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Rye leasehold conveyancing: Q and A’s

I want to let out my leasehold flat in Rye. Conveyancing solicitor who did the purchase is retired - so can't ask her. Do I need to ask my freeholder for their consent?

A small minority of properties in Rye do contain a provision to say that subletting is only permitted with prior consent from the landlord. The landlord is not entitled to unreasonably refuse 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 only have Fifty years remaining on my flat in Rye. I need to get lease extension but my freeholder is absent. What are my options?

On the basis that you meet the appropriate requirements, under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 you can apply to the County Court for for permission to dispense with the service of the initial notice. This will mean that your lease can be lengthened by the Court. You will be obliged to demonstrate that you or your lawyers have done all that could be expected to locate the freeholder. For most situations a specialist should be helpful to try and locate and to produce an expert document which can be accepted by the court as proof that the landlord can not be located. It is advisable to get professional help from a property lawyer in relation to investigating the landlord’s absence and the vesting order request to the County Court covering Rye.

I today plan to offer on a house that appears to meet my requirements, at a great figure which is making it more attractive. I have since been informed that the title is leasehold rather than freehold. I am assuming that there are issues buying a leasehold house in Rye. Conveyancing advisers have are about to be instructed. Will my lawyers set out the implications of buying a leasehold house in Rye ?

The majority of houses in Rye are freehold and not leasehold. In this scenario it’s worth having a local solicitor used to dealing with such properties who can assist with the conveyancing process. We note that you are purchasing in Rye so you should seriously consider looking for a Rye conveyancing practitioner and be sure that they are used to advising on leasehold houses. First you will need to check the unexpired lease term. As a tenant you will not be entirely free to do whatever you want with the house. The lease will likely included provisions such as obtaining the landlord’spermission to carry out alterations. It may be necessary to pay a contribution towards the upkeep of the estate where the house is part of an estate. Your lawyer should advise you fully on all the issues.

I am attracted to a couple of flats in Rye which have about 50 years left on the lease term. Will this present a problem?

A lease is a right to use the premises for a period of time. As a lease shortens the value of the lease decreases and it becomes more costly to acquire a lease extension. This is why it is often a good idea to increase the term of the lease. It is often difficult to sell a property with a short lease as mortgage lenders less inclined to grant a loan on properties of this type. Lease enfranchisement can be a protracted process. We recommend you seek professional assistance from a conveyancer and surveyor with experience in this arena

I work for a busy estate agent office in Rye where we have witnessed a number of flat sales put at risk as a result of short leases. I have received inconsistent advice from local Rye conveyancing solicitors. Can you clarify whether the owner of a flat can initiate the lease extension formalities for the buyer?

Provided that the seller has owned the lease for at least 2 years it is possible, to serve a Section 42 notice to start the lease extension process and assign the benefit of the notice to the purchaser. The benefit of this is that the proposed purchaser need not have to sit tight for 2 years to extend their lease. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment has to be done before, or simultaneously with 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.

Rye Leasehold Conveyancing - A selection of Queries before buying

    For most Rye leaseholds the cost for major works tend not to be built into the service charges, albeit that a few managing agents in Rye ask tenants to contribute towards a reserve fund created for the specific intention of establishing a fund for major works. Are any of leasehold owners in dispute over their service charge liability? Who are the managing agents?

Other Topics

Lease Extensions in Rye