Fixed-fee leasehold conveyancing in Topsham:

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Topsham leasehold conveyancing: Q and A’s

My husband and I may need to let out our Topsham basement flat for a while due to a career opportunity. We used a Topsham conveyancing practice in 2001 but they have closed and we did not have the foresight to get any advice as to whether the lease permits subletting. How do we find out?

A lease governs relations between the freeholder and you the flat owner; specifically, it will indicate if subletting is banned, or permitted but only subject to certain conditions. The accepted inference is that if the lease contains no specific ban or restriction, subletting is allowed. The majority of leases in Topsham do not prevent subletting altogether – such a clause would adversely affect the market value the property. In most cases there is simply a requirement that the owner notifies the freeholder, possibly supplying a duplicate of the sublease.

I have just started marketing my garden flat in Topsham.Conveyancing lawyers have not yet been instructed but I have just had a quarterly maintenance charge demand – should I leave it to the buyer to sort out?

The sensible thing to do is discharge 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 couple of flats in Topsham both have about 50 years unexpired on the leases. should I be concerned?

There are no two ways about it. A leasehold apartment in Topsham is a deteriorating asset as a result of the reducing lease term. The closer the lease gets to its expiry date, the more it reduces the value of the property. The majority of buyers and banks, leases with under eighty 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 a residence 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 Topsham 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.

I work for a reputable estate agent office in Topsham where we have experienced a few leasehold sales derailed as a result of leases having less than 80 years remaining. I have received contradictory information from local Topsham conveyancing firms. Please can you confirm whether the owner of a flat can initiate the lease extension formalities for the purchaser on completion of the sale?

Provided that 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 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.

An alternative approach is 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 buyer.

Completion in due on our sale of a £400000 maisonette in Topsham in 5 days. The management company has quoted £300 for Certificate of Compliance, building insurance schedule and previous years statements of service charge. Is it legal for a freeholder to charge an administration fee for a flat conveyance in Topsham?

Topsham conveyancing on leasehold apartments ordinarily results in administration charges levied by freeholders :

  • Completing conveyancing due diligence enquiries
  • Where consent is required before sale in Topsham
  • Supplying insurance information
  • Deeds of covenant upon sale
  • Registering of the assignment of the change of lessee after a sale
Your solicitor will have no control over the level of the charges for this information but the average costs for the information for Topsham leasehold premises is £350. For Topsham conveyancing transactions it is customary for the seller to pay for these costs. The landlord or their agents are under no legal obligation to answer such questions most will be willing to do so - albeit often at exorbitant prices where the fees bear little relation to the work involved. Unfortunately there is no law that requires fixed charges for administrative tasks. Neither is there any legal time frame by which they are required to supply the information.

I purchased a garden flat in Topsham, conveyancing was carried out half a dozen years ago. Can you let me have an estimated range of the fair premium for a lease extension? Comparable flats in Topsham with over 90 years remaining are worth £232,000. The ground rent is £65 invoiced every year. The lease ends on 21st October 2083

With 62 years unexpired we estimate the premium for your lease extension to range between £18,100 and £20,800 plus plus your own and the landlord's "reasonable" professional fees.

The suggested premium range that we have given is a general guide to costs for extending a lease, but we cannot give you the actual costs without more detailed due diligence. Do not use this information in tribunal or court proceedings. There may be other concerns that need to be taken into account and you obviously want to be as accurate as possible in your negotiations. You should not move forward based on this information without first seeking the advice of a professional.

Other Topics

Lease Extensions in Topsham