Frequently asked questions relating to Wigan leasehold conveyancing
Frank (my husband) and I may need to let out our Wigan basement flat for a while due to taking a sabbatical. We used a Wigan conveyancing firm in 2001 but they have since shut and we did not have the foresight to get any advice as to whether the lease allows us to sublet. How do we find out?
Your lease dictates relations between the landlord and you the flat owner; specifically, it will set out if subletting is prohibited, or permitted but only subject to certain caveats. The rule is that if the lease contains no expres ban or restriction, subletting is allowed. Most leases in Wigan do not contain an absolute prevention of subletting – such a clause would undoubtedly devalue the flat. Instead, there is usually a basic requirement that the owner notifies the freeholder, possibly supplying a duplicate of the sublease.
I've recently bought a leasehold property in Wigan. Do I have any liability for service charges for periods before my ownership?
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 work for a busy estate agent office in Wigan where we have experienced a number of leasehold sales jeopardised due to short leases. I have been given contradictory information from local Wigan conveyancing firms. Could you confirm whether the seller of a flat can initiate the lease extension process for the buyer?
Provided that the seller has been the owner 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 need not have 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 disposal of the property.
An alternative approach is 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.
Do you have any top tips for leasehold conveyancing in Wigan with the aim of saving time on the sale process?
- Much of the delay in leasehold conveyancing in Wigan can be avoided if you get in touch lawyers the minute you market your property and request that they start to collate the leasehold information needed by the buyers lawyers.
- Many freeholders or Management Companies in Wigan charge for providing management packs for a leasehold homes. You or your lawyers should enquire as to the actual amount of the charges. The management information can be applied for on or before finding a buyer, thus reducing delays. The average time it takes to receive management information is three weeks. It is the most common cause of frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Wigan.
In relation to leasehold conveyancing in Wigan what are the most common lease defects?
There is nothing unique about leasehold conveyancing in Wigan. Most leases is drafted differently and legal mistakes in the legal wording can sometimes mean that certain provisions are missing. For example, if your lease is missing any of the following, it could be defective:
- Repairing obligations to or maintain elements of the building
- Insurance obligations
- A provision for the recovery of money spent for the benefit of another party.
- Maintenance charge proportions which don’t add up to the correct percentage
A defective lease will likely cause problems when trying to sell a property primarily because it impacts on the ability to obtain a mortgage on the property. Birmingham Midshires, The Royal Bank of Scotland, and Nottingham Building Society all have very detailed conveyancing instructions when it comes to what is expected in a lease. Where a lender has been advised by their lawyers that the lease does not cover certain provisions they may refuse to grant the mortgage, forcing the purchaser to withdraw.
I own a leasehold flat in Wigan, conveyancing having been completed 3 years ago. How much will my lease extension cost? Corresponding flats in Wigan with an extended lease are worth £185,000. The ground rent is £45 levied per year. The lease ceases on 21st October 2100
With 79 years remaining on your lease we estimate the premium for your lease extension to span between £7,600 and £8,800 plus legals.
The suggested premium range that we have given is a general guide to costs for extending a lease, but we cannot give you the actual costs in the absence of comprehensive investigations. You should not use this information in tribunal or court proceedings. There are no doubt other issues that need to be taken into account and clearly you should be as accurate as possible in your negotiations. You should not move forward placing reliance on this information without first getting professional advice.