Questions and Answers: Ormskirk leasehold conveyancing
I am intending to rent out my leasehold apartment in Ormskirk. Conveyancing solicitor who did the purchase is retired - so can't ask her. Do I need to ask my freeholder for their consent?
Some leases for properties in Ormskirk do contain a provision to say that subletting is only permitted with prior consent from the landlord. The landlord cannot unreasonably withhold but, in such cases, they would need to review 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.
Back In 2003, I bought a leasehold house in Ormskirk. Conveyancing and Nationwide Building Society mortgage organised. I have received a letter from someone claiming to own the reversionary interest in the property. Attached was a ground rent demand for rent dating back to 1996. The conveyancing practitioner in Ormskirk who previously acted has long since retired.Any advice?
First make enquiries of HMLR to be sure that this person is in fact the new freeholder. You do not need to incur the fees of a Ormskirk conveyancing firm to do this as it can be done on-line for less than a fiver. You should note that regardless, even if this is the rightful freeholder, under the Limitation Act 1980 no more than 6 years of rent can be collected.
Last month I purchased a leasehold flat in Ormskirk. 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. 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 am a negotiator for a long established estate agent office in Ormskirk where we have experienced a few leasehold sales jeopardised as a result of short leases. I have been given conflicting advice from local Ormskirk conveyancing firms. Can you shed some light as to whether the seller of a flat can initiate the lease extension formalities 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 kick-start 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 for a lease extension. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment needs to be completed before, or at the same time as completion of the sale.
An alternative approach is 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.
What advice can you give us when it comes to choosing a Ormskirk conveyancing practice to deal with our lease extension?
When appointing a property lawyer for lease extension works (regardless if they are a Ormskirk conveyancing practice) it is most important that he or she should be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of work. We suggested that you talk with several firms including non Ormskirk conveyancing practices prior to instructing a firm. If the firm is ALEP accredited then that’s a bonus. Some following of questions could be of use:
- How many lease extensions has the firm completed in Ormskirk in the last year?
Ormskirk Leasehold Conveyancing - Sample of Queries Prior to Purchasing
How much is the annual maintenance fee and ground rent?
Are any of leasehold owners in arrears of their service charge liability?
The answer will be useful as a) areas may result in problems in the building as the common areas may start to deteriorate where repairs remain unpaid b) if the leaseholders have an issue with the running of the building you will need to have full disclosure