Top Five Questions relating to Marlow leasehold conveyancing
My partner and I may need to let out our Marlow ground floor flat temporarily due to a new job. We instructed a Marlow conveyancing firm in 2001 but they have closed and we did not think at the time seek any guidance as to whether the lease permits subletting. How do we find out?
Some leases for properties in Marlow do contain a provision to say that subletting is only allowed with permission. The landlord cannot unreasonably withhold but, in such cases, they would need to see references. Experience suggests 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 consent.
I today plan to offer on a house that seems to meet my requirements, at a reasonable figure which is making it all the more appealing. I have subsequently 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 Marlow. Conveyancing advisers have are about to be appointed. Will they explain the issues?
Most houses in Marlow are freehold and not leasehold. In this scenario it’s worth having a local solicitor used to dealing with such properties who can assist with the conveyancing process. It is clear that you are buying in Marlow so you should seriously consider looking for a Marlow conveyancing solicitor and check that they are used to dealing with leasehold houses. First you will need to check the number of years remaining. Being a tenant you will not be at liberty to do whatever you want to the property. The lease will likely included provisions for example requiring the freeholder’spermission to conduct alterations. It may be necessary to pay a contribution towards the upkeep of the communal areas where the house is part of an estate. Your lawyer will report to you on the legal implications.
Last month I purchased a leasehold flat in Marlow. Do I have any liability for 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. A critical element of leasehold conveyancing for your conveyancer to be sure 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).
What are your top tips when it comes to finding a Marlow conveyancing firm to deal with our lease extension?
When appointing a property lawyer for your lease extension (regardless if they are a Marlow conveyancing firm) it is imperative that they be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of work. We recommend that you make enquires with several firms including non Marlow conveyancing practices prior to instructing a firm. If the firm is ALEP accredited then so much the better. Some following of questions could be of use:
- How familiar is the firm with lease extension legislation?
If all goes to plan we aim to complete our sale of a £125000 apartment in Marlow in nine days. The landlords agents has quoted £324 for Certificate of Compliance, insurance certificate and previous years statements of service charge. Is it legal for a freeholder to charge an administration fee for a flat conveyance in Marlow?
Marlow conveyancing on leasehold flats often requires the buyer’s conveyancer sending enquiries for the landlord to answer. Although the landlord is not legally bound to address such questions the majority will be content to do so. They are entitled charge a reasonable charge for responding to enquiries or supplying documentation. There is no upper cap for such fees. The average costs for the information that you are referring to is over three hundred pounds, in some transactions it is in excess of £800. The management information fee invoiced by the landlord must be accompanied by a synopsis of rights and obligations in respect of administration fees, without which the charge is not strictly payable. In reality you have little choice but to pay whatever is requested of you should you wish to exchange contracts with the buyer.
Marlow Conveyancing for Leasehold Flats - Examples of Questions you should ask before Purchasing
Is the freehold owned jointly by the leaseholders?
How many of the leaseholders are in arrears for their maintenance charge payments?
Best to be warned if changing the roof or some other significant cost is anticipated to be shared by the tenants and may well dramatically impact the level of the maintenance fees or result in a specific invoice.