Questions and Answers: Whitehaven leasehold conveyancing
I am intending to let out my leasehold apartment in Whitehaven. Conveyancing solicitor who did the purchase is retired - so can't ask her. Is permission from the freeholder required?
Notwithstanding that your previous Whitehaven conveyancing solicitor is not around you can review your lease to see if it allows you to sublet the property. The rule is that if the deeds are silent, subletting is allowed. Quite often there is a prerequisite that you are obliged to obtain permission via your landlord or other appropriate person prior to subletting. The net result is that you cannot sublet in the absence of prior permission. Such consent is not allowed to be unreasonably turned down. If the lease does not allow you to sublet you will need to ask your landlord for their consent.
I am hoping to put an offer on a small detached house that seems to tick a lot of boxes, at a reasonable figure which is making it all the more appealing. I have subsequently been informed that it's a leasehold as opposed to freehold. I am assuming that there are issues buying a leasehold house in Whitehaven. Conveyancing solicitors have not yet been appointed. Will my lawyers set out the implications of buying a leasehold house in Whitehaven ?
Most houses in Whitehaven are freehold and not leasehold. In this scenario it’s worth having a local solicitor used to dealing with such properties who can help the conveyancing process. We note that you are buying in Whitehaven so you should seriously consider shopping around for a Whitehaven conveyancing solicitor and check that they are used to advising on leasehold houses. As a matter of priority you will need to check the unexpired lease term. Being a lessee you will not be entirely free to do whatever you want to the property. The lease will likely included provisions such as obtaining the freeholder’sconsent to conduct alterations. You may also be required to pay a maintenance charge towards the upkeep of the communal areas where the property is part of an estate. Your lawyer will advise you fully on all the issues.
I am looking at a two maisonettes in Whitehaven which have in the region of forty five years unexpired on the leases. Do I need to be concerned?
There is no doubt about it. A leasehold flat in Whitehaven is a deteriorating asset as a result of the shortening lease. The closer the lease gets to its expiry date, the more it reduces the salability of the property. The majority of buyers and banks, leases with under 75 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 property 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 Whitehaven conveyancing experts who will explain the options available to you during an initial telephone conversation free of charge. A more straightforward and quicker method of extending would be to contact your landlord directly and sound him out on the prospect of extending the lease You may find he or she is happy to negotiate informally and willing to consider your offer straight off, without having to involve anyone else. This will save you time and money and it could help you reach a lower price on the lease. You need to ensure that the agreed 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 long established estate agency in Whitehaven where we have experienced a few leasehold sales derailed due to short leases. I have been given conflicting advice from local Whitehaven conveyancing solicitors. Could you clarify 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 start the lease extension process and assign the benefit of the notice to the purchaser. The benefit of this is that the proposed purchaser can avoid having to wait 2 years for a lease extension. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment has to be done before, or at the same time as completion of the sale.
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.
Can you provide any top tips for leasehold conveyancing in Whitehaven from the point of view of expediting the sale process?
- Much of the frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Whitehaven can be avoided if you instruct lawyers as soon as your agents start advertising the property and ask them to put together the leasehold documentation which will be required by the buyers solicitors.
- In the event that you altered the property did you need the Landlord’s consent? In particular have you laid down wooden flooring? Whitehaven leases often stipulate that internal structural changes or addition of wooden flooring require a licence from the Landlord approving such works. Should you fail to have the paperwork in place do not communicate with the landlord without checking with your lawyer in advance.
Whitehaven Conveyancing for Leasehold Flats - A selection of Queries before buying
Does the lease contain onerous restrictions?
Is there a share of the freehold?
Is anyone aware of any major works anticipated that will likely add a premium to the maintenance costs?