Leasehold Conveyancing in St Helier - Get a Quote from the leasehold experts approved by your lender

When it comes to leasehold conveyancing in St Helier, you will need to instruct a conveyancing lawyer with leasehold experience. Whether your lender is to be Santander, RBS or Nationwide make sure you find a lawyer on their panel. Find a St Helier conveyancing lawyer with our search tool

Frequently asked questions relating to St Helier leasehold conveyancing

My partner and I may need to rent out our St Helier 1st floor flat for a while due to taking a sabbatical. We instructed a St Helier conveyancing firm in 2002 but they have since shut and we did not think at the time seek any advice as to whether the lease permits subletting. How do we find out?

Even though your last St Helier conveyancing solicitor is not available you can review your lease to see if you are permitted to let out the apartment. The rule is that if the deeds are silent, subletting is permitted. Quite often there is a prerequisite that you are obliged to obtain permission via your landlord or other appropriate person in advance of subletting. This means that you cannot sublet in the absence of prior consent. The consent must not not be unreasonably turned down. If your lease does not allow you to sublet you will need to ask your landlord for their consent.

I only have Sixty One years remaining on my flat in St Helier. I am keen to get lease extension but my freeholder is missing. What are my options?

If you meet the appropriate requirements, under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 you can apply to the County Court for an order to dispense with the service of the initial notice. This will enable the lease to be granted an extra 90 years by the magistrate. You will be obliged to demonstrate that you or your lawyers have done all that could be expected to track down the freeholder. For most situations a specialist should be helpful to try and locate and to produce a report which can be used as proof that the freeholder can not be located. It is advisable to get professional help from a property lawyer both on devolving into the landlord’s absence and the application to the County Court covering St Helier.

I am tempted by the attractive purchase price for a couple of maisonettes in St Helier both have in the region of 50 years remaining on the lease term. Should I regard a short lease as a deal breaker?

There are no two ways about it. A leasehold flat in St Helier is a wasting asset as a result of the reducing lease term. The closer the lease gets to its expiry date, the more it adversely affects the salability of the property. For most purchasers and banks, leases with under 75 years become less and less marketable. On a more positive note, leaseholders can extend their leases by serving a Section 42 Notice. One stipulation is that they must have owned the property for two years (unlike a Section 13 notice for purchasing the freehold, when leaseholders can participate from day one of ownership). When successful, they will have the right to an extension of 90 years to the current term and ground rent is effectively reduced to zero. Before moving forward with a purchase of a residence with a short lease term remaining you should talk to a solicitor specialising in lease extensions and leasehold enfranchisement. We are are happy to put you in touch with St Helier conveyancing experts who will explain the options available to you during an initial telephone conversation free of charge. A more straightforward and quicker method of extending would be to contact your landlord directly and sound him out on the prospect of extending the lease You may find he or she is happy to negotiate informally and willing to consider your offer straight off, without having to involve anyone else. This will save you time and money and it could help you reach a lower price on the lease. You need to ensure that any new terms represent good long-term value compared with the standard benefits of the Section 42 Notice and that onerous clauses are not inserted into any redrafting of the lease.

I work for a long established estate agency in St Helier where we have witnessed a number of leasehold sales derailed due to leases having less than 80 years remaining. I have received inconsistent advice from local St Helier conveyancing firms. Please can you confirm whether the owner of a flat can commence 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 commence the lease extension process and assign the benefit of the notice to the purchaser. This means that the proposed purchaser need not have to wait 2 years for a lease extension. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment has to be done 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.

Can you provide any top tips for leasehold conveyancing in St Helier from the point of view of speeding up the sale process?

  • Much of the delay in leasehold conveyancing in St Helier can be avoided where you get in touch lawyers as soon as your agents start marketing the property and ask them to put together the leasehold information needed by the buyers lawyers.
  • The majority landlords or Management Companies in St Helier charge for supplying management packs for a leasehold homes. You or your lawyers should find out the actual amount of the charges. The management pack sought as soon as you have a buyer, thus reducing delays. The average time it takes to receive management information is three weeks. It is the most common reason for frustration in leasehold conveyancing in St Helier.
  • In the event that you altered the property did you need the Landlord’s consent? Have you, for example laid down wooden flooring? Most leases in St Helier state that internal structural alterations or addition of wooden flooring necessitate a licence from the Landlord acquiescing to such works. Should you dont have the approvals in place you should not communicate with the landlord without checking with your solicitor before hand.
  • If there is a history of conflict with your landlord or managing agents it is very important that these are resolved prior to the flat being put on the market. The buyers and their solicitors will be reluctant to purchase a flat where a dispute is ongoing. You may have to bite the bullet and discharge any arrears of service charge or settle the dispute prior to completion of the sale. It is therefore preferable to have any dispute settled prior to the contract papers being issued to the buyers’ solicitors. You will still have to reveal details of the dispute to the buyers, but it is better to present the dispute as historic as opposed to unresolved.
  • You believe that you know the number of years left on your lease but it would be advisable double-check by asking your conveyancers. A purchaser's lawyer will not be happy to advise their client to where the remaining number of years is below 75 years. It is therefore important at an as soon as possible that you identify whether the lease for your property needs extending. If it does, contact your solicitors before you put your premises on the market for sale.

  • I have attempted and failed to negotiate with my landlord for a lease extension without getting anywhere. Can a leaseholder apply to the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal? Can you recommend a St Helier conveyancing firm to assist?

    Most definitely. We can put you in touch with a St Helier conveyancing firm who can help.

    An example of a Freehold Enfranchisement decision for a St Helier residence is Buchanan Court 39 Vernon Road in April 2010. the Tribunal assessed that the premium payable for the freehold of the block should be £44,000. This case affected 2 flats. The unexpired term was 66.67 years.