Recently asked questions relating to Washwood Heath leasehold conveyancing
My wife and I may need to sub-let our Washwood Heath ground floor flat for a while due to a new job. We instructed a Washwood Heath conveyancing practice in 2002 but they have closed and we did not have the foresight to seek any guidance as to whether the lease permits subletting. How do we find out?
Some leases for properties in Washwood Heath do contain a provision to say that subletting is only allowed with permission. The landlord cannot unreasonably refuse but, in such cases, they would need to review 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.
I today plan to offer on a house that seems to meet my requirements, at a reasonable price which is making it more attractive. I have just found out that it's a leasehold as opposed to freehold. I would have thought that there are particular concerns buying a house with a leasehold title in Washwood Heath. Conveyancing lawyers have are soon to be instructed. Will my lawyers set out the risks of buying a leasehold house in Washwood Heath ?
Most houses in Washwood Heath are freehold rather than leasehold. In this scenario it’s worth having a local conveyancer used to dealing with such properties who can assist with the conveyancing process. We note that you are buying in Washwood Heath in which case you should be shopping around for a Washwood Heath conveyancing solicitor and be sure that they have experience in transacting on leasehold houses. First you will need to check the unexpired lease term. As a lessee you will not be at liberty to do whatever you want to the property. The lease comes with conditions for example requiring the freeholder’spermission to conduct changes to the property. You may also be required to pay a contribution towards the maintenance of the communal areas where the house is part of an estate. Your conveyancer will advise you fully on all the issues.
I've recently bought a leasehold house in Washwood Heath. Am I liable to pay service charges for periods before 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 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 employed by a busy estate agent office in Washwood Heath where we have experienced a few flat sales jeopardised as a result of short leases. I have been given inconsistent advice from local Washwood Heath conveyancing solicitors. Could you confirm whether the vendor of a flat can commence the lease extension process for the purchaser on completion of the sale?
Provided that the seller has owned the lease 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 can avoid having to sit tight for 2 years for a lease extension. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment needs to be completed before, or at the same time as completion of the disposal of the property.
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.
What advice can you give us when it comes to appointing a Washwood Heath conveyancing firm to carry out our lease extension conveyancing?
If you are instructing a conveyancer for your lease extension (regardless if they are a Washwood Heath conveyancing practice) it is essential that he or she should be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of work. We recommend that you make enquires with two or three firms including non Washwood Heath conveyancing practices prior to instructing a firm. If the firm is ALEP accredited then so much the better. Some following of questions could be of use:
- If the firm is not ALEP accredited then what is the reason?
I own a ground floor flat in Washwood Heath, conveyancing was carried out 4 years ago. Can you work out an approximate cost of a lease extension? Equivalent properties in Washwood Heath with a long lease are worth £182,000. The ground rent is £45 charged once a year. The lease ceases on 21st October 2086
You have 64 years left to run we estimate the premium for your lease extension to span between £18,100 and £20,800 as well as costs.
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 are no doubt other issues that need to be considered and clearly you should be as accurate as possible in your negotiations. You should not move forward placing reliance on this information without first seeking the advice of a professional.