Fixed-fee leasehold conveyancing in Theale:

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Sample questions relating to Theale leasehold conveyancing

My husband and I may need to rent out our Theale garden flat for a while due to taking a sabbatical. We instructed a Theale conveyancing practice in 2002 but they have closed and we did not have the foresight to seek any advice as to whether the lease allows us to sublet. How do we find out?

Some leases for properties in Theale 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 permission.

Having checked my lease I have discovered that there are only 68 years left on my flat in Theale. I now wish to get lease extension but my landlord is can not be found. What should I do?

On the basis that you qualify, under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 you can submit an application to the County Court for an order to dispense with the service of the initial notice. This will mean that your lease can be granted an extra 90 years by the Court. However, you will be required to prove that you have done all that could be expected to locate the freeholder. For most situations a specialist would be helpful to try and locate and prepare a report to be accepted by the court as proof that the landlord is indeed missing. It is advisable to get professional help from a solicitor in relation to proving the landlord’s disappearance and the application to the County Court overseeing Theale.

Estate agents have just been given the go-ahead to market my 2 bed flat in Theale.Conveyancing lawyers have not yet been instructed but I have just had a yearly service charge invoice – what should I do?

It best that you 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 until 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 tempted by the attractive purchase price for a two flats in Theale both have in the region of 50 years left on the lease term. should I be concerned?

There are plenty of short leases in Theale. The lease is a right to use the premises for a prescribed time frame. As the lease gets shorter the marketability of the lease decreases and results in it becoming more costly to extend the lease. For this reason it is advisable to extend the lease term. More often than not it is difficulties arise selling premises with a short lease because mortgage lenders may be unwilling to lend money on properties of this type. Lease extension can be a protracted process. We recommend you seek professional help from a solicitor and surveyor with experience in this field

I am employed by a long established estate agency in Theale where we see a few flat sales jeopardised due to short leases. I have received inconsistent advice from local Theale conveyancing firms. Could you clarify whether the seller of a flat can instigate 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 commence 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 to extend their lease. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment needs to be completed prior to, or simultaneously with completion of the sale.

Alternatively, it may be possible 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.

Theale Conveyancing for Leasehold Flats - Sample of Queries before Purchasing

    If a Theale lease has less than 80 years it will affect the marketability of the flat. It is worth checking with your lender that they are willing to lend given the lease term. A short lease means that you will most likely require a lease extension at some point and you need to have some idea of what this will be. For most Thealelease extensions you would be be obliged to have owned the premises for two years in order to be eligible to extend the lease. Most Theale leasehold apartments will be liable to pay a service bill for maintenance of the block set on behalf of the freeholder. Where you purchase the property you will have to pay this contribution, normally in instalments during the year. This may be anything from several hundred pounds to thousands of pounds for large purpose-built blocks. There will also be a ground rent to be met yearly, normally this is not a significant sum, say approximately £25-£75 but you need to check as on occasion it could be prohibitively expensive. You should want to discover as much as you can about the managing agents as they will either make life much simpler or uncomfortable. Being a leasehold owner you are often in the clutches of the managing agents both financially and when it comes to day to day matters like the cleanliness of the communal areas. Ask prospective neighbours if they are happy with them. On a final note, be sure you know the dates that you are obliged pay the service charge to the appropriate party and specifically how they are spending the funds.

Other Topics

Lease Extensions in Theale