Sample questions relating to Wisbech leasehold conveyancing
Harry (my fiance) and I may need to sub-let our Wisbech 1st floor flat temporarily due to a new job. We used a Wisbech conveyancing firm in 2003 but they have closed and we did not have the foresight to seek any advice as to whether the lease allows us to sublet. How do we find out?
The lease dictates relations between the freeholder and you the flat owner; specifically, it will set out if subletting is not allowed, or permitted but only subject to certain caveats. The accepted inference is that if the lease contains no expres ban or restriction, subletting is permitted. The majority of leases in Wisbech do not contain an absolute prevention of subletting – such a provision would adversely affect the market value the flat. Instead, there is usually a basic requirement that the owner notifies the freeholder, possibly sending a copy of the tenancy agreement.
Estate agents have just been given the go-ahead to market my garden apartment in Wisbech.Conveyancing is yet to be initiated but I have just received a yearly service charge invoice – what should I do?
The sensible thing to do is 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 managing agents 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. Having a clear account will assist your cause and will leave you no worse off financially.
I've recently bought a leasehold property in Wisbech. Am I liable to pay service charges for periods before my ownership?
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. 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 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).
Can you offer any advice when it comes to choosing a Wisbech conveyancing practice to carry out our lease extension conveyancing?
When appointing a solicitor for lease extension works (regardless if they are a Wisbech conveyancing practice) it is imperative that he or she should be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of conveyancing. We recommend that you speak with several firms including non Wisbech conveyancing practices prior to instructing a firm. Where the conveyancing practice is ALEP accredited then so much the better. Some following of questions could be helpful:
- How experienced is the firm with lease extension legislation?
What makes a Wisbech lease defective?
There is nothing unique about leasehold conveyancing in Wisbech. Most leases are unique 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:
- A provision to repair to or maintain parts of the property
- A duty to insure the building
- Clauses dealing with recovering service charges for expenditure on the building or common parts.
- Service charge per centages that don't add up correctly leaving a shortfall
A defective lease can cause issues when trying to sell a property as they can affect a potential buyer’s ability to obtain a mortgage. Birmingham Midshires, Chelsea Building Society, and Barclays Direct all have express requirements when it comes to what is expected in a lease. If a mortgage lender believes that the lease does not cover certain provisions they may refuse to provide security, forcing the buyer to withdraw.
Wisbech Conveyancing for Leasehold Flats - A selection of Questions you should ask Prior to buying
This information is useful as a) areas could cause problems for the building as the common areas may begin to deteriorate where services are not paid for b) if the leasehold owners have a dispute with the running of the building you will need to know about it
Many Wisbech leasehold flats will be liable to pay a service charge for maintenance of the building invoiced on behalf of the freeholder. If you purchase the apartment you will have to pay this liability, usually quarterly throughout the year. This can differ from a couple of hundred pounds to thousands of pounds for buildings with lifts and large common grounds. In all probability there will be a ground rent to be met yearly, normally this is not a large amount, say approximately £50-£100 but you need to check as sometimes it can be many hundreds of pounds.
Are there any major works in the planning that will increase the maintenance fees?