Sample questions relating to Milnthorpe leasehold conveyancing
My husband and I may need to let out our Milnthorpe ground floor flat for a while due to taking a sabbatical. We instructed a Milnthorpe conveyancing firm in 2001 but they have closed and we did not have the foresight to seek any guidance as to whether the lease allows us to sublet. How do we find out?
Some leases for properties in Milnthorpe do contain a provision to say that subletting is only permitted with prior consent from the landlord. The landlord cannot unreasonably refuse 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 permission.
I have just appointed agents to market my garden flat in Milnthorpe.Conveyancing is yet to be initiated but I have just had a half-yearly maintenance charge invoice – should I leave it to the buyer to sort out?
Your conveyancing lawyer is likely to suggest that you should discharge 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 managing agents 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.
Last month I purchased a leasehold property in Milnthorpe. 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 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. 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 work for a busy estate agent office in Milnthorpe where we see a number of leasehold sales jeopardised due to short leases. I have been given conflicting advice from local Milnthorpe conveyancing solicitors. Can you confirm whether the owner of a flat can initiate the lease extension formalities for the purchaser on completion of the sale?
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. This means that the proposed purchaser can avoid having to sit tight for 2 years for a lease extension. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment needs to be completed prior to, or at the same time as 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 purchaser.
Are there frequently found deficiencies that you encounter in leases for Milnthorpe properties?
There is nothing unique about leasehold conveyancing in Milnthorpe. Most leases is drafted differently and legal mistakes in the legal wording can sometimes mean that certain sections are wrong. For example, if your lease is missing any of the following, it could be defective:
- A provision to repair to or maintain elements of the property
- Insurance obligations
- A provision for the recovery of money spent for the benefit of another party.
- Maintenance charge proportions which don’t add up to the correct percentage
A defective lease will likely cause problems when trying to sell a property primarily because it impacts on the ability to obtain a mortgage on the property. Nationwide Building Society, Chelsea Building Society, and Godiva Mortgages Ltd all have express conveyancing instructions when it comes to what is expected in a lease. If a mortgage lender believes that the lease is defective they may refuse to provide security, obliging the buyer to withdraw.
Milnthorpe Leasehold Conveyancing - A selection of Queries before buying
Please note that where the lease has no more than 80 years it will affect the value of the property. Check with your lender that they are happy with remaining years on the lease. Leases with less than 80 years remaining means that you will most likely need a lease extension at some point and it is worth discovering what this would cost. Remember, in most cases you would be be obliged to have owned the premises for two years before you are entitled to carry out a lease extension.
How is the lease structured?
You should want to find out as much as possible regarding the managing agents as they will either make living at the property much simpler or problematic. Being a leasehold owner you will be in the clutches of the managing agents both financially and when it comes to practical matters like the cleanliness of the communal areas. Enquire of other people whether they are happy with them. In conclusion, find out the dates that you are obliged pay the service charge to the relevant party and precisely what it includes.