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Questions and Answers: Polegate leasehold conveyancing

There are only Fifty years remaining on my flat in Polegate. I am keen to extend my lease but my landlord is absent. What are my options?

On the basis that you meet the appropriate requirements, under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 you can apply 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. However, you will be required to prove that you have made all reasonable attempts to locate the landlord. For most situations an enquiry agent may be helpful to conduct investigations and to produce an expert document to be used as proof that the landlord is indeed missing. It is advisable to get professional help from a solicitor in relation to proving the landlord’s absence and the vesting order request to the County Court covering Polegate.

Due to exchange soon on a ground floor flat in Polegate. Conveyancing lawyers have said that they will have a report out to me tomorrow. Are there areas in the report that I should be focusing on?

Your report on title for your leasehold conveyancing in Polegate should include some of the following:

  • You should be sent a copy of the lease
  • Ground rent - how much and when you need to pay, and also know whether this is subject to change
  • An explanation as to the provision in the lease to pay service charges - with regard to both the building, and the more general rights a leaseholder has
  • Repair and maintenance of the flat
  • Changes to the flat (alterations and additions)
  • I don't know whether the lease allows me to alter or improve anything in the flat - you should know whether it applies to all alterations or just structural alteration, and whether consent is required
  • The landlord’s rights to access the flat you be made aware that your landlord has rights of access and I know how much notice s/he must provide. For details of the information to be contained in your report on your leasehold property in Polegate please enquire of your solicitor in ahead of your conveyancing in Polegate

  • I work for a reputable estate agency in Polegate where we have witnessed a few flat sales derailed due to short leases. I have received contradictory information from local Polegate conveyancing firms. Can you clarify whether the owner of a flat can start the lease extension process for the buyer?

    As long as the seller has owned the lease for at least 2 years it is possible, to serve a Section 42 notice to 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 prior to, or at the same time as 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.

    Can you provide any top tips for leasehold conveyancing in Polegate with the intention of saving time on the sale process?

    • Much of the frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Polegate can be bypassed where you get in touch lawyers the minute you market your property and ask them to collate the leasehold documentation needed by the purchasers’ representatives.
    • If you have carried out any alterations to the premises would they have required Landlord’s consent? In particular have you installed wooden flooring? Polegate leases often stipulate that internal structural alterations or laying down wooden flooring require a licence from the Landlord approving such alterations. If you dont have the paperwork to hand you should not contact the landlord without contacting your conveyancer before hand.
  • Some Polegate leases require Licence to Assign from the landlord. If this applies to your lease, you should place the estate agents on notice to make sure that the purchasers put in hand bank and professional references. Any bank reference will need to confirm that the buyers are financially capable of paying the annual service charge and the actual amount of the service charge should be quoted in the bank’s letter. You will therefore need to provide your estate agents with the actual amount of the service charge so that they can pass this information on to the buyers or their solicitors.
  • If you have had conflict with your freeholder or managing agents it is essential that these are resolved prior to the flat being marketed. The purchasers and their solicitors will be reluctant to purchase a property where there is a current dispute. You may need to swallow your pride and discharge any arrears of service charge or settle the dispute prior to the buyers completing the purchase. It is therefore preferable to have any dispute settled ahead of the contract papers being issued to the buyers’ solicitors. You are still duty bound to disclose particulars of the dispute to the purchasers, but it is better to reveal the dispute as historic rather than unsettled.
  • You believe that you know the number of years left on your lease but you should double-check via your conveyancers. A purchaser's lawyer will be unlikely to recommend their client to to exchange contracts if the remaining number of years is under 80 years. In the circumstances it is essential at an early stage that you consider whether the lease term requires a lease extension. If it does, contact your solicitors before you put your property on the market for sale.

  • We expect to complete our sale of a £475000 flat in Polegate on Monday in a week. The landlords agents has quoted £420 for Landlord’s certificate, insurance certificate and previous years service charge statements. Is the landlord entitled to charge exorbitant fees for a flat conveyance in Polegate?

    Polegate conveyancing on leasehold apartments ordinarily necessitates administration charges invoiced by freeholders :

    • Completing pre-contract questions
    • Where consent is required before sale in Polegate
    • Copies of the building insurance and schedule
    • Deeds of covenant upon sale
    • Registering of the assignment of the change of lessee after a sale
    Your solicitor will have no control over the level of the charges for this information but the average costs for the information for Polegate leasehold premises is £350. For Polegate conveyancing transactions it is customary for the seller to pay for these costs. The landlord or their agents are under no legal obligation to answer such questions most will be willing to do so - albeit often at exorbitant prices where the fees bear little relation to the work involved. Unfortunately there is no law that requires fixed charges for administrative tasks. Neither is there any legal time frame by which they are obliged to supply answers.

    Polegate Leasehold Conveyancing - Examples of Questions you should consider Prior to buying

      Make sure you investigate if the the lease contains any adverse restrictions in the lease. For example it is fairly common in Polegate leases that pets are not allowed in certain buildings in Polegate. If you like the apartmentin Polegate but your cat can’t move with you then you have a very hard decision. What is the maintenance charge and ground rent on the flat? For many Polegate leaseholds the outlay for major works tend not to be incorporated into the maintenance charges, albeit that there some managing agents in Polegate obliged tenants to pay into a sinking fund and this is used to offset against larger repairs or maintenance.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Polegate