Examples of recent questions relating to leasehold conveyancing in Reading
My partner and I may need to sub-let our Reading ground floor flat for a while due to taking a sabbatical. We instructed a Reading conveyancing practice in 2002 but they have since shut and we did not have the foresight to seek any advice as to whether the lease prohibits the subletting of the flat. How do we find out?
Some leases for properties in Reading 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 review 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.
I am hoping to complete next month on a ground floor flat in Reading. Conveyancing lawyers inform me that they will have a report out to me within the next couple of days. Are there areas in the report that I should be focusing on?
The report on title for your leasehold conveyancing in Reading should include some of the following:
- Details of the parties to the lease, for example these could be the leaseholder (you), head lessor, freeholder
I am hoping to put an offer on a small detached house that seems to tick a lot of boxes, at a great price which is making it more attractive. I have subsequently been informed that it's a leasehold rather than freehold. I am assuming that there are issues purchasing a leasehold house in Reading. Conveyancing lawyers have are soon to be instructed. Will my lawyers set out the implications of buying a leasehold house in Reading ?
Most houses in Reading are freehold rather than leasehold. This is one of the situations where having a local conveyancer used to dealing with such properties who can assist with the conveyancing process. It is clear that you are purchasing in Reading in which case you should be shopping around for a Reading conveyancing solicitor and check that they are used to dealing with leasehold houses. As a matter of priority you will need to check the unexpired lease term. Being a lessee you will not be at liberty to do whatever you want to the property. The lease comes with conditions for example requiring the freeholder’sconsent to carry out alterations. You may also be required to pay a maintenance charge towards the upkeep of the estate where the property is part of an estate. Your lawyer will report to you on the legal implications.
I've recently bought a leasehold property in Reading. Am I liable to pay service charges for periods before my ownership?
In a situation where the service charge has already been demanded from the previous owner and they have not paid you would not usually be personally liable for the arrears. Strange as it may seem, your landlord may still be able to take action to forfeit the lease. It is an essential part 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).
What are the frequently found problems that you encounter in leases for Reading properties?
There is nothing unique about leasehold conveyancing in Reading. Most leases are individual and legal mistakes in the legal wording can result in certain clauses are wrong. The following missing provisions could result in a defective lease:
- Repairing obligations to or maintain parts of the building
- A duty to insure the building
- Clauses dealing with recovering service charges for expenditure on the building or common parts.
- Service charge per centages that don't add up correctly leaving a shortfall
You will encounter a problem when selling your property if you have a defective lease primarily because it impacts on the ability to obtain a mortgage on the property. National Westminster Bank, Skipton Building Society, and Aldermore all have very detailed conveyancing instructions when it comes to what is expected in a lease. Where a lender has been advised by their lawyers that the lease is problematic they may refuse to grant the mortgage, forcing the buyer to withdraw.
Reading Conveyancing for Leasehold Flats - A selection of Questions you should ask Prior to Purchasing
Is the freehold reversion owned jointly by the tenants?
It would be wise to find out 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 in the clutches of the managing agents from a financial perspective and when it comes to practical issues like the upkeep of the communal areas. You should not be shy to ask prospective neighbours what they think of them. In conclusion, find out the dates that the maintenance fees are due to the relevant party and specifically what you get for your money.
How many of the leaseholders are in arrears for their service charge payments?