Recently asked questions relating to Winterbourne leasehold conveyancing
Helen (my wife) and I may need to sub-let our Winterbourne 1st floor flat for a while due to taking a sabbatical. We used a Winterbourne conveyancing firm in 2001 but they have since shut and we did not think at the time get any advice as to whether the lease permits subletting. How do we find out?
Your lease governs relations between the landlord and you the flat owner; in particular, it will indicate if subletting is prohibited, or permitted but only subject to certain conditions. The accepted inference is that if the lease contains no specific ban or restriction, subletting is allowed. The majority of leases in Winterbourne do not prevent strict prohibition on subletting – such a clause would adversely affect the market value the property. Instead, there is usually simply a requirement that the owner notifies the freeholder, possibly supplying a copy of the tenancy agreement.
Estate agents have just been given the go-ahead to market my 2 bed apartment in Winterbourne.Conveyancing is yet to be initiated but I have just had a yearly maintenance charge demand – should I leave it to the buyer to sort out?
It best that you discharge 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. This will smooth the conveyancing process.
I am attracted to a couple of flats in Winterbourne which have in the region of fifty years left on the leases. Should I regard a short lease as a deal breaker?
There are no two ways about it. A leasehold apartment in Winterbourne is a wasting asset as a result of the reducing lease term. The closer the lease gets to its expiry date, the more it reduces the marketability of the property. For most buyers and banks, leases with under eighty years become less and less attractive. On a more upbeat 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 Winterbourne 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 any new 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.
All being well we will complete the sale of our £450000 flat in Winterbourne in 5 days. The managing agents has quoted £360 for Certificate of Compliance, building insurance schedule and 3 years service charge statements. Is it legal for a freeholder to charge such fees for a leasehold conveyance in Winterbourne?
Winterbourne conveyancing on leasehold apartments often requires the purchaser’s conveyancer submitting questions for the landlord to answer. Although the landlord is not legally bound to address such questions most will be content to assist. They are at liberty levy a reasonable administration fee for responding to enquiries or supplying documentation. There is no set fee. The average fee for the information 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, without which the invoice is not strictly payable. In reality you have little option but to pay whatever is requested of you if you want to exchange contracts with the buyer.
In relation to leasehold conveyancing in Winterbourne what are the most frequent lease problems?
There is nothing unique about leasehold conveyancing in Winterbourne. Most leases is drafted differently and drafting errors can result in certain clauses are not included. For example, if your lease is missing any of the following, it could be defective:
- Repairing obligations to or maintain elements of the property
- Insurance obligations
- Clauses dealing with recovering service charges for expenditure on the building or common parts.
- Maintenance charge proportions which don’t add up to the correct percentage
A defective lease will likely cause issues when trying to sell a property primarily because it impacts on the ability to obtain a mortgage on the property. Halifax, Skipton Building Society, and Britannia all have very detailed requirements when it comes to what is expected in a lease. Where a lender has been advised by their lawyers that the lease is problematic they may refuse to grant the mortgage, forcing the buyer to withdraw.
I am the registered owner of a garden flat in Winterbourne, conveyancing formalities finalised in 2002. Can you give me give me an indication of the likely cost of a lease extension? Similar flats in Winterbourne with an extended lease are worth £215,000. The ground rent is £45 per annum. The lease expires on 21st October 2089
With only 66 years left to run we estimate the premium for your lease extension to span between £17,100 and £19,800 as well as costs.
The suggested premium range above a general guide to costs for extending a lease, but we are not able to advice on the actual costs in the absence of detailed investigations. Do not use this information in a Notice of Claim or as an informal offer. There are no doubt additional issues that need to be taken into account and you obviously should be as accurate as possible in your negotiations. Neither should you take any other action placing reliance on this information without first getting professional advice.