Frequently asked questions relating to Denham leasehold conveyancing
Helen (my wife) and I may need to rent out our Denham garden flat for a while due to a new job. We used a Denham conveyancing practice in 2002 but they have since shut and we did not have the foresight to get any advice as to whether the lease allows us to sublet. How do we find out?
Notwithstanding that your last Denham conveyancing lawyer is not around you can review your lease to check if you are permitted to let out the apartment. The accepted inference is that if the lease is non-specific, subletting is allowed. There may be a precondition that you are obliged to obtain consent from your landlord or other appropriate person prior to subletting. This means you not allowed to sublet without first obtaining permission. The consent should not be unreasonably turned down. If the lease does not allow you to sublet you should ask your landlord if they are willing to waive this restriction.
Having checked my lease I have discovered that there are only 62 years remaining on my lease in Denham. I am keen to extend my lease but my freeholder is can not be found. What options are available to me?
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 for permission to dispense with the service of the initial notice. This will enable the lease to be lengthened by the magistrate. However, you will be required to prove that you or your lawyers have made all reasonable attempts to find the freeholder. In some cases an enquiry agent should be useful to try and locate and to produce an expert document to be accepted by the court as evidence that the landlord can not be located. It is advisable to get professional help from a solicitor in relation to devolving into the landlord’s disappearance and the application to the County Court overseeing Denham.
I've recently bought a leasehold house in Denham. Do I have any liability for service charges relating to a period prior to 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. 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 am a negotiator for a reputable estate agency in Denham where we see a few leasehold sales put at risk as a result of leases having less than 80 years remaining. I have been given contradictory information from local Denham conveyancing firms. Please can you confirm whether the vendor of a flat can instigate the lease extension process for the purchaser on completion of the sale?
As long as the seller has been the owner for at least 2 years it is possible, to serve a Section 42 notice to commence the lease extension process and assign the benefit of the notice to the purchaser. This means that the proposed purchaser can avoid having to wait 2 years to extend their lease. 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 disposal of the property.
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.
I have had difficulty in seeking a lease extension in Denham. Can this matter be resolved via the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal?
if there is a missing landlord or where there is disagreement 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 make a decision on the sum to be paid.
An example of a Lease Extension matter before the tribunal for a Denham property is Flats 8, 11 and 15 Craigmore Court 46 Murray Road in December 2013. The tribunal held that the price payable by the Applicant tenant of Flat 8 to acquire an extended lease shall be £26,438 plus £1 to the intermediate lessee . The tribunal held that the price payable by the Applicant tenants of Flat 11 to acquire an extended lease shall be £26,791 plus £1 to the intermediate lessee. The tribunal held that the price payable by the Applicant tenant of Flat 15 to acquire an extended lease shall be £26,638 plus £1 to the intermediate lessee . This case affected 3 flats. The remaining number of years on the lease was 71 years.
When it comes to leasehold conveyancing in Denham what are the most frequent lease problems?
Leasehold conveyancing in Denham is not unique. All leases is drafted differently and legal mistakes in the legal wording can result in certain provisions are wrong. For example, if your lease is missing any of the following, it could be defective:
- Repairing obligations to or maintain elements of the property
- A duty to insure the building
- Clauses dealing with recovering service charges for expenditure on the building or common parts.
- Service charge per centages that don't add up correctly leaving a shortfall
A defective lease will likely cause issues when trying to sell a property as they can affect a potential buyer’s ability to obtain a mortgage. Halifax, The Mortgage Works, and Clydesdale all have very detailed conveyancing instructions when it comes to what is expected in a lease. Where a lender has been advised by their lawyers that the lease does not cover certain provisions they may refuse to grant the mortgage, forcing the buyer to withdraw.