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Recently asked questions relating to Theale leasehold conveyancing

My husband and I may need to sub-let our Theale basement flat temporarily due to a career opportunity. We instructed a Theale conveyancing firm in 2002 but they have closed and we did not think at the time seek any guidance as to whether the lease permits subletting. How do we find out?

A lease dictates relations between the freeholder and you the flat owner; in particular, it will set out if subletting is not allowed, or permitted but only subject to certain conditions. The rule is that if the lease contains no expres ban or restriction, subletting is permitted. Most leases in Theale do not contain subletting altogether – such a clause would adversely affect the market value the property. Instead, there is usually a basic requirement that the owner notifies the freeholder, possibly sending a copy of the tenancy agreement.

There are only 68 years unexpired on my lease in Theale. I now wish to extend my lease but my freeholder is missing. What options are available to me?

If you qualify, under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 you can submit an application to the County Court for for permission to dispense with the service of the initial notice. This will enable the lease to be granted an extra 90 years by the Court. However, you will be required to demonstrate that you or your lawyers have done all that could be expected to find the freeholder. On the whole an enquiry agent may be useful to conduct investigations and prepare an expert document which can be used as evidence that the landlord can not be located. It is advisable to get professional help from a conveyancer in relation to devolving into the landlord’s disappearance and the application to the County Court covering Theale.

Due to exchange soon on a garden flat in Theale. Conveyancing lawyers assured me that they will have a report out to me next week. Are there areas in the report that I should be focusing on?

The report on title for your leasehold conveyancing in Theale should include some of the following:

  • You should receive a copy of the lease
  • The length of the lease term You should be advised as what happens when the lease ends, and informed of the importance of not letting the lease term falling below eighty years
  • Details of the parties to the lease, for example these could be the leaseholder (you), head lessor, landlord
  • Are pets allowed in the flat?
  • An explanation as to the provision in the lease to pay service charges - with regard to both the building, and the more general rights a leaseholder has
  • The landlord’s obligations to repair and maintain the building. It is important that you know who is responsible for the repair and maintenance of every part of the building
  • Responsibility for repairing the window frames For details of the information to be included in your report on your leasehold property in Theale please enquire of your lawyer in advance of your conveyancing in Theale

  • I've recently bought a leasehold house in Theale. Am I liable to pay service charges relating to a period prior to completion of my purchase?

    In a situation 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 long established estate agent office in Theale where we see a few flat sales put at risk as a result of leases having less than 80 years remaining. I have received conflicting advice from local Theale conveyancing solicitors. Could you shed some light as to whether the vendor of a flat can commence the lease extension process for the buyer?

    Provided that the seller has been the owner for at least 2 years it is possible, to serve a Section 42 notice to commence the lease extension process and assign the benefit of the notice to the purchaser. This means that the proposed purchaser can avoid having to sit tight for 2 years to extend their lease. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment has to be done before, or simultaneously with 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 purchaser.

    I am the registered owner of a studio flat in Theale, conveyancing formalities finalised in 2012. Can you shed any light on how much the price could be for a 90 year extension to my lease? Similar properties in Theale with an extended lease are worth £228,000. The ground rent is £50 per annum. The lease ceases on 21st October 2081

    With only 60 years remaining on your lease the likely cost is going to span between £20,000 and £23,000 as well as costs.

    The figure that we have given is 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. Do not use this information in tribunal or court proceedings. There may be additional issues that need to be considered and you obviously want to be as accurate as possible in your negotiations. You should not take any other action placing reliance on this information before getting professional advice.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Theale