Top Five Questions relating to Stony Stratford leasehold conveyancing
I would like to sublet my leasehold flat in Stony Stratford. Conveyancing solicitor who did the purchase is retired - so can't ask her. Is permission from the freeholder required?
A small minority of properties in Stony Stratford do contain a provision to say that subletting is only allowed with permission. The landlord is not entitled to unreasonably withhold but, in such cases, they would need to see references. Experience suggests 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 consent.
My wife and I purchased a leasehold house in Stony Stratford. Conveyancing and Barclays mortgage are in place. I have received a letter from someone saying they have taken over the freehold. Attached was a ground rent demand for rent dating back to 1998. The conveyancing solicitor in Stony Stratford who acted for me is not around.Any advice?
First contact the Land Registry to be sure that this person is in fact the registered owner of the freehold reversion. You do not need to instruct a Stony Stratford conveyancing lawyer to do this as you can do this on the Land Registry website for £3. Rest assured that regardless, even if this is the legitimate freeholder, under the Limitation Act 1980 the limitation period for recovery of ground rent is six years.
I've recently bought a leasehold house in Stony Stratford. Do I have any liability for service charges relating to a period prior to my ownership?
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. However, your landlord may still be able to take action to forfeit the lease. A critical element 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).
I am a negotiator for a reputable estate agency in Stony Stratford where we have experienced a number of flat sales put at risk as a result of leases having less than 80 years remaining. I have been given inconsistent advice from local Stony Stratford conveyancing firms. Please can you shed some light as to whether the owner of a flat can commence the lease extension formalities 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 kick-start the lease extension process and assign the benefit of the notice to the purchaser. The benefit of this is that the proposed purchaser can avoid having to wait 2 years for a lease extension. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment needs to be completed prior to, or simultaneously with completion of the disposal of the property.
An alternative approach is to extend the lease informally by agreement with the landlord 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 purchaser.
Are there common defects that you come across in leases for Stony Stratford properties?
Leasehold conveyancing in Stony Stratford is not unique. All leases is drafted differently and drafting errors can sometimes mean that certain sections are wrong. For example, if your lease is missing any of the following, it could be defective:
- A provision to repair to or maintain parts of the premises
- 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. Barclays , Virgin Money, and Bank of Ireland all have very detailed conveyancing instructions when it comes to what is expected in a lease. If a mortgage lender believes that the lease does not cover certain provisions they may refuse to provide security, obliging the purchaser to pull out.
Leasehold Conveyancing in Stony Stratford - Examples of Queries before Purchasing
How many of the leaseholders are in arrears for their service charge payments?
It would be prudent to investigate if there is anything that is prohibited in the lease. For instance plenty of leases prohibit pets being permitted in in a block in Stony Stratford. If you like the propertyin Stony Stratford yet your cat is not allowed to make the move with you then you will be presented with a difficult determination.
This information is helpful as a) areas could result in problems in the building as the communal areas may start to deteriorate where repairs are not paid for b) if the leasehold owners have a dispute with the managing agents you will wish to have complete disclosure