Charterhouse leasehold conveyancing: Q and A’s
I would like to rent out my leasehold apartment in Charterhouse. Conveyancing solicitor who did the purchase is retired - so can't ask him. Is permission from the freeholder required?
A small minority of properties in Charterhouse 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 review 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’m about to sell my basement flat in Charterhouse.Conveyancing has not commenced but I have just had a half-yearly maintenance charge invoice – Do I pay up?
Your conveyancing lawyer is likely to suggest that you should clear 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. This will smooth the conveyancing process.
I've found a house that seems to be perfect, at a reasonable price which is making it all the more appealing. I have just been informed that the title is leasehold as opposed to freehold. I am assuming that there are particular concerns buying a leasehold house in Charterhouse. Conveyancing advisers have are soon to be instructed. Will they explain the issues?
Most houses in Charterhouse are freehold rather than leasehold. This is one of the situations where having a local conveyancer used to dealing with such properties who can help the conveyancing process. It is clear that you are buying in Charterhouse so you should seriously consider looking for a Charterhouse conveyancing solicitor and be sure that they have experience in advising on leasehold houses. First you will need to check the unexpired lease term. As a leaseholder you will not be at liberty to do whatever you want with the house. The lease will likely included provisions such as requiring the landlord’sconsent to conduct changes to the property. You may also be required to pay a contribution towards the maintenance of the communal areas where the property is located on an estate. Your solicitor should report to you on the legal implications.
Back In 2003, I bought a leasehold house in Charterhouse. Conveyancing and Bank of Scotland mortgage are in place. A letter has just been received from someone saying they have taken over the freehold. It included a demand for arrears of ground rent dating back to 1994. The conveyancing solicitor in Charterhouse who acted for me is not around.What should I do?
First contact HMLR to make sure that the individual claiming to own the freehold is in fact the new freeholder. You do not need to incur the fees of a Charterhouse conveyancing lawyer to do this as it can be done on-line for a few pound. You should note that regardless, even if this is the rightful landlord, under the Limitation Act 1980 no more than 6 years of rent can be collected.
I've recently bought a leasehold house in Charterhouse. Do I have any liability for 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. However, 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).
I own a ground-floor 1950’s flat in Charterhouse. In the absence of agreement between myself and the landlord, can the Leasehold valuation Tribunal make a decision on the sum due for the purchase of the freehold?
Where there is a absentee landlord or where there is disagreement about the premium for a lease extension, under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 it is possible to make an application to the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal to arrive at the premium.
An example of a Lease Extension case for a Charterhouse property is Flat 89 Trinity Court Grays Inn Road in February 2013. the Tribunal found that the premium to be paid by the tenant on the grant of a new lease, in accordance with section 56 and Schedule 13 to the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 should be £36,229. This case was in relation to 1 flat. The the unexpired term as at the valuation date was 66.8 years.