Questions and Answers: Plymstock leasehold conveyancing
I would like to let out my leasehold flat in Plymstock. Conveyancing solicitor who did the purchase is retired - so can't ask her. Do I need to ask my freeholder for permission?
A lease governs the relationship between the landlord and you the leaseholder; in particular, it will set out if subletting is not allowed, or permitted but only subject to certain conditions. The accepted inference is that if the lease contains no specific ban or restriction, subletting is allowed. Most leases in Plymstock do not prevent an absolute prevention of subletting – such a provision would undoubtedly devalue the property. In most cases there is a basic requirement that the owner notifies the freeholder, possibly sending a copy of the sublease.
I only have 68 years unexpired on my flat in Plymstock. I am keen to get lease extension but my freeholder is can not be found. What are my options?
If 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 an order to dispense with the service of the initial notice. This will mean that your lease can be granted an extra 90 years by the magistrate. You will be obliged to prove that you or your lawyers have used your best endeavours to track down the lessor. In some cases an enquiry agent should be helpful to conduct investigations and to produce a report which can be used as evidence that the freeholder is indeed missing. It is wise to seek advice from a conveyancer both on proving the landlord’s absence and the vesting order request to the County Court covering Plymstock.
I work for a long established estate agency in Plymstock where we have witnessed a few leasehold sales derailed as a result of short leases. I have been given conflicting advice from local Plymstock conveyancing firms. Please can you clarify whether the seller of a flat can start the lease extension formalities for the buyer?
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 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 before, or simultaneously with 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.
What are your top tips when it comes to choosing a Plymstock conveyancing firm to carry out our lease extension conveyancing?
If you are instructing a conveyancer for your lease extension (regardless if they are a Plymstock conveyancing firm) it is essential that he or she should be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of work. We suggested that you talk with two or three firms including non Plymstock conveyancing practices prior to instructing a firm. Where the conveyancing practice is ALEP accredited then so much the better. Some following of questions might be of use:
- What volume of lease extensions have they carried out in Plymstock in the last 12 months?
What makes a Plymstock lease problematic?
There is nothing unique about leasehold conveyancing in Plymstock. All leases is drafted differently and drafting errors can sometimes mean that certain clauses are missing. The following missing provisions could result in a defective lease:
- Repairing obligations to or maintain elements of the premises
- Insurance obligations
- A provision for the recovery of money spent for the benefit of another party.
- Service charge per centages that don't add up correctly leaving a shortfall
You will have a problem when selling your property if you have a defective lease as they can affect a potential buyer’s ability to obtain a mortgage. Birmingham Midshires, Skipton Building Society, and Aldermore all have very detailed requirements when it comes to what is expected in a lease. If a mortgage lender believes that the lease is problematic they may refuse to provide security, forcing the purchaser to withdraw.
Leasehold Conveyancing in Plymstock - A selection of Questions you should ask Prior to buying
Is the freehold reversion owned jointly by the tenants?
Many Plymstock leasehold properties will incur a service bill for the upkeep of the building set on behalf of the freeholder. Should you buy the property you will have to meet this amount, usually periodically accross the year. This could differ from a few hundred pounds to thousands of pounds for large purpose-built buildings. In all likelihood there will be a ground rent to be met annual, normally this is not a exorbitant amount, say approximately £25-£75 but you should to check as sometimes it could be prohibitively expensive.
Are any of leasehold owners in dispute over their service charge payments?