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Top Five Questions relating to Walton on the Naze leasehold conveyancing

Harry (my fiance) and I may need to let out our Walton on the Naze ground floor flat for a while due to a career opportunity. We used a Walton on the Naze conveyancing firm in 2002 but they have since shut and we did not think at the time get any guidance as to whether the lease allows us to sublet. How do we find out?

Some leases for properties in Walton on the Naze do contain a provision to say that subletting is only permitted with prior consent from the landlord. The landlord cannot unreasonably withhold but, in such cases, they would need to see references. Experience dictates 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 consent.

Back In 2005, I bought a leasehold flat in Walton on the Naze. Conveyancing and HSBC Bank mortgage are in place. A letter has just been received from someone claiming to own the freehold. It included a demand for arrears of ground rent dating back to 1991. The conveyancing solicitor in Walton on the Naze who acted for me is not around.What should I do?

First make enquiries of the Land Registry to make sure that the individual purporting to own the freehold is indeed the new freeholder. It is not necessary to instruct a Walton on the Naze conveyancing solicitor to do this as it can be done on-line for £3. You should note that in any event, even if this is the legitimate landlord, under the Limitation Act 1980 no more than 6 years of rent can be collected.

Last month I purchased a leasehold property in Walton on the Naze. Do I have any liability for 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 owner and they have not paid you would not usually be personally liable for the arrears. Strange as it may seem, 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).

Do you have any advice for leasehold conveyancing in Walton on the Naze with the aim of speeding up the sale process?

  • Much of the delay in leasehold conveyancing in Walton on the Naze can be reduced if you appoint lawyers as soon as you market your property and ask them to put together the leasehold documentation which will be required by the purchasers’ representatives.
  • Many landlords or Management Companies in Walton on the Naze charge for supplying management packs for a leasehold property. You or your lawyers should discover the actual amount of the charges. The management information can be applied for as soon as you have a buyer, thus reducing delays. The typical amount of time it takes to obtain the necessary information is three weeks. It is the most frequent reason for delay in leasehold conveyancing in Walton on the Naze.
  • Some Walton on the Naze leases require Landlord’s consent to the sale and approval of the buyers. If this applies to your lease, it would be prudent to place the estate agents on notice to make sure that the purchasers put in hand financial (bank) and professional references. Any bank reference will need to confirm that the buyers are financially capable of paying the annual service charge and the actual amount of the service charge should be quoted in the bank’s letter. You will therefore need to provide your estate agents with the actual amount of the service charge so that they can pass this information on to the purchasers or their solicitors.
  • If you have had any disputes with your landlord or managing agents it is very important that these are settled before the property is put on the market. The buyers and their solicitors will be reluctant to purchase a property where a dispute is unsettled. 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 prior to the contract papers being issued to the buyers’ solicitors. You will still have to reveal particulars of the dispute to the buyers, but it is clearly preferable to present the dispute as historic rather than ongoing.
  • If you hold a share in a the Management Company, you should make sure that you hold the original share document. Arranging a replacement share certificate is often a lengthy formality and frustrates many a Walton on the Naze conveyancing deal. If a reissued share is required, you should approach the company director and secretary or managing agents (if applicable) for this as soon as possible.

  • What are the common problems that you witness in leases for Walton on the Naze properties?

    There is nothing unique about leasehold conveyancing in Walton on the Naze. All leases is drafted differently and drafting errors can sometimes mean that certain clauses are not included. For example, if your lease is missing any of the following, it could be defective:

    • A provision to repair to or maintain elements of the premises
    • A duty to insure the building
    • A provision for the recovery of money spent for the benefit of another party.
    • Maintenance charge proportions which don’t add up to the correct percentage

    A defective lease will likely cause issues when trying to sell a property as they can affect a potential buyer’s ability to obtain a mortgage. Yorkshire Building Society, Barnsley Building Society, and Clydesdale 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 does not cover certain provisions they may refuse to grant the mortgage, obliging the purchaser to pull out.

    I inherited a 1 bedroom flat in Walton on the Naze, conveyancing formalities finalised 2000. Can you let me have an estimated range of the fair premium for a lease extension? Similar properties in Walton on the Naze with an extended lease are worth £260,000. The average or mid-range amount of ground rent is £45 levied per year. The lease comes to an end on 21st October 2087

    With 65 years left to run we estimate the price of your lease extension to be between £16,200 and £18,600 plus plus your own and the landlord's "reasonable" professional fees.

    The figure above a general guide to costs for renewing a lease, but we cannot give you a more accurate figure without more comprehensive investigations. Do not use this information in a Notice of Claim or as an informal offer. There may be other issues that need to be taken into account and you obviously want to be as accurate as possible in your negotiations. Please do not take any other action placing reliance on this information without first getting professional advice.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Walton on the Naze