Top Five Questions relating to Peak District leasehold conveyancing
I want to sublet my leasehold apartment in Peak District. Conveyancing solicitor who did the purchase is retired - so can't ask her. Do I need to ask my freeholder for permission?
Notwithstanding that your previous Peak District conveyancing lawyer is not around you can review your lease to see if you are permitted to let out the property. The rule is that if the lease is non-specific, subletting is permitted. There may be a precondition that you are obliged to obtain consent from your landlord or other appropriate person before subletting. This means that you cannot sublet without prior permission. The consent should not be unreasonably turned down. If your lease does not allow you to sublet you should ask your landlord for their consent.
I have just started marketing my garden apartment in Peak District.Conveyancing has not commenced but I have just received a half-yearly service charge invoice – should I leave it to the buyer to sort out?
The sensible thing to do is pay 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. This will smooth the conveyancing process.
Last month I purchased a leasehold flat in Peak District. Am I liable to pay service charges for periods before my ownership?
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. Strange as it may seem, your landlord may still be able to take action to forfeit the lease. A critical element of leasehold conveyancing for your conveyancer to be sure 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 reputable estate agent office in Peak District where we see a number of flat sales derailed as a result of short leases. I have received contradictory information from local Peak District conveyancing solicitors. Please can you clarify whether the vendor of a flat can initiate the lease extension formalities for the purchaser on completion of the sale?
Provided that the seller has been the owner 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. This means that the buyer can avoid having to wait 2 years to extend their lease. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment needs to be completed before, or simultaneously with completion of the sale.
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.
All being well we will complete our sale of a £375000 apartment in Peak District on Monday in a week. The landlords agents has quoted £360 for Certificate of Compliance, insurance certificate and previous years statements of service charge. Is it legal for a freeholder to charge exorbitant fees for a flat conveyance in Peak District?
Peak District conveyancing on leasehold maisonettes often necessitates the purchaser’s solicitor sending questions for the landlord to address. Although the landlord is under no legal obligation to address such questions the majority will be willing to assist. They may invoice a reasonable administration fee for answering enquiries or supplying documentation. There is no set fee. The average fee for the information that you are referring to is £350, in some cases it exceeds £800. The administration charge invoiced by the landlord must be sent together with a summary of entitlements and obligations in respect of administration fees, without which the charge is technically not due. Reality however dictates that you have no choice but to pay whatever is demanded if you want to complete the sale of your home.
Peak District Leasehold Conveyancing - Sample of Queries before Purchasing
How long is the Lease?
You should want to find out as much as you can about the managing agents as they will either make your living at the property much easier or problematic. As the owner of a leasehold property you will be in the clutches of the managing agents both financially and when it comes to every day matters such as the upkeep of the common parts. Ask prospective neighbours whether they are happy with their service. On a final note, be sure you know the dates that you are obliged pay the service charge to the relevant party and precisely how they are spending the funds.
For most Peak District leaseholds the outlay for major works are not built into the maintenance charges, although a few managing agents in Peak District obliged leasehold owners to pay into a reserve fund created for the specific purpose of establishing a fund for larger repairs or maintenance.