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Wythenshawe leasehold conveyancing: Q and A’s

I want to rent out my leasehold apartment in Wythenshawe. Conveyancing solicitor who did the purchase is retired - so can't ask her. Do I need to ask my freeholder for their consent?

The lease governs relations between the landlord and you the flat owner; in particular, it will indicate if subletting is not allowed, or permitted but only subject to certain caveats. The rule is that if the lease contains no specific ban or restriction, subletting is allowed. The majority of leases in Wythenshawe do not contain an absolute prevention of subletting – such a clause would adversely affect the market value the flat. Instead, there is usually simply a requirement that the owner notifies the freeholder, possibly sending a copy of the tenancy agreement.

I have recently realised that I have Seventy years left on my lease in Wythenshawe. I now wish to extend my lease but my landlord is missing. What should I do?

If you meet the appropriate requirements, under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 you can submit an application to the County Court for an order to dispense with the service of the initial notice. This will enable the lease to be granted an extra 90 years by the Court. You will be obliged to prove that you have done all that could be expected to track down the landlord. On the whole an enquiry agent may be useful to try and locate and prepare an expert document which can be used as evidence that the freeholder can not be located. It is advisable to get professional help from a property lawyer in relation to devolving into the landlord’s absence and the vesting order request to the County Court overseeing Wythenshawe.

I am employed by a long established estate agent office in Wythenshawe where we see a number of flat sales jeopardised as a result of leases having less than 80 years remaining. I have received conflicting advice from local Wythenshawe conveyancing firms. Please can you shed some light as to whether the vendor of a flat can commence the lease extension formalities for the purchaser on completion of the sale?

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 can avoid having to wait 2 years for a lease extension. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment needs to be completed prior to, 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.

Can you provide any top tips for leasehold conveyancing in Wythenshawe from the perspective of expediting the sale process?

  • Much of the delay in leasehold conveyancing in Wythenshawe can be bypassed where you instruct lawyers the minute your agents start marketing the property and ask them to collate the leasehold information needed by the purchasers’ representatives.
  • Many freeholders or managing agents in Wythenshawe levy fees for supplying management packs for a leasehold homes. You or your lawyers should find out the fee that they propose to charge. The management information can be applied for on or before finding a buyer, thus reducing delays. The average time it takes to obtain the necessary information is three weeks. It is the most usual reason for delay in leasehold conveyancing in Wythenshawe.
  • If you have carried out any alterations to the residence would they have required Landlord’s approval? In particular have you installed wooden flooring? Most leases in Wythenshawe state that internal structural changes or installing wooden flooring necessitate a licence from the Landlord approving such changes. Should you dont have the consents in place do not contact the landlord without contacting your solicitor in advance.
  • Some Wythenshawe leases require Landlord’s consent to the sale and approval of the buyers. If this is the case, it would be prudent to notify your estate agents to make sure that the purchasers put in hand bank and professional references. The bank reference will need to confirm that the buyers are financially capable of paying the annual 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 actual amount of the service charge so that they can pass this information on to the purchasers or their lawyers.
  • If you are supposed to have a share in the Management Company, you should make sure that you are holding the original share document. Obtaining a new share certificate is often a lengthy process and frustrates many a Wythenshawe home move. Where a reissued share certificate is required, you should approach the company director and secretary or managing agents (where relevant) for this sooner rather than later.

  • Our conveyancer has advised that he intends to complete and exchange simultaneously on the sale of our £275000 maisonette in Wythenshawe in 10 days. The managing agents has quoted £408 for Certificate of Compliance, 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 Wythenshawe?

    Wythenshawe conveyancing on leasehold apartments usually requires the buyer’s lawyer sending questions for the landlord to answer. Although the landlord is not legally bound to respond to these enquiries the majority will be willing to assist. They may levy a reasonable charge for answering questions or supplying documentation. There is no set fee. The average costs for the paperwork that you are referring to is £350, in some transactions it exceeds £800. The management information fee levied by the landlord must be sent together with a synopsis of entitlements and obligations in relation to administration fees, otherwise the invoice is technically not due. Reality however dictates that you have no option but to pay whatever is demanded should you wish to complete the sale of your home.

    Wythenshawe Conveyancing for Leasehold Flats - Sample of Questions you should consider before Purchasing

      What is the name of the managing agents? How is the lease structured? Please note if it is no more than eighty years it will affect the marketability of the apartment. It is worth checking with your mortgage company that they are willing to to proceed given the lease term. Leases with less than 80 years remaining means that you will probably require a lease extension at some point and it is worth finding out how much this would cost. For most Wythenshawelease extensions you will be required to have owned the residence for 24 months in order to be entitled to exercise a lease extension.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Wythenshawe