Questions and Answers: Lynton leasehold conveyancing
I am intending to sublet my leasehold apartment in Lynton. Conveyancing solicitor who did the purchase is retired - so can't ask him. Do I need to ask my freeholder for their consent?
A lease dictates relations between the freeholder and you the leaseholder; specifically, it will indicate if subletting is not allowed, or permitted but only subject to certain caveats. The rule is that if the lease contains no expres ban or restriction, subletting is allowed. The majority of leases in Lynton do not contain an absolute prevention of subletting – such a provision would undoubtedly devalue the flat. In most cases there is a basic requirement that the owner notifies the freeholder, possibly sending a copy of the tenancy agreement.
I have just appointed agents to market my ground floor apartment in Lynton.Conveyancing lawyers have not yet been instructed but I have just received a half-yearly maintenance charge invoice – what should I do?
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 until 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've recently bought a leasehold property in Lynton. Am I liable to pay service charges for periods before my ownership?
In a situation 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. However, 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 employed by a reputable estate agency in Lynton where we have witnessed a few flat sales jeopardised due to short leases. I have received conflicting advice from local Lynton conveyancing solicitors. Please can you clarify whether the seller of a flat can start the lease extension process for the buyer?
As long as the seller has been the owner for at least 2 years it is possible, to serve a Section 42 notice to start the lease extension process and assign the benefit of the notice to the purchaser. This means 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 has to be done before, 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.
Can you provide any advice for leasehold conveyancing in Lynton from the point of view of speeding up the sale process?
- A significant proportion of the delay in leasehold conveyancing in Lynton can be reduced if you get in touch lawyers the minute you market your property and ask them to collate the leasehold information which will be required by the buyers representatives.
- If you have carried out any alterations to the property would they have required Landlord’s approval? Have you, for example laid down wooden flooring? Most leases in Lynton state that internal structural changes or laying down wooden flooring necessitate a licence issued by the Landlord acquiescing to such works. Where you dont have the consents to hand do not communicate with the landlord without checking with your lawyer before hand.
Leasehold Conveyancing in Lynton - Examples of Queries Prior to Purchasing
Make sure you find out if there are any onerous restrictions in the lease. By way of example plenty of leases prohibit pets being allowed in in a block in Lynton. If you like the propertyin Lynton however your dog is not allowed to live with you then you have a very hard compromise.
Are any of leasehold owners in arrears of their service charge liability?
Where a Lynton lease has less than eighty years it will affect the value of the flat. It is worth checking with your lender that they are willing to to proceed given the lease term. A short lease means that you will almost definitely have to extend the lease sooner rather than later and you need to have some idea of how much this would cost. Remember, in most cases you would need to own the premises for two years before you are legally able to extend the lease.