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Frequently asked questions relating to Seaton leasehold conveyancing

My wife and I may need to sub-let our Seaton 1st floor flat temporarily due to a new job. We instructed a Seaton conveyancing firm in 2003 but they have since shut and we did not think at the time seek any advice as to whether the lease prohibits the subletting of the flat. How do we find out?

Even though your last Seaton conveyancing lawyer is not available you can check your lease to check if it allows you to sublet the property. The rule is that if the lease is silent, subletting is allowed. Quite often there is a prerequisite that you must seek permission from your landlord or other appropriate person in advance of subletting. The net result is that you cannot sublet in the absence of prior permission. Such consent is not allowed to be unreasonably withheld. If the lease does not allow you to sublet you should ask your landlord if they are willing to waive this restriction.

I have just started marketing my ground floor apartment in Seaton.Conveyancing lawyers have not yet been instructed but I have just had a yearly maintenance charge invoice – what should I do?

The sensible thing to do is discharge 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 management companies 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.

What advice can you give us when it comes to finding a Seaton conveyancing firm to carry out our lease extension conveyancing?

When appointing a conveyancer for your lease extension (regardless if they are a Seaton conveyancing firm) it is essential that he or she should be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of work. We recommend that you speak with several firms including non Seaton conveyancing practices before you instructing a firm. Where the conveyancing practice is ALEP accredited then so much the better. Some following of questions could be useful:

  • Can they put you in touch with client in Seaton who can give a testimonial?
  • What are the legal fees for lease extension work?

  • Do you have any advice for leasehold conveyancing in Seaton with the purpose of saving time on the sale process?

    • Much of the frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Seaton can be bypassed where you get in touch lawyers as soon as you market your property and ask them to put together the leasehold information which will be required by the purchasers’ solicitors.
    • If you have carried out any alterations to the residence would they have required Landlord’s consent? Have you, for example installed wooden flooring? Seaton leases often stipulate that internal structural changes or laying down wooden flooring calls for a licence issued by the Landlord acquiescing to such changes. Where you dont have the approvals in place you should not contact the landlord without checking with your solicitor in advance.
  • A minority of Seaton leases require Licence to Assign from the landlord. If this applies to your lease, you should notify your estate agents to make sure that the purchasers obtain financial (bank) and professional references. Any bank reference should make it clear that the buyer is able to meet the annual service charge and the actual amount of the service charge should be quoted in the bank’s letter. You will therefore need to provide your estate agents with the actual amount of the service charge so that they can pass this information on to the purchasers or their solicitors.
  • If you have had any disputes with your landlord or managing agents it is essential that these are settled prior to the flat being marketed. The purchasers and their solicitors will be reluctant to purchase a flat where a dispute is unsettled. You may need to swallow your pride and discharge any arrears of service charge or settle the dispute prior to the buyers completing the purchase. It is therefore preferable to have any dispute settled prior to the contract papers being issued to the buyers’ solicitors. You will still have to reveal details of the dispute to the purchasers, but it is better to present the dispute as historic rather than ongoing.
  • If you have the benefit of shareholding in the Management Company, you should make sure that you have the original share certificate. Obtaining a new share certificate can be a time consuming formality and delays many a Seaton conveyancing deal. Where a reissued share certificate is required, do contact the company officers or managing agents (where applicable) for this sooner rather than later.

  • We expect to complete the sale of our £225000 garden flat in Seaton next week. The managing agents has quoted £396 for Landlord’s certificate, insurance certificate and previous years service charge statements. Is the landlord entitled to charge such fees for a leasehold conveyance in Seaton?

    For the majority of leasehold sales in Seaton conveyancing will involve, questions about the management of a building inevitably needing to be answered directly by the freeholder or its agent, this includes :

    • Completing pre-exchange enquiries
    • Where consent is required before sale in Seaton
    • Supplying insurance information
    • 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 Seaton leasehold property is £350. For Seaton 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.

    I own a basement flat in Seaton, conveyancing was carried out half a dozen years ago. Can you let me have an estimated range of the fair premium for a lease extension? Comparable properties in Seaton with over 90 years remaining are worth £214,000. The average or mid-range amount of ground rent is £65 per annum. The lease comes to an end on 21st October 2101

    You have 79 years remaining on your lease we estimate the premium for your lease extension to be between £10,500 and £12,000 as well as plus your own and the landlord's "reasonable" professional fees.

    The figure that we have given is a general guide to costs for extending a lease, but we cannot give you the actual costs without more detailed due diligence. Do not use the figures in a Notice of Claim or as an informal offer. There may be other concerns that need to be considered and you obviously should be as accurate as possible in your negotiations. Neither should you move forward based on this information before seeking the advice of a professional.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Seaton