Lydney leasehold conveyancing: Q and A’s
I wish to sublet my leasehold flat in Lydney. Conveyancing solicitor who did the purchase is retired - so can't ask him. Is permission from the freeholder required?
The lease governs relations between the freeholder and you the flat owner; specifically, it will say if subletting is prohibited, or permitted but only subject to certain conditions. The rule is that if the lease contains no specific ban or restriction, subletting is permitted. The majority of leases in Lydney do not contain strict prohibition on subletting – such a provision would adversely affect the market value the property. In most cases there is a basic requirement that the owner notifies the freeholder, possibly supplying a duplicate of the tenancy agreement.
Back In 2009, I bought a leasehold house in Lydney. Conveyancing and The Royal Bank of Scotland mortgage organised. I have received a letter from someone claiming to own the freehold. Attached was a ground rent demand for rent dating back to 1994. The conveyancing solicitor in Lydney who acted for me is not around.What should I do?
The first thing you should do is make enquiries of HMLR to be sure that the individual purporting to own the freehold is indeed the new freeholder. You do not need to instruct a Lydney conveyancing practitioner to do this as you can do this on the Land Registry website for less than a fiver. Rest assured that in any event, even if this is the rightful freeholder, under the Limitation Act 1980 no more than 6 years of rent can be collected.
Last month I purchased a leasehold property in Lydney. Am I liable to pay service charges for periods before my ownership?
Where the service charge has already been demanded from the previous lessee and they have not paid you would not usually be personally liable for the arrears. Strange as it may seem, your landlord may still be able to take action to forfeit the lease. It is an essential part 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 long established estate agent office in Lydney where we see a few leasehold sales derailed due to short leases. I have been given inconsistent advice from local Lydney conveyancing solicitors. Please can you shed some light as to whether the owner of a flat can instigate the lease extension formalities 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 commence the lease extension process and assign the benefit of the notice to the purchaser. This means that the buyer 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 prior to, or simultaneously with completion of the sale.
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.
What are your top tips when it comes to finding a Lydney conveyancing firm to carry out our lease extension conveyancing?
If you are instructing a solicitor for lease extension works (regardless if they are a Lydney conveyancing firm) it is imperative that they be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of conveyancing. We advise that you talk with several firms including non Lydney conveyancing practices prior to instructing a firm. Where the conveyancing practice is ALEP accredited then so much the better. Some following of questions might be useful:
- What volume of lease extensions has the firm conducted in Lydney in the last year?
I own a 1st floor flat in Lydney, conveyancing having been completed 2006. Can you please calculate a probable premium for a statutory lease extension? Similar flats in Lydney with a long lease are worth £167,000. The average or mid-range amount of ground rent is £65 invoiced annually. The lease expires on 21st October 2094
With only 71 years remaining on your lease we estimate the premium for your lease extension to range between £10,500 and £12,000 as well as plus your own and the landlord's "reasonable" professional fees.
The figure above a general guide to costs for renewing a lease, but we are not able to supply a more accurate figure in the absence of comprehensive investigations. Do not use this information in tribunal or court proceedings. There are no doubt additional concerns that need to be taken into account and clearly you should be as accurate as possible in your negotiations. Neither should you move forward placing reliance on this information before getting professional advice.