Experts for Leasehold Conveyancing in Sandhurst

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Sandhurst leasehold conveyancing: Q and A’s

Jane (my partner) and I may need to rent out our Sandhurst ground floor flat temporarily due to taking a sabbatical. We instructed a Sandhurst conveyancing firm in 2004 but they have since shut and we did not think at the time get any advice as to whether the lease allows us to sublet. How do we find out?

A small minority of properties in Sandhurst do contain a provision to say that subletting is only allowed with permission. The landlord is not entitled to 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 consent.

I have just started marketing my 2 bed flat in Sandhurst.Conveyancing has not commenced but I have just had a quarterly maintenance charge invoice – should I leave it to the buyer to sort out?

It best that you clear the service charge 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 unless 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. Having a clear account will assist your cause and will leave you no worse off financially.

I today plan to offer on a house that appears to meet my requirements, at a reasonable price which is making it more attractive. I have subsequently been informed that it's a leasehold as opposed to freehold. I would have thought that there are issues purchasing a house with a leasehold title in Sandhurst. Conveyancing solicitors have are about to be appointed. Will my lawyers set out the implications of buying a leasehold house in Sandhurst ?

The majority of houses in Sandhurst are freehold rather than leasehold. In this scenario it’s worth having a local conveyancer who is familiar with the area can assist with the conveyancing process. it is apparent that you are purchasing in Sandhurst so you should seriously consider shopping around for a Sandhurst conveyancing practitioner and be sure that they have experience in transacting on leasehold houses. First you will need to check the unexpired lease term. Being a leaseholder you will not be at liberty to do whatever you want to the property. The lease comes with conditions such as obtaining the landlord’sconsent to conduct alterations. You may also be required to pay a contribution towards the maintenance of the estate where the house is located on an estate. Your conveyancer will appraise you on the various issues.

I am employed by a reputable estate agent office in Sandhurst where we have experienced a few leasehold sales put at risk due to leases having less than 80 years remaining. I have been given inconsistent advice from local Sandhurst conveyancing solicitors. Please can you shed some light as to whether the seller of a flat can instigate 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 commence the lease extension process and assign the benefit of the notice to the purchaser. This means that the proposed purchaser need not have to wait 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 sale.

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 purchaser.

When it comes to leasehold conveyancing in Sandhurst what are the most frequent lease defects?

There is nothing unique about leasehold conveyancing in Sandhurst. All leases are unique and drafting errors can sometimes mean that certain clauses are erroneous. The following missing provisions could result in a defective lease:

  • A provision to repair to or maintain elements of the building
  • Insurance obligations
  • 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

You may 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, Barnsley Building Society, and Aldermore all have very detailed requirements when it comes to what is expected in a lease. If a mortgage lender believes that the lease does not cover certain provisions they may refuse to grant the mortgage, forcing the purchaser to pull out.

I own a basement flat in Sandhurst, conveyancing was carried out 9 years ago. Can you give me give me an indication of the likely cost of a lease extension? Comparable properties in Sandhurst with a long lease are worth £242,000. The average or mid-range amount of ground rent is £60 yearly. The lease comes to an end on 21st October 2086

With just 64 years remaining on your lease we estimate the price of your lease extension to span between £16,200 and £18,600 as well as costs.

The suggested premium range that we have given is a general guide to costs for extending a lease, but we are not able to advice on a more accurate figure without more comprehensive investigations. You should not use this information in tribunal or court proceedings. There are no doubt additional concerns that need to be considered and clearly you want to be as accurate as possible in your negotiations. Neither should you move forward based on this information before seeking the advice of a professional.

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Lease Extensions in Sandhurst