Recently asked questions relating to Manchester leasehold conveyancing
Helen (my wife) and I may need to rent out our Manchester 1st floor flat temporarily due to a career opportunity. We instructed a Manchester conveyancing firm in 2001 but they have since shut and we did not have the foresight to get any advice as to whether the lease allows us to sublet. How do we find out?
A small minority of properties in Manchester do contain a provision to say that subletting is only permitted with prior consent from the landlord. The landlord is not entitled to unreasonably refuse but, in such cases, they would need to see references. Experience dictates that problems are usually caused by unsatisfactory tenants rather than owner-occupiers and for that reason you can expect the freeholder to take up the references and consider them carefully before granting permission.
I’m about to sell my ground floor apartment in Manchester.Conveyancing lawyers have not yet been instructed but I have just had a yearly maintenance charge demand – should I leave it to the buyer to sort out?
The sensible thing to do is discharge the invoice 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. This will smooth the conveyancing process.
My wife and I purchased a leasehold flat in Manchester. Conveyancing and Godiva Mortgages Ltd mortgage went though with no issue. A letter has just been received from someone claiming to own the freehold. It included a demand for arrears of ground rent dating back to 1997. The conveyancing solicitor in Manchester who previously acted has now retired.Do I pay?
The first thing you should do is contact the Land Registry to be sure that the individual claiming to own the freehold is indeed the new freeholder. There is no need to incur the fees of a Manchester conveyancing solicitor to do this as you can do this on the Land Registry website for less than a fiver. You should note that in any event, even if this is the rightful freeholder, under the Limitation Act 1980 the limitation period for recovery of ground rent is six years.
I am attracted to a two flats in Manchester which have about 50 years remaining on the lease term. Will this present a problem?
There is no doubt about it. A leasehold apartment in Manchester is a deteriorating asset as a result of the shortening lease. The closer the lease gets to its expiry date, the more it adversely affects the salability of the property. For most buyers and mortgage companies, leases with less than eighty years become less and less marketable. On a more upbeat 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 property 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 Manchester 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.
What are your top tips when it comes to choosing a Manchester conveyancing firm to deal with our lease extension?
If you are instructing a solicitor for your lease extension (regardless if they are a Manchester conveyancing firm) it is imperative that he or she should be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of conveyancing. We suggested that you speak with two or three firms including non Manchester conveyancing practices prior to instructing a firm. Where the conveyancing practice is ALEP accredited then that’s a bonus. Some following of questions might be useful:
- What volume of lease extensions have they conducted in Manchester in the last twenty four months?
I am the registered owner of a 1st floor flat in Manchester, conveyancing was carried out 1996. Can you please calculate a probable premium for a statutory lease extension? Corresponding flats in Manchester with a long lease are worth £205,000. The average or mid-range amount of ground rent is £55 invoiced annually. The lease ceases on 21st October 2074
With just 53 years unexpired the likely cost is going to span between £28,500 and £33,000 plus 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 the actual costs without more detailed due diligence. You should not use this information in tribunal or court proceedings. There may be other concerns that need to be taken into account and you obviously want to be as accurate as possible in your negotiations. You should not move forward based on this information without first getting professional advice.