Legal Enquires FAQs

If you are in the process of selling or purchasing a property, or if you are a solicitor acting on behalf of a client, our team will be happy to help, however, some of the most frequently asked questions are answered below.

FAQs – Leasehold transfer

I am in the process of selling my property. Who does my solicitor need to contact to obtain information?

If Braemar Estates is the manager of your property we can provide a management information pack to cover all enquiries raised on the LPE1 form. There is a cost for the provision of this information.  We have an estimated 10 day turnaround, however, if you require this information urgently we can provide a 48 hour response for an additional fee.

Please contact the Leasehold transfer team for advice about pricing or to purchase a management information pack.

If we do not manage your property but do collect your ground rent, your solicitor may have some enquiries. There is a cost for the provision of this information. Please contact the Leasehold transfer team for further details.

I have sold my property but why do I keep receiving demands for ground rent and service charge?

We may not have been notified by your solicitor of the sale and the new leaseholder. The solicitor acting on behalf of the purchaser is required to serve notice upon us within four weeks of the leasehold transfer. Please contact the Leasehold transfer team to begin the transfer process. If this process is delayed, the landlord may impose a penalty for failure to comply with the terms of the lease. Sometimes the process of dealing with the Land Registry can be protracted due to their internal workload.

I have recently bought a leasehold property. Am I liable to pay service charge and ground rent relating to a period prior to the completion date?

When service charge and ground rent has already been demanded from the previous leaseholders, you would not usually be liable for service charge or ground rent arrears. However, your solicitor should ensure service charge and ground rent payments are up-to-date before you complete the purchase to ensure the transfer process is completed promptly and that you are not billed for unpaid charges.

I would like a copy of my lease, where can I find it?

Your solicitor who acted for you when you purchased the property should be able to obtain a copy of your lease. Alternatively, a copy of your lease may be available from the Land Registry.

We may also be able to provide a copy to you upon payment of an administration charge. Please note this may take up to 10 working days.

To request a copy of your lease please contact the Legal enquiries team.

Do I own my property?

There are two forms of ownership - freehold and leasehold.

In England, Wales and Scotland, a freehold is the ownership of real property, being land and all immovable structures attached to such land. This is opposed to a leasehold in which the property reverts to the owner of the land after the lease period has expired, the lease being an inalienable right to occupy, which may also be bought and sold.

The freeholder owns the property and the land on which is stands on for an unlimited period of time.

The lease is usually for a long term, often 125-199 years but sometimes this can be up to 999 years. The leaseholder has a contract with the landlord which sets down the legal rights and responsibilities of either side. Leasehold is a form of tenancy, with ground rent payable to the freeholder or the landlord. Some leaseholders may also be required to pay service charge to cover external redecoration, repairs and window cleaning etc.

If you are planning on purchasing a leasehold property you should take into consideration all additional annual costs, in particular ground rent, buildings insurance and service charge.

Do I need to obtain permission to change the use of my property?

In most cases planning permission from the local authority is required to change the use of a property from one class to another.

The landlord will need to ensure that you do not make a change that will adversely affect them or the building. You will need the landlord’s written consent before you carry out any work. Please be aware if permission is granted this will be subject to an administration charge.

Please contact the Legal enquiries team if you plan to change the use of your property.

I own my property, I can do whatever I want with my property, can’t I?

You are welcome to make minor alterations to the property, such as internal decorations. However, your lease may state a number of things that you cannot do at all and a number of things you cannot do without your landlord’s permission, for example making structural alterations. Please always refer to the terms of the lease.

You may experience difficulties in selling your property if you have made unregulated changes to the demise of your property.

If you are unsure whether you actually need a licence to do what you are proposing please send a statement detailing what you want to do. With this information we can determine whether your alterations require a Licence to alter.

Please contact the Legal enquiries team if you plan to make any, even minor, alterations.

Please be aware if permission is granted this will be subject to an administration charge.

What about pets and my lease?

We can provide advice on this matter on an individual basis. Please send your enquiry to the Legal enquiries team and we will look into this for you.

FAQs – Freehold purchase

I would like to buy the freehold of my house from the freeholder/landlord. What will be the cost and what do I need to do?

Please be aware that the landlord may be prepared to dispose of the freehold subject to payment of the freehold sale price, together with legal fees and administration charges. Please send your application to our Legal enquiries team who will be able to review your application and will respond accordingly.

Please note this does not apply to blocks of apartments, only to leasehold houses.

FAQs – Re-mortgaging a property

Do I need my landlord’s permission to re-mortgage my property?

In most cases the mortgagee will require written consent from the landlord and/or management company before the property can be re-mortgaged. Please send your request to the Re-mortgage team to begin the re-mortgage process.

FAQs – Subletting a property

Do I need my landlord’s permission to sublet my property?

In most cases the landlord’s, management company’s and probably your lender’s written consent is required. Please send your request to the Subletting team.

The team will review your request subject to an administration charge which must be paid in advance.

Further enquiries

In order for us to response to your enquiries and applications in a timely manner please email the designated email addresses detailed above or alternatively post them to the address below:

Legal enquiries team
Braemar Estates
Richmond House
Heath Road
Cheshire WA14 2XP