Top Five Questions relating to Princes Risborough leasehold conveyancing
Harry (my fiance) and I may need to sub-let our Princes Risborough basement flat temporarily due to a career opportunity. We instructed a Princes Risborough conveyancing practice in 2003 but they have closed and we did not think at the time get any guidance as to whether the lease permits subletting. How do we find out?
Some leases for properties in Princes Risborough do contain a provision to say that subletting is only permitted with prior consent from the landlord. The landlord is not entitled to unreasonably withhold but, in such cases, they would need to see 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 68 years remaining on my flat in Princes Risborough. I now wish to extend my lease but my landlord is absent. 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 enable the lease to be extended by the magistrate. However, you will be required to prove that you have used your best endeavours to find the landlord. In some cases an enquiry agent would be helpful to carry out a search and prepare a report which can be used as evidence that the freeholder is indeed missing. It is wise to seek advice from a conveyancer in relation to investigating the landlord’s disappearance and the application to the County Court covering Princes Risborough.
I have just started marketing my garden apartment in Princes Risborough.Conveyancing lawyers have not yet been instructed but I have just received a quarterly maintenance charge invoice – Do I pay up?
Your conveyancing lawyer is likely to suggest that you should 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.
I am employed by a busy estate agent office in Princes Risborough where we have experienced a number of flat sales derailed due to leases having less than 80 years remaining. I have received contradictory information from local Princes Risborough conveyancing solicitors. Can you shed some light as to whether the seller of a flat can instigate 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 commence the lease extension process and assign the benefit of the notice to the purchaser. This means 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 needs to be completed prior to, or at the same time as completion of the disposal of the property.
Alternatively, it may be possible 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 buyer.
Do you have any top tips for leasehold conveyancing in Princes Risborough with the purpose of speeding up the sale process?
- Much of the delay in leasehold conveyancing in Princes Risborough can be reduced if you instruct lawyers the minute your agents start advertising the property and request that they start to put together the leasehold documentation which will be required by the purchasers’ representatives.
- Some Princes Risborough leases require Landlord’s consent to the sale and approval of the buyers. If this is the case, you should place the estate agents on notice to make sure that the purchasers put in hand financial (bank) and professional references. Any bank reference will need to confirm that the buyers are financially capable of paying the yearly 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 service charge figures so that they can pass this information on to the purchasers or their lawyers.
Princes Risborough Leasehold Conveyancing - Sample of Questions you should ask before buying
Many Princes Risborough leasehold flats will be liable to pay a service charge for maintenance of the building invoiced on behalf of the landlord. If you acquire the property you will have to pay this amount, usually in instalments during the year. This may differ from a few hundred pounds to thousands of pounds for blocks with lifts and large common areas. There will also be a ground rent for you to pay yearly, this is usually not a large figure, say approximately £25-£75 but you need to check it because sometimes it could be surprisingly expensive.
The answer will be helpful as a) areas can result in problems for the block as the common areas may start to deteriorate if repairs are not paid for b) if the leaseholders have a dispute with the running of the building you will want to have complete disclosure
You should want to discover as much as possible regarding the company managing the building as they will impact your use and enjoyment of the property. As the proprietor of a leasehold property you are often at the mercy of the managing agents both financially and when it comes to every day issues such as the cleanliness of the communal areas. Ask prospective neighbours if they are happy with them. Finally, be sure you know the dates that the maintenance fees are due to the appropriate party and specifically how they are spending the funds.