Recently asked questions relating to Rochdale leasehold conveyancing
Harry (my fiance) and I may need to let out our Rochdale 1st floor flat for a while due to a career opportunity. We instructed a Rochdale 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 permits subletting. How do we find out?
A small minority of properties in Rochdale do contain a provision to say that subletting is only allowed with permission. The landlord cannot unreasonably refuse 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 permission.
I today plan to offer on a house that appears to be perfect, at a great figure which is making it all the more appealing. I have since been informed that the title is leasehold rather than freehold. I would have thought that there are particular concerns buying a leasehold house in Rochdale. Conveyancing solicitors have not yet been instructed. Will they explain the issues?
Most houses in Rochdale are freehold rather than leasehold. This is one of the situations where having a local solicitor who is familiar with the area can help the conveyancing process. We note that you are buying in Rochdale so you should seriously consider shopping around for a Rochdale conveyancing practitioner and be sure that they have experience in advising on leasehold houses. As a matter of priority you will need to check the unexpired lease term. As a leaseholder you will not be entirely free to do whatever you want with the house. The lease will likely included provisions for example obtaining the freeholder’sconsent to carry out alterations. You may also be required to pay a contribution towards the maintenance of the communal areas where the property is located on an estate. Your lawyer should advise you fully on all the issues.
I am attracted to a couple of maisonettes in Rochdale which have about forty five years left on the lease term. Will this present a problem?
There are no two ways about it. A leasehold apartment in Rochdale is a deteriorating asset as a result of the reducing lease term. The nearer the lease gets to its expiry date, the more it reduces the marketability of the property. The majority of buyers and lenders, 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 Rochdale 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 any new 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.
Can you offer any advice when it comes to finding a Rochdale conveyancing firm to carry out our lease extension conveyancing?
When appointing a property lawyer for lease extension works (regardless if they are a Rochdale conveyancing practice) it is most important that he or she should be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of conveyancing. We advise that you speak with several firms including non Rochdale conveyancing practices before you instructing a firm. Where the conveyancing practice is ALEP accredited then so much the better. Some following of questions could be helpful:
- If they are not ALEP accredited then why not?
What are the frequently found problems that you encounter in leases for Rochdale properties?
There is nothing unique about leasehold conveyancing in Rochdale. Most leases are individual and drafting errors can result in certain provisions are not included. The following missing provisions could result in a defective lease:
- A provision to repair to or maintain parts of the premises
- 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
You will have 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. Halifax, Chelsea Building Society, and Alliance & Leicester 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 provide security, obliging the buyer to withdraw.
Rochdale Leasehold Conveyancing - A selection of Queries before Purchasing
How is the lease structured?
You will want to find out as much as you can concerning the managing agents as they will either make living at the property much simpler or uncomfortable. Being a leasehold owner you will be in the clutches of the managing agents from a financial perspective and when it comes to day to day matters like the cleanliness of the common parts. You should not be afraid to ask other tenants if they are happy with them. Finally, investigate as to the dates that the maintenance fees are due to the relevant party and specifically how they are spending that money.
Is anyone aware of any major works in the planning that could increase the service fees?