Ottery St Mary leasehold conveyancing: Q and A’s
Frank (my husband) and I may need to rent out our Ottery St Mary basement flat temporarily due to taking a sabbatical. We used a Ottery St Mary conveyancing firm in 2002 but they have closed and we did not have the foresight to get any guidance as to whether the lease permits subletting. How do we find out?
Some leases for properties in Ottery St Mary do contain a provision to say that subletting is only allowed with permission. The landlord cannot unreasonably refuse 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.
I have just started marketing my 2 bed apartment in Ottery St Mary.Conveyancing solicitors are to be appointed soon but I have just had a half-yearly maintenance charge invoice – should I leave it to the buyer to sort out?
It best that you clear 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 unless 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.
I am hoping to put an offer on a small detached house that appears to meet my requirements, at a great figure which is making it more attractive. I have since found out that it's a leasehold as opposed to freehold. I am assuming that there are particular concerns purchasing a leasehold house in Ottery St Mary. Conveyancing advisers have are soon to be instructed. Will they explain the issues?
The majority of houses in Ottery St Mary are freehold rather than leasehold. In this scenario it’s worth having a local solicitor who is familiar with the area can assist with the conveyancing process. it is apparent that you are buying in Ottery St Mary in which case you should be looking for a Ottery St Mary conveyancing solicitor and check that they have experience in advising on leasehold houses. As a matter of priority 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 comes with conditions such as obtaining the landlord’spermission to carry out alterations. It may be necessary to pay a service charge towards the maintenance of the estate where the property is part of an estate. Your conveyancer should advise you fully on all the issues.
I am tempted by the attractive purchase price for a couple of flats in Ottery St Mary both have in the region of 50 years left on the leases. Should I regard a short lease as a deal breaker?
There are no two ways about it. A leasehold flat in Ottery St Mary is a wasting asset as a result of the shortening lease. The nearer the lease gets to zero years unexpired, the more it adversely affects the salability of the property. The majority of buyers and lenders, leases with less than 75 years become less and less attractive. On a more positive note, leaseholders can extend their leases by serving a Section 42 Notice. One stipulation is that they must have owned the premises 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 a residence 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 Ottery St Mary conveyancing experts who will explain the options available to you during an initial telephone conversation free of charge. More often than not it is possible to negotiate informally with the freeholder to extend 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.
I am a negotiator for a reputable estate agent office in Ottery St Mary where we have witnessed a few leasehold sales put at risk as a result of short leases. I have been given conflicting advice from local Ottery St Mary conveyancing solicitors. Please can you confirm whether the owner of a flat can commence the lease extension process for the purchaser on completion of the sale?
As long as 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 sit tight for 2 years for a lease extension. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment has to be done before, or at the same time as 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 purchaser.
I am the registered owner of a studio flat in Ottery St Mary, conveyancing formalities finalised 2011. Can you let me have an estimated range of the fair premium for a lease extension? Comparable flats in Ottery St Mary with a long lease are worth £185,000. The average or mid-range amount of ground rent is £50 invoiced every year. The lease ends on 21st October 2081
With just 61 years left to run we estimate the price of your lease extension to be between £21,900 and £25,200 plus costs.
The figure above a general guide to costs for extending a lease, but we cannot give you the actual costs without more comprehensive due diligence. You should not use the figures in tribunal or court proceedings. There are no doubt additional concerns that need to be considered and clearly you should be as accurate as possible in your negotiations. You should not take any other action based on this information without first seeking the advice of a professional.