Sedbergh leasehold conveyancing: Q and A’s
Jane (my partner) and I may need to let out our Sedbergh garden flat for a while due to taking a sabbatical. We instructed a Sedbergh conveyancing firm in 2004 but they have since shut and we did not have the foresight to seek any guidance as to whether the lease allows us to sublet. How do we find out?
A lease governs the relationship between the freeholder and you the flat owner; specifically, 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 expres ban or restriction, subletting is permitted. The majority of leases in Sedbergh do not contain an absolute prevention of subletting – such a clause would undoubtedly devalue the property. Instead, there is usually simply a requirement that the owner notifies the freeholder, possibly sending a copy of the sublease.
Having checked my lease I have discovered that there are only 62 years left on my lease in Sedbergh. I need to get lease extension but my freeholder is can not be found. What options are available to me?
On the basis that you qualify, under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 you can apply to the County Court for for permission to dispense with the service of the initial notice. This will enable the lease to be lengthened by the Court. However, you will be required to prove that you or your lawyers have done all that could be expected to track down the lessor. On the whole an enquiry agent may be useful to carry out a search and to produce an expert document which can be accepted by the court as proof that the landlord is indeed missing. It is advisable to get professional help from a solicitor both on devolving into the landlord’s disappearance and the vesting order request to the County Court overseeing Sedbergh.
I am tempted by the attractive purchase price for a couple of flats in Sedbergh both have in the region of forty five years left on the lease term. Will this present a problem?
A lease is a right to use the property for a period of time. As a lease shortens the marketability of the lease deteriorate and results in it becoming more expensive to extend the lease. This is why it is often a good idea to extend the lease term. It is often difficult to sell a property with a short lease as mortgage lenders less inclined to grant a loan on such properties. Lease enfranchisement can be a difficult process. We recommend you seek professional help from a solicitor and surveyor with experience in this area
Last month I purchased a leasehold house in Sedbergh. Do I have any liability for service charges for periods before my ownership?
In a situation where the service charge has already been demanded from the previous owner 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).
Can you provide any top tips for leasehold conveyancing in Sedbergh with the aim of expediting the sale process?
- A significant proportion of the frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Sedbergh can be bypassed where you get in touch lawyers the minute you market your property and request that they start to put together the leasehold information needed by the buyers conveyancers.
- Many freeholders or managing agents in Sedbergh charge for supplying management packs for a leasehold property. You or your lawyers should find out the actual amount of the charges. The management pack can be applied for on or before finding a buyer, thus accelerating the process. The average time it takes to obtain the necessary information is three weeks. It is the most frequent cause of delay in leasehold conveyancing in Sedbergh.
Sedbergh Leasehold Conveyancing - Examples of Queries before buying
Does the lease have more than 80 years unexpired?
Be sure to enquire if there are any onerous restrictions in the lease. For example it is fairly common in Sedbergh leases that pets are not permitted in in a block in Sedbergh. If you like the flatin Sedbergh but your dog is not allowed to make the move with you then you will be faced hard decision.
Plenty Sedbergh leasehold properties will have a service charge for maintenance of the block levied by the landlord. If you acquire the flat you will have to meet this amount, normally in instalments throughout the year. This can vary from several hundred pounds to thousands of pounds for bigger purpose-built buildings. There will also be a ground rent to be met yearly, this is usually not a significant sum, say around £50-£100 but you need to enquire it because occasionally it can be prohibitively expensive.