Fixed-fee leasehold conveyancing in Ottery St Mary:

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Recently asked questions relating to Ottery St Mary leasehold conveyancing

My partner and I may need to let out our Ottery St Mary ground floor flat temporarily due to a career opportunity. We used a Ottery St Mary conveyancing practice in 2001 but they have since shut and we did not have the foresight to seek any guidance as to whether the lease permits subletting. How do we find out?

A small minority of properties in Ottery St Mary 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 consent.

Having checked my lease I have discovered that there are only Fifty years left on my flat in Ottery St Mary. I need to get lease extension but my freeholder is missing. What should I do?

On the basis that you meet the appropriate requirements, under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 you can submit an application to the County Court for for permission to dispense with the service of the initial notice. This will mean that your lease can be granted an extra 90 years by the Court. You will be obliged to prove that you have done all that could be expected to locate the lessor. In some cases an enquiry agent should be useful to conduct investigations and prepare an expert document which can be used as proof that the landlord is indeed missing. It is wise to seek advice from a conveyancer both on devolving into the landlord’s disappearance and the vesting order request to the County Court covering Ottery St Mary.

I am hoping to put an offer on a small detached 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 the title is leasehold as opposed to freehold. I would have thought that there are particular concerns purchasing a leasehold house in Ottery St Mary. Conveyancing advisers have not yet been instructed. Will my lawyers set out the risks of buying a leasehold house in Ottery St Mary ?

Most houses in Ottery St Mary are freehold and not leasehold. In this scenario it’s worth having a local conveyancer used to dealing with such properties who can assist with the conveyancing process. it is apparent that you are buying in Ottery St Mary in which case you should be shopping around for a Ottery St Mary conveyancing solicitor and check that they have experience in advising on leasehold houses. First you will need to check the number of years remaining. As a lessee you will not be entirely free to do whatever you want with the house. The lease comes with conditions for example obtaining the landlord’sconsent to conduct alterations. It may be necessary to pay a contribution towards the maintenance of the estate where the house is part of an estate. Your solicitor should advise you fully on all the issues.

I am a negotiator for a long established estate agency in Ottery St Mary where we have experienced a few flat sales derailed due to leases having less than 80 years remaining. I have received contradictory information from local Ottery St Mary conveyancing firms. Can you confirm whether the owner of a flat can instigate 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 kick-start 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 for a lease extension. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment has to be done before, or simultaneously with completion of the disposal of the property.

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 buyer.

If all goes to plan we aim to complete our sale of a £500000 flat in Ottery St Mary on Tuesday in a week. The managing agents has quoted £396 for Landlord’s certificate, insurance certificate and previous years service charge statements. Is the landlord entitled to charge an administration fee for a leasehold conveyance in Ottery St Mary?

Ottery St Mary conveyancing on leasehold flats usually necessitates the buyer’s conveyancer submitting enquiries for the landlord to answer. Although the landlord is not legally bound to answer these enquiries most will be willing to do so. They are at liberty levy a reasonable administration fee for responding to enquiries or supplying documentation. There is no set fee. The average fee for the paperwork that you are referring to is £350, in some situations it is in excess of £800. The administration charge demanded by the landlord must be sent together with a summary of rights and obligations in respect of administration charges, otherwise the charge is not strictly payable. Reality however dictates that one has little choice but to pay whatever is demanded if you want to sell the property.

Leasehold Conveyancing in Ottery St Mary - Examples of Queries before Purchasing

    Many Ottery St Mary leasehold apartments will be liable to pay a service charge for maintenance of the building set by the management company. If you acquire the flat you will have to meet this liability, usually quarterly throughout the year. This can be anything from several hundred pounds to thousands of pounds for blocks with lifts and large communal areas. In all likelihood there will be a rentcharge to be met yearly, ordinarily this is not a large figure, say approximately £25-£75 but you need to enquire it because on occasion it could be prohibitively expensive. For many Ottery St Mary leaseholds the outlay for major works are not included within maintenance charges, although a few managing agents in Ottery St Mary require tenants to contribute towards a sinking fund created for the specific intention of establishing a fund for larger works. This information is important as a) areas could result in problems in the building as the common areas may begin to deteriorate where repairs are not paid for b) if the leaseholders have an issue with the running of the building you will need to have all the details

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Lease Extensions in Ottery St Mary