Wisbech leasehold conveyancing: Q and A’s
I am intending to let out my leasehold flat in Wisbech. Conveyancing solicitor who did the purchase is retired - so can't ask her. Is permission from the freeholder required?
Some leases for properties in Wisbech do contain a provision to say that subletting is only permitted with prior consent from the landlord. The landlord cannot unreasonably withhold but, in such cases, they would need to see references. Experience dictates 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.
I work for a long established estate agency in Wisbech where we see a number of leasehold sales put at risk as a result of leases having less than 80 years remaining. I have been given conflicting advice from local Wisbech conveyancing firms. Please can you confirm whether the owner of a flat can commence the lease extension process for the purchaser on completion of the sale?
Provided that the seller has owned the lease 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. This means that the proposed purchaser can avoid having to sit tight for 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 sale.
An alternative approach is to agree the lease extension with the freeholder 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.
What are your top tips when it comes to choosing a Wisbech conveyancing firm to carry out our lease extension conveyancing?
If you are instructing a conveyancer for lease extension works (regardless if they are a Wisbech conveyancing firm) it is imperative that they be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of conveyancing. We advise that you talk with two or three firms including non Wisbech conveyancing practices prior to instructing a firm. If the firm is ALEP accredited then so much the better. Some following of questions might be useful:
- If the firm is not ALEP accredited then what is the reason?
Our conveyancer has advised that he intends to complete and exchange simultaneously on the disposal of our £250000 apartment in Wisbech next Friday . The freeholder has quoted £384 for Landlord’s certificate, building insurance schedule and 3 years statements of service charge. Is it legal for a freeholder to charge exorbitant fees for a flat conveyance in Wisbech?
Wisbech conveyancing on leasehold apartments often requires the buyer’s solicitor submitting questions for the landlord to address. Although the landlord is under no legal obligation to address these enquiries the majority will be willing to do so. They are entitled charge a reasonable administration fee for responding to enquiries or supplying documentation. There is no upper cap for such fees. The average costs for the information that you are referring to is £350, in some cases it exceeds £800. The administration charge demanded by the landlord must be sent together with a summary of entitlements and obligations in respect of administration fees, without which the charge is technically not due. Reality however dictates that you have little choice but to pay whatever is requested of you if you want to complete the sale of your home.
When it comes to leasehold conveyancing in Wisbech what are the most frequent lease problems?
There is nothing unique about leasehold conveyancing in Wisbech. Most leases is drafted differently and legal mistakes in the legal wording can sometimes mean that certain provisions are erroneous. The following missing provisions could result in a defective lease:
- A provision to repair to or maintain parts of the building
- A duty to insure the building
- 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
You could encounter a problem when selling your property if you have a defective lease as they can affect a potential buyer’s ability to obtain a mortgage. HSBC Bank, Bank of Scotland, and Platform Home Loans Ltd all have express requirements when it comes to what is expected in a lease. If a mortgage lender believes that the lease is problematic they may refuse to provide security, obliging the buyer to pull out.
I acquired a studio flat in Wisbech, conveyancing formalities finalised in 1999. How much will my lease extension cost? Equivalent properties in Wisbech with over 90 years remaining are worth £195,000. The ground rent is £55 yearly. The lease expires on 21st October 2092
With only 70 years left to run we estimate the price of your lease extension to be between £8,600 and £9,800 plus legals.
The figure above a general guide to costs for renewing a lease, but we are not able to advice on the actual costs in the absence of detailed investigations. You should not use the figures in tribunal or court proceedings. There may be additional issues that need to be considered and you obviously should be as accurate as possible in your negotiations. Please do not move forward placing reliance on this information without first getting professional advice.