Common questions relating to Wareham leasehold conveyancing
Helen (my wife) and I may need to let out our Wareham 1st floor flat for a while due to a new job. We used a Wareham conveyancing practice in 2001 but they have since shut and we did not have the foresight to seek any advice as to whether the lease prohibits the subletting of the flat. How do we find out?
Your lease dictates relations between the freeholder and you the flat owner; in particular, it will set out if subletting is prohibited, or permitted but only subject to certain caveats. The accepted inference is that if the lease contains no expres ban or restriction, subletting is permitted. Most leases in Wareham do not prevent an absolute prevention of subletting – such a clause would adversely affect the market value the flat. Instead, there is usually a basic requirement that the owner notifies the freeholder, possibly sending a duplicate of the tenancy agreement.
I have recently realised that I have 62 years unexpired on my flat in Wareham. I now want to get lease extension but my landlord is missing. What options are available to me?
If you meet the appropriate requirements, under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 you can apply to the County Court for an order to dispense with the service of the initial notice. This will enable the lease to be lengthened by the Court. You will be obliged to prove that you or your lawyers have done all that could be expected to find the lessor. On the whole a specialist should be helpful to try and locate and to produce a report which can be accepted by the court as evidence that the freeholder is indeed missing. It is advisable to get professional help from a conveyancer in relation to investigating the landlord’s disappearance and the application to the County Court overseeing Wareham.
I've found a house that appears to be perfect, at a great price which is making it more attractive. I have since discovered that the title is leasehold as opposed to freehold. I would have thought that there are issues purchasing a leasehold house in Wareham. Conveyancing solicitors have are soon to be appointed. Will my lawyers set out the risks of buying a leasehold house in Wareham ?
The majority of houses in Wareham are freehold rather than leasehold. This is one of the situations where having a local solicitor who is familiar with the area can assist with the conveyancing process. It is clear that you are purchasing in Wareham in which case you should be shopping around for a Wareham conveyancing solicitor and check that they have experience in advising on leasehold houses. As a matter of priority you will need to check the number of years remaining. Being a leaseholder you will not be entirely free to do whatever you want with the house. The lease will likely included provisions such as obtaining the landlord’sconsent to conduct alterations. It may be necessary to pay a contribution towards the upkeep of the estate where the house is located on an estate. Your solicitor will advise you fully on all the issues.
I am employed by a busy estate agency in Wareham where we see a number of flat sales derailed as a result of short leases. I have been given inconsistent advice from local Wareham conveyancing firms. Please can you confirm whether the vendor of a flat can commence the lease extension process for the buyer?
As long as the seller has been the owner for at least 2 years it is possible, to serve a Section 42 notice to kick-start the lease extension process and assign the benefit of the notice to the purchaser. The benefit of this is that the proposed purchaser need not have to wait 2 years for a lease extension. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment needs to be completed prior to, or at the same time as 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 purchaser.
What are your top tips when it comes to finding a Wareham conveyancing firm to deal with our lease extension?
When appointing a property lawyer for your lease extension (regardless if they are a Wareham conveyancing firm) it is most important that they be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of conveyancing. We suggested that you make enquires with two or three firms including non Wareham conveyancing practices prior to instructing a firm. If the firm is ALEP accredited then so much the better. Some following of questions could be useful:
- How experienced is the firm with lease extension legislation?
I inherited a 1 bedroom flat in Wareham, conveyancing having been completed half a dozen years ago. Can you please calculate a probable premium for a statutory lease extension? Equivalent properties in Wareham with over 90 years remaining are worth £207,000. The ground rent is £60 yearly. The lease expires on 21st October 2095
With 75 years left to run we estimate the premium for your lease extension to be between £9,500 and £11,000 plus professional fees.
The figure that we have given is a general guide to costs for renewing a lease, but we cannot give you the actual costs without more detailed investigations. You should not use the figures in a Notice of Claim or as an informal offer. There may be additional issues that need to be taken into account and you obviously want to be as accurate as possible in your negotiations. Please do not move forward based on this information without first seeking the advice of a professional.