Frequently asked questions relating to Westhoughton leasehold conveyancing
My partner and I may need to let out our Westhoughton 1st floor flat for a while due to a new job. We instructed a Westhoughton conveyancing firm in 2002 but they have since shut and we did not have the foresight to get any guidance as to whether the lease allows us to sublet. How do we find out?
Even though your last Westhoughton conveyancing solicitor is no longer around you can check your lease to see if you are permitted to let out the apartment. The accepted inference is that if the deeds are silent, subletting is permitted. There may be a precondition that you need to seek permission via your landlord or other appropriate person before subletting. The net result is you not allowed to sublet without prior consent. Such consent is not allowed to be unreasonably withheld. If your lease prohibits you from subletting the property you should ask your landlord for their consent.
I have just started marketing my ground floor flat in Westhoughton.Conveyancing has not commenced but I have just had a half-yearly service charge demand – Do I pay up?
The sensible thing to do is pay the service charge 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.
Last month I purchased a leasehold property in Westhoughton. Am I liable to pay service charges for periods before my ownership?
Where the service charge has already been demanded from the previous lessee 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 a negotiator for a reputable estate agent office in Westhoughton where we have witnessed a few flat sales jeopardised due to leases having less than 80 years remaining. I have been given inconsistent advice from local Westhoughton conveyancing solicitors. Could you confirm whether the owner of a flat can commence the lease extension formalities 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 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 simultaneously with 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 buyer.
Our conveyancer has advised that he intends to complete and exchange simultaneously on the disposal of our £350000 garden flat in Westhoughton on Monday in a week. The freeholder has quoted £408 for Landlord’s certificate, insurance certificate and 3 years service charge statements. Is it legal for a freeholder to charge an administration fee for a flat conveyance in Westhoughton?
Westhoughton conveyancing on leasehold apartments usually involves the purchaser’s solicitor sending enquiries for the landlord to address. Although the landlord is not legally bound to answer such questions the majority will be content to assist. They are at liberty charge a reasonable administration fee for responding to questions or supplying documentation. There is no upper cap for such fees. The average costs for the paperwork that you are referring to is over three hundred pounds, in some transactions it exceeds £800. The administration charge required by the landlord must be accompanied by a summary of rights and obligations in respect of administration fees, otherwise the invoice is not strictly payable. Reality however dictates that you have no choice but to pay whatever is requested of you if you want to complete the sale of your home.
I inherited a ground floor flat in Westhoughton, conveyancing was carried out 9 years ago. Can you give me give me an indication of the likely cost of a lease extension? Similar flats in Westhoughton with an extended lease are worth £241,000. The average or mid-range amount of ground rent is £60 levied per year. The lease ends on 21st October 2091
With just 70 years unexpired the likely cost is going to be between £10,500 and £12,000 plus professional fees.
The suggested premium range above a general guide to costs for extending a lease, but we are not able to supply the actual costs without more detailed investigations. Do not use the figures in a Notice of Claim or as an informal offer. There may be additional issues that need to be considered and you obviously should be as accurate as possible in your negotiations. You should not move forward placing reliance on this information before seeking the advice of a professional.