Fixed-fee leasehold conveyancing in Windermere:

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Recently asked questions relating to Windermere leasehold conveyancing

My partner and I may need to rent out our Windermere 1st floor flat for a while due to taking a sabbatical. We used a Windermere conveyancing practice in 2001 but they have closed and we did not think at the time get any guidance as to whether the lease permits subletting. How do we find out?

The lease governs the relationship between the freeholder and you the flat owner; in particular, it will indicate 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 permitted. The majority of leases in Windermere do not prevent strict prohibition on 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 copy of the tenancy agreement.

I am hoping to complete next month on a ground floor flat in Windermere. Conveyancing lawyers inform me that they will have a report out to me within the next couple of days. What should I be looking out for?

The report on title for your leasehold conveyancing in Windermere should include some of the following:

  • You should be sent a copy of the lease
  • The total extent of the premises. This will be the flat itself but might include a loft or cellar if appropriate.
  • Setting out your legal entitlements in relation to the communal areas in the building.E.G., does the lease provide for a right of way over an accessway or hallways?
  • Whether the lease restricts you from letting out the property, or working from home
  • You should be told what counts as a Nuisance in the lease
  • I don't know whether the lease allows me to alter or improve anything in the flat - you should know whether it applies to all alterations or just structural alteration, and whether consent is required
  • What you can do if a neighbour is in violation of a provision in their lease? For a comprehensive list of information to be included in your report on your leasehold property in Windermere please ask your conveyancer in advance of your conveyancing in Windermere

  • Estate agents have just been given the go-ahead to market my basement apartment in Windermere.Conveyancing solicitors are to be appointed soon but I have just received a quarterly service charge demand – Do I pay up?

    The sensible thing to do is pay the invoice 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 managing agents will not acknowledge the buyer unless 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. This will smooth the conveyancing process.

    Do you have any advice for leasehold conveyancing in Windermere from the perspective of saving time on the sale process?

    • A significant proportion of the frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Windermere can be bypassed if you appoint lawyers as soon as you market your property and request that they start to collate the leasehold documentation which will be required by the purchasers’ lawyers.
    • If you have carried out any alterations to the premises would they have required Landlord’s permission? Have you, for example installed wooden flooring? Windermere leases often stipulate that internal structural changes or laying down wooden flooring require a licence issued by the Landlord consenting to such changes. Where you fail to have the approvals to hand do not contact the landlord without contacting your lawyer in advance.
  • A minority of Windermere leases require Landlord’s consent to the sale and approval of the buyers. If this is the case, you should notify your estate agents to make sure that the purchasers obtain financial (bank) and professional references. The bank reference should make it clear that the buyer is able to meet the yearly service charge and the actual amount of the service charge should be quoted in the bank’s letter. You will therefore need to provide your estate agents with the service charge figures so that they can pass this information on to the purchasers or their solicitors.
  • If you have had conflict with your freeholder or managing agents it is essential that these are resolved prior to the flat being put on the market. The purchasers and their solicitors will be warry about purchasing a flat where a dispute is unsettled. You may need to swallow your pride and pay any arrears of service charge or resolve the dispute prior to completion of the sale. It is therefore preferable to have any dispute settled prior to the contract papers being issued to the buyers’ solicitors. You are still duty bound to disclose particulars of the dispute to the purchasers, but it is clearly preferable to present the dispute as over rather than unsettled.
  • You believe that you know the number of years remaining on your lease but you should double-check via your conveyancers. A buyer’s conveyancer will not be happy to advise their client to where the remaining number of years is less than 80 years. It is therefore important at an early stage that you consider whether the lease term requires a lease extension. If it does, contact your solicitors before you put your premises on the market for sale.

  • Completion in due on the sale of our £300000 apartment in Windermere in just under a week. The freeholder has quoted £372 for Certificate of Compliance, building insurance schedule and 3 years statements of service charge. Is it legal for a freeholder to charge such fees for a leasehold conveyance in Windermere?

    For the majority of leasehold sales in Windermere conveyancing will involve, queries regarding the management of a building inevitably needing to be answered directly by the freeholder or its agent, this includes :

    • Completing pre-exchange enquiries
    • Where consent is required before sale in Windermere
    • Copies of the building insurance and schedule
    • Deeds of covenant upon sale
    • Registering of the assignment of the change of lessee after a sale
    Your conveyancer will have no control over the level of the charges for this information but the average costs for the information for Windermere leasehold premises is £350. For Windermere conveyancing transactions it is customary for the seller to pay for these costs. The landlord or their agents are under no legal obligation to answer such questions most will be willing to do so - albeit often at exorbitant prices where the fees bear little relation to the work involved. Unfortunately there is no law that requires fixed charges for administrative tasks. Neither is there any legal time frame by which they are required to provide the information.

    I invested in buying a garden flat in Windermere, conveyancing formalities finalised 1998. Can you please calculate a probable premium for a statutory lease extension? Similar flats in Windermere with over 90 years remaining are worth £224,000. The average or mid-range amount of ground rent is £60 levied per year. The lease runs out on 21st October 2090

    With 69 years remaining on your lease we estimate the premium for your lease extension to range between £11,400 and £13,200 as well as professional fees.

    The suggested premium range that we have given is a general guide to costs for extending a lease, but we cannot give you a more accurate figure in the absence of detailed investigations. You should not use this information in tribunal or court proceedings. There are no doubt other concerns that need to be taken into account and clearly you want to be as accurate as possible in your negotiations. Please do not move forward based on this information without first seeking the advice of a professional.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Windermere