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Radcliffe leasehold conveyancing: Q and A’s

I would like to sublet my leasehold flat in Radcliffe. Conveyancing solicitor who did the purchase is retired - so can't ask him. Is permission from the freeholder required?

A lease governs relations between the freeholder and you the flat owner; specifically, it will indicate if subletting is banned, or permitted but only subject to certain caveats. The accepted inference is that if the lease contains no specific ban or restriction, subletting is allowed. Most leases in Radcliffe do not prevent an absolute prevention of subletting – such a clause would undoubtedly devalue the property. Instead, there is usually simply a requirement that the owner notifies the freeholder, possibly sending a duplicate of the tenancy agreement.

I only have Sixty One years unexpired on my lease in Radcliffe. I now want to extend my lease but my landlord is absent. What options are available to me?

On the basis that you qualify, 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 Court. However, you will be required to demonstrate that you or your lawyers have made all reasonable attempts to track down the landlord. On the whole a specialist may be helpful to conduct investigations and to produce a report which can be accepted by the court as evidence that the freeholder can not be located. It is wise to seek advice from a property lawyer in relation to proving the landlord’s absence and the application to the County Court overseeing Radcliffe.

I work for a reputable estate agent office in Radcliffe 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 Radcliffe 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?

As long as 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. The benefit of this is that the buyer 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 prior to, or at the same time as completion of the sale.

An alternative approach is 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.

All being well we will complete our sale of a £375000 garden flat in Radcliffe next Wednesday . The managing agents has quoted £348 for Certificate of Compliance, insurance certificate and previous years statements of service charge. Is the landlord entitled to charge an administration fee for a flat conveyance in Radcliffe?

For the majority of leasehold sales in Radcliffe conveyancing will involve, queries regarding the management of a building inevitably needing to be answered directly by the freeholder or its agent, this includes :

  • Answering pre-exchange enquiries
  • Where consent is required before sale in Radcliffe
  • Supplying insurance information
  • Deeds of covenant upon sale
  • Registering of the assignment of the change of lessee after a sale
Your lawyer will have no control over the level of the charges for this information but the average costs for the information for Radcliffe leasehold premises is £350. For Radcliffe 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 provide answers.

What are the frequently found deficiencies that you see in leases for Radcliffe properties?

Leasehold conveyancing in Radcliffe is not unique. Most leases are unique and legal mistakes in the legal wording can sometimes mean that certain clauses are missing. For example, if your lease is missing any of the following, it could be defective:

  • Repairing obligations to or maintain parts of the building
  • Insurance obligations
  • A provision for the recovery of money spent for the benefit of another party.
  • Maintenance charge proportions which don’t add up to the correct percentage

A defective lease will likely cause issues when trying to sell a property primarily because it impacts on the ability to obtain a mortgage on the property. National Westminster Bank, Chelsea Building Society, and Bank of Ireland all have express conveyancing instructions when it comes to what is expected in a lease. If a mortgage lender believes that the lease is defective they may refuse to grant the mortgage, obliging the buyer to withdraw.

Radcliffe Leasehold Conveyancing - A selection of Queries before buying

    Plenty Radcliffe leasehold properties will have a service bill for maintenance of the building levied by the freeholder. Where you acquire the apartment you will have to pay this charge, normally in instalments throughout the year. This can differ from a few hundred pounds to thousands of pounds for large purpose-built blocks. In all probability there will be a ground rent for you to pay yearly, this is usually not a large amount, say approximately £50-£100 but you should to check it because on occasion it can be many hundreds of pounds. Best to be warned if a new roof is being installed or some other significant cost is anticipated that will be shared by the leaseholders and could well materially impact the level of the service fees or require a one off payment. The best form of lease arrangement is where the freehold interest is owned by the leaseholders. In this arrangement the tenants enjoy being in charge if their destiny and although a managing agent is usually retained if it is bigger than a house conversion, the managing agent is directed by the tenants.

Other Topics

Lease Extensions in Radcliffe