Questions and Answers: Taplow leasehold conveyancing
I am in need of some leasehold conveyancing in Taplow. Before I get started I want to be sure as to the remaining lease term.
If the lease is registered - and most are in Taplow - then the leasehold title will always include the short particulars of the lease, namely the date; the term; and the original parties. From a conveyancing perspective such details then enable any prospective buyer and lender to confirm that any lease they are looking at is the one relevant to that title.For any other purpose, such as confirming how long the term was granted for and calculating what is left, then the register should be sufficient on it's own.
I wish to sublet my leasehold flat in Taplow. Conveyancing solicitor who did the purchase is retired - so can't ask him. Is permission from the freeholder required?
A lease dictates relations between the freeholder and you the leaseholder; specifically, it will set out if subletting is prohibited, or permitted but only subject to certain conditions. The rule is that if the lease contains no specific ban or restriction, subletting is allowed. The majority of leases in Taplow do not prevent an absolute prevention of subletting – such a provision would adversely affect the market value the property. Instead, there is usually a basic requirement that the owner notifies the freeholder, possibly supplying a duplicate of the tenancy agreement.
I've recently bought a leasehold flat in Taplow. Do I have any liability for 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. However, your landlord may still be able to take action to forfeit the lease. A critical element of leasehold conveyancing for your conveyancer to ensure 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 work for a busy estate agent office in Taplow where we have experienced a few flat sales put at risk as a result of leases having less than 80 years remaining. I have received contradictory information from local Taplow conveyancing firms. Please can you shed some light as to whether the seller of a flat can start 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 for a lease extension. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment has to be done prior to, or simultaneously with completion of the sale.
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 buyer.
What are the common defects that you see in leases for Taplow properties?
There is nothing unique about leasehold conveyancing in Taplow. All leases is drafted differently and legal mistakes in the legal wording can sometimes mean that certain provisions are missing. The following missing provisions could result in a defective lease:
- A provision to repair to or maintain parts of the property
- 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
You may encounter a problem when selling your property if you have a defective lease primarily because it impacts on the ability to obtain a mortgage on the property. HSBC Bank, Skipton Building Society, and Platform Home Loans Ltd all have very detailed 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 own a basement flat in Taplow, conveyancing formalities finalised 4 years ago. Can you work out an approximate cost of a lease extension? Equivalent flats in Taplow with a long lease are worth £219,000. The average or mid-range amount of ground rent is £45 charged once a year. The lease ceases on 21st October 2081
With only 60 years left to run the likely cost is going to span between £20,900 and £24,200 plus legals.
The suggested premium range that we have given is a general guide to costs for renewing a lease, but we cannot give you a more accurate figure without more comprehensive due diligence. You should not use this information in tribunal or court proceedings. There are no doubt additional issues that need to be taken into account and you obviously should be as accurate as possible in your negotiations. Please do not move forward based on this information before seeking the advice of a professional.