Common questions relating to Southport leasehold conveyancing
Harry (my fiance) and I may need to rent out our Southport garden flat temporarily due to a new job. We instructed a Southport conveyancing firm in 2001 but they have since shut and we did not think at the time get any guidance as to whether the lease allows us to sublet. How do we find out?
Notwithstanding that your previous Southport conveyancing lawyer is not around you can check your lease to see if it allows you to sublet the premises. The accepted inference is that if the lease is silent, subletting is allowed. Quite often there is a prerequisite that you are obliged to seek permission via your landlord or some other party before subletting. The net result is you not allowed to sublet in the absence of prior consent. Such consent is not allowed to be unreasonably refused ore delayed. If your lease does not allow you to sublet you will need to ask your landlord for their consent.
Estate agents have just been given the go-ahead to market my 2 bed apartment in Southport.Conveyancing has not commenced but I have just received a yearly maintenance charge invoice – Do I pay up?
The sensible thing to do is 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 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.
Last month I purchased a leasehold property in Southport. Am I liable to pay service charges for periods before completion of my purchase?
Where the service charge has already been demanded from the previous lessee and they have not paid you would not usually be personally liable for the arrears. Strange as it may seem, 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).
If all goes to plan we aim to complete the sale of our £125000 garden flat in Southport in 8 days. The freeholder has quoted £372 for Landlord’s certificate, building insurance schedule and 3 years statements of service charge. Is it legal for a freeholder to charge an administration fee for a flat conveyance in Southport?
Southport conveyancing on leasehold maisonettes normally involves the purchaser’s conveyancer sending enquiries for the landlord to answer. Although the landlord is not legally bound to answer such questions the majority will be content to assist. They are at liberty invoice a reasonable administration fee for answering questions or supplying documentation. There is no set fee. The average costs for the paperwork that you are referring to is £350, in some situations it exceeds £800. The management information fee demanded by the landlord must be accompanied by a synopsis of rights and obligations in respect of administration charges, otherwise the invoice is not strictly payable. Reality however dictates that one has no choice but to pay whatever is requested of you if you want to sell the property.
Are there common problems that you encounter in leases for Southport properties?
There is nothing unique about leasehold conveyancing in Southport. All leases are individual and legal mistakes in the legal wording can sometimes mean that certain sections are not included. For example, if your lease is missing any of the following, it could be defective:
- A provision to repair to or maintain elements of the property
- A duty to insure the building
- Clauses dealing with recovering service charges for expenditure on the building or common parts.
- Maintenance charge proportions which don’t add up to the correct percentage
A defective lease can cause problems when trying to sell a property as they can affect a potential buyer’s ability to obtain a mortgage. HSBC Bank, Virgin Money, and Clydesdale all have express conveyancing instructions 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 provide security, forcing the purchaser to withdraw.
Leasehold Conveyancing in Southport - Sample of Queries before Purchasing
Can you inform me if there are any major works on the horizon that will likely add a premium to the maintenance charges?
The prefered form of lease arrangement is if the freehold title is in the ownership of the leaseholders. In this situation the lessees have control and notwithstanding that a managing agent is often retained where it is bigger than a house conversion, the managing agent acts for the leaseholders themselves.
Please note that where the lease has less than eighty years it will impact the salability of the flat. It is worth checking with your mortgage company that they are happy with the length of the lease. Leases with fewer than 80 years remaining means that you will probably need a lease extension at some point and it is worth discovering how much this would cost. Remember, in most cases you would be required to have been the owner of the residence for 24 months in order to be eligible to extend the lease.