Common questions relating to Machen leasehold conveyancing
My partner and I may need to rent out our Machen 1st floor flat temporarily due to taking a sabbatical. We used a Machen conveyancing firm in 2004 but they have closed and we did not have the foresight to get any guidance as to whether the lease permits subletting. How do we find out?
A lease governs the relationship between the landlord and you the leaseholder; specifically, it will say if subletting is not allowed, or permitted but only subject to certain conditions. The accepted inference is that if the lease contains no specific ban or restriction, subletting is allowed. Most leases in Machen do not contain an absolute prevention of subletting – such a clause would undoubtedly devalue the flat. In most cases there is simply a requirement that the owner notifies the freeholder, possibly sending a duplicate of the tenancy agreement.
Estate agents have just been given the go-ahead to market my basement flat in Machen.Conveyancing lawyers have not yet been instructed but I have just had a quarterly maintenance charge demand – what should I do?
It best that you clear 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. This will smooth the conveyancing process.
I've found a house that appears to meet my requirements, at a reasonable figure which is making it more attractive. I have since been informed that it's a leasehold as opposed to freehold. I would have thought that there are particular concerns purchasing a leasehold house in Machen. Conveyancing advisers have are about to be instructed. Will they explain the issues?
Most houses in Machen are freehold and not leasehold. In this scenario it’s worth having a local solicitor who is familiar with the area can help the conveyancing process. We note that you are buying in Machen in which case you should be looking for a Machen conveyancing solicitor and be sure that they have experience in transacting on leasehold houses. First you will need to check the number of years remaining. As a tenant you will not be entirely free to do whatever you want to the property. The lease will likely included provisions for example requiring the landlord’sconsent to conduct alterations. It may be necessary to pay a service charge towards the maintenance of the communal areas where the house is located on an estate. Your solicitor should report to you on the legal implications.
I've recently bought a leasehold property in Machen. Am I liable to pay service charges for periods before completion of my purchase?
Where the service charge has already been demanded from the previous owner 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. A critical element 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 Machen where we have experienced a few leasehold sales jeopardised as a result of leases having less than 80 years remaining. I have been given contradictory information from local Machen conveyancing firms. Can you clarify whether the seller of a flat can instigate the lease extension formalities 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 commence the lease extension process and assign the benefit of the notice to the purchaser. The benefit of this is that the buyer can avoid having to wait 2 years to extend their lease. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment has to be done 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.
I am the registered owner of a ground floor flat in Machen, conveyancing was carried out half a dozen years ago. Can you please calculate a probable premium for a statutory lease extension? Corresponding properties in Machen with over 90 years remaining are worth £170,000. The average or mid-range amount of ground rent is £60 yearly. The lease comes to an end on 21st October 2088
With 65 years remaining on your lease the likely cost is going to range between £16,200 and £18,600 plus professional fees.
The figure above a general guide to costs for renewing a lease, but we cannot give you a more accurate figure without more comprehensive due diligence. You should not use this information in a Notice of Claim or as an informal offer. There are no doubt additional issues that need to be taken into account and you obviously should be as accurate as possible in your negotiations. Please do not take any other action based on this information without first getting professional advice.