complete and exchange simultaneously on the disposal of our £500000 flat in Shirley in 5 days. The managing agents has quoted £336 for Certificate of Compliance, building insurance schedule and 3 years statements of service charge. Is the landlord entitled to charge an administration fee for a leasehold conveyance in Shirley?

Shirley conveyancing on leasehold flats usually necessitates the purchaser’s solicitor submitting questions for the landlord to address. Although the landlord is under no legal obligation to respond to such questions the majority will be content to assist. They are entitled invoice a reasonable administration fee for responding to enquiries or supplying documentation. There is no set fee. The average costs for the information that you are referring to is £350, in some transactions it is in excess of £800. The administration charge levied by the landlord must be sent together with a summary of rights and obligations in relation to administration charges, without which the invoice is technically not due. Reality however dictates that you have no choice but to pay whatever is requested of you if you want to complete the sale of your home.

I have tried to negotiate informally with with my landlord for a lease extension without getting anywhere. Can I make an application to the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal? Can you recommend a Shirley conveyancing firm to help?

You certainly can. We can put you in touch with a Shirley conveyancing firm who can help.

An example of a Freehold Enfranchisement case for a Shirley property is 29 Woodstock Road in April 2014. the Tribunal determined that the premiums to be paid into court in respect of the purchase of the freehold registered at HMLR under Title N0.SY3997 should be £7,217. This case related to 4 flats. The the number of years remaining on the existing lease(s) was 98 years.

What makes a Shirley lease problematic?

Leasehold conveyancing in Shirley is not unique. All leases are individual and drafting errors can result in certain clauses are erroneous. The following missing provisions could result in a defective lease:

  • A provision to repair to or maintain parts of the property
  • 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 could have a problem when selling your property if you have a defective lease primarily because it impacts on the ability to obtain a mortgage on the property. Barclays , Bank of Scotland, and Alliance & Leicester all have very detailed conveyancing instructions when it comes to what is expected in a lease. If a mortgage lender believes that the lease is problematic they may refuse to grant the mortgage, forcing the purchaser to withdraw.