Recently asked questions relating to Stockport leasehold conveyancing
Jane (my partner) and I may need to sub-let our Stockport basement flat for a while due to taking a sabbatical. We instructed a Stockport conveyancing firm in 2002 but they have since shut and we did not think at the time get any guidance as to whether the lease permits subletting. How do we find out?
Some leases for properties in Stockport do contain a provision to say that subletting is only permitted with prior consent from the landlord. The landlord cannot unreasonably refuse but, in such cases, they would need to review 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 permission.
My wife and I purchased a leasehold house in Stockport. Conveyancing and Virgin Money mortgage went though with no issue. I have received a letter from someone saying they have taken over the freehold. Attached was a demand for arrears of ground rent dating back to 1993. The conveyancing solicitor in Stockport who previously acted has long since retired.What should I do?
The first thing you should do is contact HMLR to be sure that the individual purporting to own the freehold is indeed the new freeholder. It is not necessary to incur the fees of a Stockport conveyancing lawyer to do this as you can do this on the Land Registry website for a few pound. You should note that in any event, even if this is the rightful freeholder, under the Limitation Act 1980 the limitation period for recovery of ground rent is six years.
I am a negotiator for a busy estate agent office in Stockport where we see a few flat sales jeopardised as a result of leases having less than 80 years remaining. I have been given inconsistent advice from local Stockport conveyancing firms. Could you confirm whether the vendor of a flat can initiate the lease extension process for the purchaser on completion of the sale?
As long as the seller has been the owner for at least 2 years it is possible, to serve a Section 42 notice to start the lease extension process and assign the benefit of the notice to the purchaser. The benefit of this is that the buyer 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 prior to, or at the same time as completion of the sale.
Alternatively, it may be possible to agree the lease extension with the freeholder 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 buyer.
Our conveyancer has advised that he intends to complete and exchange simultaneously on the disposal of our £225000 flat in Stockport in nine days. The management company has quoted £396 for Certificate of Compliance, building insurance schedule and previous years statements of service charge. Is it legal for a freeholder to charge an administration fee for a leasehold conveyance in Stockport?
Stockport conveyancing on leasehold maisonettes often requires the purchaser’s conveyancer submitting enquiries for the landlord to address. Although the landlord is under no legal obligation to respond to these enquiries most will be content to do so. They may charge a reasonable administration fee for responding to questions or supplying documentation. There is no upper cap for such fees. The average costs for the paperwork that you are referring to is over three hundred pounds, in some cases it is in excess of £800. The administration charge levied by the landlord must be accompanied by a synopsis of rights and obligations in relation to administration fees, without which the invoice is technically not due. In reality you have little option but to pay whatever is demanded should you wish to exchange contracts with the buyer.
What are the frequently found defects that you come across in leases for Stockport properties?
There is nothing unique about leasehold conveyancing in Stockport. All leases is drafted differently and drafting errors can sometimes mean that certain provisions are not included. 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
- A provision for the recovery of money spent for the benefit of another party.
- Maintenance charge proportions which don’t add up to the correct percentage
A defective lease can cause issues when trying to sell a property as they can affect a potential buyer’s ability to obtain a mortgage. Accord Mortgages Ltd, Coventry Building Society, and Alliance & Leicester 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, obliging the purchaser to withdraw.
I invested in buying a studio flat in Stockport, conveyancing was carried out 2008. Can you please calculate a probable premium for a statutory lease extension? Comparable properties in Stockport with a long lease are worth £172,000. The average or mid-range amount of ground rent is £65 yearly. The lease comes to an end on 21st October 2096
With 75 years left to run we estimate the price of your lease extension to span between £11,400 and £13,200 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 renewing a lease, but we are not able to supply a more accurate figure without more comprehensive due diligence. You should not use the figures in tribunal or court proceedings. There may be other issues that need to be taken into account and clearly you should be as accurate as possible in your negotiations. You should not move forward based on this information without first seeking the advice of a professional.