Clapton leasehold conveyancing: Q and A’s
I wish to sublet my leasehold flat in Clapton. Conveyancing solicitor who did the purchase is retired - so can't ask her. Do I need to ask my freeholder for their consent?
A small minority of properties in Clapton do contain a provision to say that subletting is only allowed with permission. The landlord is not entitled to unreasonably refuse but, in such cases, they would need to see references. Experience suggests 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 permission.
I am looking at a couple of apartments in Clapton which have approximately 50 years left on the lease term. Will this present a problem?
There are plenty of short leases in Clapton. The lease is a legal document that entitles you to use the property for a prescribed time frame. As the lease gets shorter the value of the lease reduces and results in it becoming more costly to acquire a lease extension. This is why it is advisable to increase the term of the lease. It is often difficult to sell a property with a short lease as mortgage lenders may be reluctant to lend money on properties of this type. Lease enfranchisement can be a protracted process. We advise that you get professional help from a solicitor and surveyor with experience in this arena
Last month I purchased a leasehold flat in Clapton. Do I have any liability for service charges for periods before my ownership?
In a situation where the service charge has already been demanded from the previous owner 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. It is an essential part 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 appointing a Clapton conveyancing firm to deal with our lease extension?
If you are instructing a property lawyer for lease extension works (regardless if they are a Clapton conveyancing practice) it is essential that they be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of work. We suggested that you make enquires with several firms including non Clapton conveyancing practices before you instructing a firm. If the firm is ALEP accredited then that’s a bonus. Some following of questions could be useful:
- How familiar is the firm with lease extension legislation?
Having spent years of dialogue we simply can't agree with our landlord on how much the lease extension should cost for our flat in Clapton. Can we issue an application to the Residential Property Tribunal Service?
if there is a absentee freeholder or where there is dispute about what the lease extension should cost, under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 it is possible to make an application to the First-tier Tribunal (Property Chamber) to assess the amount due.
An example of a Freehold Enfranchisement case for a Clapton residence is 104 Nightingale Road in May 2009. The Tribunal's Decision is that the premium torbe paid for the enfranchisement in this case is £112,174 This case was in relation to 10 flats. The the unexpired term as at the valuation date was 71.25 years.
In relation to leasehold conveyancing in Clapton what are the most common lease defects?
There is nothing unique about leasehold conveyancing in Clapton. Most leases are individual and legal mistakes in the legal wording can sometimes mean that certain clauses are not included. The following missing provisions could result in a defective lease:
- A provision to repair to or maintain elements of the building
- Insurance obligations
- A provision for the recovery of money spent for the benefit of another party.
- Maintenance charge proportions which don’t add up to the correct percentage
A defective lease will likely cause issues when trying to sell a property primarily because it impacts on the ability to obtain a mortgage on the property. National Westminster Bank, Barnsley Building Society, and Bank of Ireland 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 purchaser to withdraw.