Top Five Questions relating to Saltney leasehold conveyancing
Frank (my husband) and I may need to sub-let our Saltney 1st floor flat temporarily due to a career opportunity. We used a Saltney conveyancing practice in 2001 but they have since shut and we did not have the foresight to get any guidance as to whether the lease allows us to sublet. How do we find out?
The lease governs relations between the landlord and you the flat owner; in particular, it will say if subletting is not allowed, or permitted but only subject to certain caveats. The rule is that if the lease contains no expres ban or restriction, subletting is allowed. Most leases in Saltney do not contain strict prohibition on subletting – such a provision would undoubtedly devalue the flat. In most cases there is a basic requirement that the owner notifies the freeholder, possibly supplying a duplicate of the sublease.
Estate agents have just been given the go-ahead to market my garden apartment in Saltney.Conveyancing has not commenced but I have just had a quarterly maintenance charge invoice – what should I do?
It best that you pay the invoice as normal because all ground rent and service charges will be apportioned on completion, so you will be reimbursed by the buyer for the period running from after the completion date to the next payment date. Most managing agents will not acknowledge the buyer until the service charges have been paid and are up to date so it is important for both buyer and seller for the seller to show that they are up to date. This will smooth the conveyancing process.
I am employed by a long established estate agency in Saltney where we see a few flat sales derailed as a result of short leases. I have been given conflicting advice from local Saltney conveyancing solicitors. Can you clarify whether the owner of a flat can initiate the lease extension process 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 buyer 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 at the same time as completion of the disposal of the property.
An alternative approach is 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 purchaser.
Can you offer any advice when it comes to choosing a Saltney conveyancing firm to deal with our lease extension?
If you are instructing a solicitor for lease extension works (regardless if they are a Saltney conveyancing practice) it is most important that they be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of conveyancing. We recommend that you make enquires with two or three firms including non Saltney conveyancing practices prior to instructing a firm. If the firm is ALEP accredited then that’s a bonus. Some following of questions could be helpful:
- How experienced is the firm with lease extension legislation?
We expect to complete our sale of a £200000 flat in Saltney on Monday in a week. The landlords agents has quoted £372 for Certificate of Compliance, insurance certificate and previous years service charge statements. Is it legal for a freeholder to charge exorbitant fees for a leasehold conveyance in Saltney?
Saltney conveyancing on leasehold maisonettes more often than not involves the purchaser’s lawyer submitting questions for the landlord to answer. Although the landlord is not legally bound to respond to such questions the majority will be content to assist. They are entitled charge a reasonable charge for responding to enquiries or supplying documentation. There is no upper cap for such fees. The average fee for the paperwork that you are referring to is £350, in some transactions it is above £800. The management information fee levied by the landlord must be accompanied by a synopsis of rights and obligations in relation to administration fees, otherwise the invoice is not strictly payable. Reality however dictates that one has no option but to pay whatever is demanded should you wish to complete the sale of your home.
Leasehold Conveyancing in Saltney - Examples of Questions you should ask before buying
The majority of Saltney leasehold properties will have a service bill for the upkeep of the block levied by the landlord. Should you purchase the flat you will have to pay this amount, normally quarterly throughout the year. This may be anything from several hundred pounds to thousands of pounds for large purpose-built blocks. In all likelihood there will be a rentcharge for you to pay annual, ordinarily this is not a significant amount, say about £50-£100 but you need to enquire as occasionally it can be many hundreds of pounds.
How much is the ground rent and service charge?
Best to be warned if a new roof is being put on or some other major work is coming up that will be shared amongst the tenants and may well materially increase the the service charges or result in a one off payment.