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Swinton leasehold conveyancing: Q and A’s

My fiance and I may need to rent out our Swinton 1st floor flat for a while due to a new job. We used a Swinton conveyancing practice in 2004 but they have closed and we did not think at the time get any advice as to whether the lease allows us to sublet. How do we find out?

Even though your last Swinton conveyancing solicitor is not available you can review your lease to check if it allows you to sublet the property. The rule is that if the deeds are non-specific, subletting is allowed. Quite often there is a prerequisite that you must obtain permission via your landlord or some other party prior to subletting. The net result is that you cannot sublet without first obtaining consent. Such consent must not not be unreasonably refused ore delayed. If the lease does not allow you to sublet you will need to ask your landlord if they are willing to waive this restriction.

I have recently realised that I have 62 years unexpired on my flat in Swinton. I now wish to get lease extension but my landlord is missing. What should I do?

If you meet the appropriate requirements, under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 you can apply to the County Court for an order to dispense with the service of the initial notice. This will enable the lease to be extended by the Court. You will be obliged to demonstrate that you have done all that could be expected to track down the freeholder. For most situations a specialist may be helpful to conduct investigations and to produce an expert document to be accepted by the court as proof that the landlord is indeed missing. It is advisable to get professional help from a conveyancer in relation to devolving into the landlord’s disappearance and the vesting order request to the County Court covering Swinton.

I have just started marketing my garden apartment in Swinton.Conveyancing is yet to be initiated but I have just received a quarterly service charge invoice – should I leave it to the buyer to sort out?

Your conveyancing lawyer is likely to suggest that you should pay the invoice 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. Having a clear account will assist your cause and will leave you no worse off financially.

I am looking at a couple of maisonettes in Swinton which have in the region of fifty years remaining on the leases. should I be concerned?

There are no two ways about it. A leasehold apartment in Swinton is a wasting asset as a result of the shortening lease. The closer the lease gets to zero years unexpired, the more it adversely affects the marketability of the property. For most buyers and mortgage companies, leases with under 75 years become less and less marketable. On a more positive note, leaseholders can extend their leases by serving a Section 42 Notice. One stipulation is that they must have owned the premises for two years (unlike a Section 13 notice for purchasing the freehold, when leaseholders can participate from day one of ownership). When successful, they will have the right to an extension of 90 years to the current term and ground rent is effectively reduced to zero. Before moving forward with a purchase of premises with a short lease term remaining you should talk to a solicitor specialising in lease extensions and leasehold enfranchisement. We are are happy to put you in touch with Swinton conveyancing experts who will explain the options available to you during an initial telephone conversation free of charge. More often than not it is possible to negotiate informally with the freeholder to extend the lease They may agree to a smaller lump sum and an increase in the ground rent, but to shorter extension terms in return. You need to ensure that any new terms represent good long-term value compared with the standard benefits of the Section 42 Notice and that onerous clauses are not inserted into any redrafting of the lease.

Do you have any advice for leasehold conveyancing in Swinton from the perspective of saving time on the sale process?

  • Much of the frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Swinton can be reduced if you instruct lawyers the minute you market your property and request that they start to collate the leasehold information needed by the purchasers’ lawyers.
  • Many landlords or Management Companies in Swinton levy fees for providing management packs for a leasehold premises. You or your lawyers should find out the fee that they propose to charge. The management pack can be applied for as soon as you have a buyer, thus accelerating the process. The typical amount of time it takes to receive management information is three weeks. It is the most frequent reason for frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Swinton.
  • If you have had conflict with your freeholder or managing agents it is essential that these are settled prior to the flat being marketed. The purchasers and their solicitors will be concerned about purchasing a flat where there is an ongoing dispute. You will have to accept that you will have to pay any arrears of service charge or resolve the dispute prior to the buyers completing the purchase. It is therefore preferable to have any dispute settled ahead of the contract papers being issued to the buyers’ solicitors. You will still have to reveal details of the dispute to the buyers, but it is better to reveal the dispute as over rather than ongoing.
  • If you are supposed to have a share in the freehold, you should ensure that you have the original share document. Arranging a replacement share certificate can be a time consuming formality and slows down many a Swinton conveyancing transaction. If a reissued share certificate is required, do contact the company director and secretary or managing agents (where applicable) for this at the earliest opportunity.
  • You believe that you know the number of years left on your lease but it would be advisable verify this via your solicitors. A buyer’s conveyancer will be unlikely to recommend their client to to exchange contracts if the remaining number of years is below 75 years. It is therefore essential at an early stage that you consider whether the lease term requires a lease extension. If it does, contact your solicitors before you put your premises on the market for sale.

  • I acquired a basement flat in Swinton, conveyancing formalities finalised in 2000. How much will my lease extension cost? Comparable flats in Swinton with a long lease are worth £246,000. The ground rent is £50 yearly. The lease expires on 21st October 2073

    With only 53 years remaining on your lease we estimate the price of your lease extension to span between £29,500 and £34,000 plus costs.

    The suggested premium range above a general guide to costs for renewing a lease, but we are not able to advice on a more accurate figure without more comprehensive investigations. You should not use this information in tribunal or court proceedings. There may be additional concerns that need to be taken into account and clearly you should be as accurate as possible in your negotiations. Please do not take any other action based on this information without first getting professional advice.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Swinton