Sample questions relating to Wigan leasehold conveyancing
My wife and I may need to sub-let our Wigan garden flat for a while due to a new job. We used a Wigan conveyancing practice in 2004 but they have since shut and we did not think at the time seek any advice as to whether the lease prohibits the subletting of the flat. How do we find out?
A small minority of properties in Wigan do contain a provision to say that subletting is only permitted with prior consent from the landlord. The landlord is not entitled to unreasonably refuse but, in such cases, they would need to see 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 consent.
Having checked my lease I have discovered that there are only 68 years unexpired on my flat in Wigan. I now wish to extend my lease but my landlord is absent. What options are available to me?
On the basis that you meet the appropriate requirements, under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 you can submit an application 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 magistrate. However, you will be required to demonstrate that you have done all that could be expected to track down the freeholder. For most situations an enquiry agent may be helpful to conduct investigations and to produce a report to be accepted by the court as evidence that the landlord can not be located. It is wise to seek advice from a solicitor in relation to devolving into the landlord’s disappearance and the vesting order request to the County Court overseeing Wigan.
I am hoping to put an offer on a small detached house that seems to meet my requirements, at a great figure which is making it all the more appealing. I have since been informed that it's a leasehold rather than freehold. I am assuming that there are issues purchasing a leasehold house in Wigan. Conveyancing advisers have are about to be appointed. Will my lawyers set out the risks of buying a leasehold house in Wigan ?
The majority of houses in Wigan are freehold and not leasehold. This is one of the situations where having a local solicitor used to dealing with such properties who can assist with the conveyancing process. We note that you are buying in Wigan so you should seriously consider looking for a Wigan conveyancing solicitor and check that they are used to transacting on leasehold houses. As a matter of priority you will need to check the unexpired lease term. Being a leaseholder you will not be entirely free to do whatever you want to the property. The lease will likely included provisions for example obtaining the landlord’sconsent to carry out alterations. You may also be required to pay a maintenance charge towards the upkeep of the estate where the property is part of an estate. Your lawyer will advise you fully on all the issues.
I've recently bought a leasehold property in Wigan. Am I liable to pay service charges for periods before my ownership?
In a situation 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. However, 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 top tips for leasehold conveyancing in Wigan with the aim of saving time on the sale process?
- A significant proportion of the delay in leasehold conveyancing in Wigan can be reduced if you get in touch lawyers as soon as you market your property and request that they start to collate the leasehold information which will be required by the buyers lawyers.
- If you have carried out any alterations to the premises would they have required Landlord’s permission? Have you, for example laid down wooden flooring? Wigan leases often stipulate that internal structural alterations or laying down wooden flooring necessitate a licence from the Landlord acquiescing to such works. Where you dont have the approvals in place you should not contact the landlord without checking with your lawyer in advance.
Wigan Leasehold Conveyancing - Examples of Queries Prior to buying
Best to be warned if window replacement or some other major work is due in the near future that will be shared by the tenants and will dramatically impact the level of the maintenance costs or result in a specific invoice.
How long is the Lease?
For many Wigan leaseholds the cost for major works tend not to be included within service charges, albeit that there some managing agents in Wigan ask leaseholders to contribute towards a sinking fund created for the specific intention of establishing a fund for larger works.