Fixed-fee leasehold conveyancing in Middleton:

When it comes to leasehold conveyancing in Middleton, you will need to instruct a conveyancing lawyer with leasehold experience. Whether your mortgage company is to be Lloyds, RBS or NatWest make sure you choose a lawyer on their panel. Feel free to use our search tool

Frequently asked questions relating to Middleton leasehold conveyancing

Jane (my partner) and I may need to rent out our Middleton basement flat for a while due to taking a sabbatical. We used a Middleton conveyancing practice in 2003 but they have since shut and we did not have the foresight to get any guidance as to whether the lease prohibits the subletting of the flat. How do we find out?

Some leases for properties in Middleton 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 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 have recently realised that I have 62 years left on my lease in Middleton. I now wish to extend my lease but my landlord is can not be found. What are my options?

If you qualify, under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 you can apply to the County Court for an order to dispense with the service of the initial notice. This will enable the lease to be extended by the magistrate. However, you will be required to demonstrate that you or your lawyers have made all reasonable attempts to locate the lessor. On the whole an enquiry agent would be helpful to conduct investigations and prepare a report which can be used as proof that the freeholder can not be located. It is advisable to get professional help from a solicitor both on proving the landlord’s absence and the vesting order request to the County Court overseeing Middleton.

Last month I purchased a leasehold house in Middleton. 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 work for a long established estate agency in Middleton where we have experienced a few leasehold sales jeopardised as a result of leases having less than 80 years remaining. I have received contradictory information from local Middleton conveyancing solicitors. Could you shed some light as to whether the vendor of a flat can initiate the lease extension process for the buyer?

Provided that 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. The benefit of this is that the proposed purchaser need not have to sit tight for 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 disposal of the property.

An alternative approach is to agree the lease extension with the freeholder 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 top tips for leasehold conveyancing in Middleton with the intention of expediting the sale process?

  • A significant proportion of the delay in leasehold conveyancing in Middleton can be avoided if you instruct lawyers as soon as your agents start advertising the property and ask them to put together the leasehold documentation needed by the purchasers’ representatives.
  • Many freeholders or Management Companies in Middleton charge for providing management packs for a leasehold premises. You or your lawyers should discover the actual amount of the charges. The management pack can be applied for as soon as you have a buyer, thus reducing delays. The typical amount of time it takes to obtain the necessary information is three weeks. It is the most usual cause of delay in leasehold conveyancing in Middleton.
  • In the event that you altered the property did you need the Landlord’s approval? Have you, for example laid down wooden flooring? Most leases in Middleton state that internal structural changes or installing wooden flooring necessitate a licence from the Landlord consenting to such works. Where you fail to have the consents in place you should not contact the landlord without checking with your solicitor first.
  • Some Middleton leases require Licence to Assign from the landlord. If this is the case, you should place the estate agents on notice to make sure that the purchasers put in hand financial (bank) and professional references. The bank reference will need to confirm that the buyers are able to meet the annual service charge and the actual amount of the service charge should be quoted in the bank’s letter. You will therefore need to provide your estate agents with the service charge figures so that they can pass this information on to the buyers or their lawyers.
  • If there is a history of conflict with your landlord or managing agents it is very important that these are settled before the property is marketed. The purchasers and their solicitors will be nervous about purchasing a flat where a dispute is unresolved. You may need to swallow your pride and pay any arrears of service charge or settle the dispute prior to completion of the sale. It is therefore preferable to have any dispute settled ahead of the contract papers being issued to the buyers’ solicitors. You will still have to reveal details of the dispute to the purchasers, but it is better to reveal the dispute as historic rather than ongoing.

  • I am the registered owner of a leasehold flat in Middleton, conveyancing formalities finalised in 2002. Can you let me have an estimated range of the fair premium for a lease extension? Comparable flats in Middleton with an extended lease are worth £242,000. The ground rent is £65 invoiced annually. The lease terminates on 21st October 2078

    With 57 years unexpired the likely cost is going to be between £24,700 and £28,600 plus costs.

    The figure that we have given is a general guide to costs for renewing a lease, but we are not able to supply a more accurate figure without more detailed investigations. Do not use the figures in a Notice of Claim or as an informal offer. There are no doubt other concerns that need to be taken into account and you obviously should be as accurate as possible in your negotiations. Neither should you take any other action based on this information before seeking the advice of a professional.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Middleton