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Examples of recent questions relating to leasehold conveyancing in Sale

Jane (my partner) and I may need to rent out our Sale 1st floor flat for a while due to taking a sabbatical. We instructed a Sale conveyancing firm in 2002 but they have closed and we did not think at the time seek any guidance as to whether the lease allows us to sublet. How do we find out?

A small minority of properties in Sale do contain a provision to say that subletting is only permitted with prior consent from the landlord. The landlord cannot 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.

There are only Fifty years remaining on my flat in Sale. I am keen to extend my lease but my landlord is can not be found. What are my options?

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 magistrate. However, you will be required to prove that you have made all reasonable attempts to track down the lessor. For most situations an enquiry agent should be useful to try and locate and prepare an expert document which can be accepted by the court as proof that the freeholder can not be located. It is advisable to get professional help from a conveyancer in relation to devolving into the landlord’s disappearance and the vesting order request to the County Court covering Sale.

I am looking at a couple of maisonettes in Sale which have approximately 50 years left on the leases. Do I need to be concerned?

There are no two ways about it. A leasehold flat in Sale is a wasting asset as a result of the reducing lease term. The nearer the lease gets to its expiry date, the more it adversely affects the marketability of the premises. For most purchasers and banks, leases with less than eighty years become less and less attractive. On a more upbeat note, leaseholders can extend their leases by serving a Section 42 Notice. One stipulation is that they must have owned the premises 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 Sale 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.

I am a negotiator for a reputable estate agency in Sale where we have experienced a few leasehold sales derailed as a result of leases having less than 80 years remaining. I have been given contradictory information from local Sale conveyancing firms. Could you shed some light as to whether the seller of a flat can start the lease extension process for the buyer?

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 proposed purchaser can avoid having to sit tight for 2 years to extend their lease. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment needs to be completed before, or at the same time as completion of the disposal of the property.

Alternatively, it may be possible 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 buyer.

If all goes to plan we aim to complete the disposal of our £200000 garden flat in Sale next week. The management company has quoted £300 for Landlord’s certificate, building insurance schedule and previous years service charge statements. Is it legal for a freeholder to charge exorbitant fees for a flat conveyance in Sale?

Sale conveyancing on leasehold apartments ordinarily necessitates administration charges levied by managing agents :

  • Answering pre-contract questions
  • Where consent is required before sale in Sale
  • Copies of the building insurance and schedule
  • Deeds of covenant upon sale
  • Registering of the assignment of the change of lessee after a sale
Your solicitor will have no control over the level of the charges for this information but the average costs for the information for Sale leasehold property is £350. For Sale 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 supply the information.

Sale Conveyancing for Leasehold Flats - Examples of Questions you should consider Prior to Purchasing

    Who manages the building? If a Sale lease has no more than eighty years it will have adverse implications on the value of the apartment. It is worth checking with your bank that they are happy with remaining years on the lease. Leases with less than 80 years remaining means that you will probably require a lease extension at some point and it is worth finding out what this will be. For most Salelease extensions you will need to own the residence for 24 months in order to be legally able to carry out a lease extension. The prefered form of lease arrangement is where the freehold title is owned by the leaseholders. In this arrangement the leaseholders benefit from control and even though a managing agent is frequently employed if the building is larger than a house conversion, the managing agent is directed by the tenants.

Other Topics

Lease Extensions in Sale