Sample questions relating to Prescot leasehold conveyancing
Frank (my husband) and I may need to rent out our Prescot 1st floor flat temporarily due to taking a sabbatical. We used a Prescot conveyancing firm in 2004 but they have since shut and we did not have the foresight to seek any advice as to whether the lease allows us to sublet. How do we find out?
Notwithstanding that your last Prescot conveyancing solicitor is not around you can check your lease to see if it allows you to sublet the premises. The rule is that if the deeds are silent, subletting is allowed. Quite often there is a prerequisite that you must seek consent via your landlord or other appropriate person before subletting. The net result is you not allowed to sublet in the absence of first obtaining consent. The consent should not be unreasonably refused ore delayed. If the lease prohibits you from subletting the property you should ask your landlord if they are willing to waive this restriction.
I am hoping to put an offer on a small detached house that appears to tick a lot of boxes, at a great figure which is making it more attractive. I have just been informed that it's a leasehold as opposed to freehold. I am assuming that there are issues buying a house with a leasehold title in Prescot. Conveyancing lawyers have not yet been appointed. Will my lawyers set out the implications of buying a leasehold house in Prescot ?
The majority of houses in Prescot are freehold rather than leasehold. In this scenario it’s worth having a local conveyancer used to dealing with such properties who can help the conveyancing process. We note that you are purchasing in Prescot in which case you should be shopping around for a Prescot conveyancing solicitor and check that they have experience in transacting on leasehold houses. As a matter of priority you will need to check the unexpired lease term. As a tenant you will not be at liberty to do whatever you want with the house. The lease will likely included provisions for example obtaining the landlord’spermission to carry out changes to the property. You may also be required to pay a maintenance charge towards the maintenance of the communal areas where the house is part of an estate. Your conveyancer will report to you on the legal implications.
I am looking at a couple of flats in Prescot both have in the region of forty five years left on the leases. Will this present a problem?
There are no two ways about it. A leasehold flat in Prescot is a wasting asset as a result of the shortening lease. The closer the lease gets to its expiry date, the more it adversely affects the value of the property. For most purchasers and mortgage companies, 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 property 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 premises 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 Prescot 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 the agreed 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.
Last month I purchased a leasehold property in Prescot. Do I have any liability for service charges relating to a period prior to my ownership?
Where the service charge has already been demanded from the previous lessee and they have not paid you would not usually be personally liable for the arrears. However, 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).
Do you have any advice for leasehold conveyancing in Prescot from the point of view of saving time on the sale process?
- A significant proportion of the delay in leasehold conveyancing in Prescot can be bypassed if you instruct lawyers the minute your agents start advertising the property and ask them to collate the leasehold documentation needed by the buyers representatives.
- If you have carried out any alterations to the property would they have required Landlord’s approval? Have you, for example installed wooden flooring? Prescot leases often stipulate that internal structural changes or installing wooden flooring require a licence issued by the Landlord acquiescing to such changes. Where you fail to have the paperwork to hand do not contact the landlord without contacting your lawyer before hand.
Prescot Conveyancing for Leasehold Flats - A selection of Questions you should ask Prior to Purchasing
Best to be warned if fixing the lift or some other major work is anticipated that will be shared between the tenants and will dramatically increase the the service fees or require a one off invoice.
The best form of lease structure is a share of the freehold. In this arrangement the tenants benefit from being in charge if their destiny and although a managing agent is often retained where the building is bigger than a house conversion, the managing agent is directed by the tenants.
You will want to discover as much as possible regarding the managing agents as they will affect your use and enjoyment of the property. Being a leasehold owner you will be at the mercy of the managing agents both financially and when it comes to practical issues like the upkeep of the common parts. Don't be shy to ask other people what they think of their service. On a final note, investigate as to the dates that you are obliged pay the service charge to the managing agents and precisely what it includes.