Questions and Answers: Salcombe leasehold conveyancing
My fiance and I may need to rent out our Salcombe basement flat temporarily due to a career opportunity. We used a Salcombe conveyancing firm in 2002 but they have since shut and we did not think at the time get any guidance as to whether the lease prohibits the subletting of the flat. How do we find out?
Your lease governs relations between the landlord and you the flat owner; in particular, it will indicate if subletting is not allowed, or permitted but only subject to certain conditions. The rule is that if the lease contains no specific ban or restriction, subletting is permitted. The majority of leases in Salcombe do not prevent strict prohibition on subletting – such a clause would adversely affect the market value the property. In most cases there is simply a requirement that the owner notifies the freeholder, possibly supplying a duplicate of the tenancy agreement.
I only have Fifty years remaining on my flat in Salcombe. I now wish to get lease extension but my freeholder is missing. What are my options?
If you qualify, under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 you can apply to the County Court for an order to dispense with the service of the initial notice. This will mean that your lease can be extended by the magistrate. However, you will be required to prove that you have made all reasonable attempts to locate the lessor. For most situations a specialist should be useful to try and locate and prepare an expert document which can be used as proof that the freeholder is indeed missing. It is wise to seek advice from a property lawyer both on devolving into the landlord’s absence and the vesting order request to the County Court covering Salcombe.
I am hoping to put an offer on a small detached house that appears to meet my requirements, at a reasonable price which is making it all the more appealing. I have just discovered that the title is leasehold as opposed to freehold. I am assuming that there are particular concerns purchasing a house with a leasehold title in Salcombe. Conveyancing advisers have are about to be instructed. Will my lawyers set out the implications of buying a leasehold house in Salcombe ?
The majority of houses in Salcombe are freehold rather than leasehold. This is one of the situations where having a local conveyancer who is familiar with the area can help the conveyancing process. We note that you are purchasing in Salcombe in which case you should be looking for a Salcombe conveyancing solicitor 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 to the property. The lease will likely included provisions for example obtaining the freeholder’sconsent to conduct alterations. It may be necessary to pay a contribution towards the upkeep of the communal areas where the house is located on an estate. Your lawyer will report to you on the legal implications.
Last month I purchased a leasehold flat in Salcombe. Am I liable to pay service charges relating to a period prior to my ownership?
In a situation where the service charge has already been demanded from the previous lessee and they have not paid you would not usually be personally liable for the arrears. However, 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).
Are there common defects that you encounter in leases for Salcombe properties?
There is nothing unique about leasehold conveyancing in Salcombe. Most leases are individual and drafting errors can sometimes mean that certain provisions are wrong. The following missing provisions could result in a defective lease:
- Repairing obligations to or maintain parts of the premises
- 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
A defective lease will likely cause issues when trying to sell a property as they can affect a potential buyer’s ability to obtain a mortgage. National Westminster Bank, Barnsley Building Society, and Clydesdale all have express requirements when it comes to what is expected in a lease. If a mortgage lender believes that the lease is defective they may refuse to provide security, obliging the buyer to pull out.
I invested in buying a 2 bed flat in Salcombe, conveyancing was carried out in 2012. Can you work out an approximate cost of a lease extension? Comparable properties in Salcombe with over 90 years remaining are worth £207,000. The average or mid-range amount of ground rent is £60 per annum. The lease ends on 21st October 2077
With only 56 years remaining on your lease we estimate the premium for your lease extension to range between £26,600 and £30,800 plus costs.
The suggested premium range that we have given is a general guide to costs for renewing a lease, but we cannot give you the actual costs in the absence of detailed investigations. You should not use the figures in a Notice of Claim or as an informal offer. There are no doubt other concerns that need to be considered and clearly you should be as accurate as possible in your negotiations. You should not take any other action based on this information without first getting professional advice.