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Questions and Answers: Shard End leasehold conveyancing

Frank (my husband) and I may need to let out our Shard End garden flat temporarily due to a new job. We used a Shard End conveyancing practice in 2003 but they have closed and we did not have the foresight to seek any guidance as to whether the lease permits subletting. How do we find out?

A lease governs relations between the landlord and you the flat owner; specifically, it will indicate if subletting is banned, or permitted but only subject to certain conditions. The rule is that if the lease contains no expres ban or restriction, subletting is allowed. The majority of leases in Shard End do not prevent subletting altogether – such a provision would undoubtedly devalue the flat. Instead, there is usually a basic requirement that the owner notifies the freeholder, possibly sending a copy of the tenancy agreement.

Estate agents have just been given the go-ahead to market my garden flat in Shard End.Conveyancing has not commenced but I have just received a half-yearly maintenance charge demand – what should I do?

Your conveyancing lawyer is likely to suggest that you should discharge 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 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. This will smooth the conveyancing process.

I am attracted to a couple of flats in Shard End both have in the region of 50 years unexpired on the lease term. should I be concerned?

A lease is a legal document that entitles you to use the premises for a prescribed time frame. As the lease shortens the marketability of the lease decreases and results in it becoming more costly to extend the lease. This is why it is advisable to extend the lease term. It is often difficulties arise selling premises with a short lease because mortgage companies less inclined to grant a loan on properties of this type. Lease enfranchisement can be a difficult process. We recommend you seek professional help from a solicitor and surveyor with experience in this area

Our conveyancer has advised that he intends to complete and exchange simultaneously on the sale of our £150000 flat in Shard End next Friday . The landlords agents has quoted £372 for Landlord’s certificate, building insurance schedule and previous years statements of service charge. Is it legal for a freeholder to charge an administration fee for a flat conveyance in Shard End?

Shard End conveyancing on leasehold apartments often necessitates the buyer’s conveyancer sending enquiries for the landlord to address. Although the landlord is not legally bound to address these enquiries most will be content to assist. They may charge a reasonable administration fee for responding to enquiries or supplying documentation. There is no set fee. The average fee for the paperwork that you are referring to is over three hundred pounds, in some situations it exceeds £800. The administration charge demanded by the landlord must be sent together with a synopsis of entitlements and obligations in respect of administration charges, otherwise the charge is not strictly payable. Reality however dictates that you have little option but to pay whatever is requested of you if you want to exchange contracts with the buyer.

When it comes to leasehold conveyancing in Shard End what are the most common lease problems?

There is nothing unique about leasehold conveyancing in Shard End. All leases are individual and legal mistakes in the legal wording can sometimes mean that certain clauses are missing. For example, if your lease is missing any of the following, it could be defective:

  • Repairing obligations to or maintain parts of the premises
  • 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

A defective lease will likely cause issues when trying to sell a property as they can affect a potential buyer’s ability to obtain a mortgage. Nationwide Building Society, Leeds Building Society, and Clydesdale all have very detailed requirements when it comes to what is expected in a lease. Where a lender has been advised by their lawyers that the lease is problematic they may refuse to grant the mortgage, forcing the purchaser to withdraw.

I acquired a 1 bedroom flat in Shard End, conveyancing formalities finalised 1995. How much will my lease extension cost? Comparable flats in Shard End with a long lease are worth £238,000. The ground rent is £60 yearly. The lease ceases on 21st October 2094

You have 72 years remaining on your lease we estimate the premium for your lease extension to span between £11,400 and £13,200 as well as professional fees.

The figure that we have given is a general guide to costs for renewing a lease, but we are not able to supply the actual costs in the absence of detailed investigations. You should not use this information in a Notice of Claim or as an informal offer. There may be other issues that need to be considered and you obviously want to be as accurate as possible in your negotiations. Neither should you take any other action placing reliance on this information before getting professional advice.

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Lease Extensions in Shard End