Questions and Answers: Grays leasehold conveyancing
My wife and I may need to let out our Grays garden flat for a while due to a new job. We used a Grays conveyancing firm in 2002 but they have since shut and we did not think at the time get any advice as to whether the lease permits subletting. How do we find out?
Notwithstanding that your last Grays conveyancing lawyer is no longer around you can check your lease to check if it allows you to sublet the premises. The rule is that if the deeds are non-specific, subletting is permitted. There may be a precondition that you must obtain permission via your landlord or some other party before subletting. This means you not allowed to sublet in the absence of prior consent. Such consent is not allowed to be unreasonably refused ore delayed. If the lease prohibits you from subletting the property you should ask your landlord if they are willing to waive this restriction.
Back In 2005, I bought a leasehold house in Grays. Conveyancing and The Royal Bank of Scotland mortgage are in place. I have received a letter from someone claiming to own the reversionary interest in the property. It included a ground rent demand for rent dating back to 1994. The conveyancing practitioner in Grays who previously acted has long since retired.Any advice?
The first thing you should do is contact HMLR to be sure that the individual purporting to own the freehold is in fact the new freeholder. There is no need to incur the fees of a Grays conveyancing solicitor to do this as you can do this on the Land Registry website for £3. Rest assured that in any event, even if this is the rightful freeholder, under the Limitation Act 1980 the limitation period for recovery of ground rent is six years.
Last month I purchased a leasehold flat in Grays. Am I liable to pay service charges for periods before completion of my purchase?
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. Strange as it may seem, 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 be sure 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 employed by a long established estate agency in Grays where we have experienced a number of flat sales put at risk due to short leases. I have received inconsistent advice from local Grays conveyancing firms. Please can you shed some light as to whether the owner of a flat can initiate the lease extension formalities for the purchaser on completion of the sale?
As long as the seller has owned the lease 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. This means that the proposed purchaser need not have to sit tight for 2 years for a lease extension. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment needs to be completed before, or simultaneously with 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 Grays from the perspective of saving time on the sale process?
- A significant proportion of the frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Grays can be bypassed if you appoint lawyers as soon as your agents start advertising the property and ask them to put together the leasehold information which will be required by the buyers lawyers.
- In the event that you altered the property did you need the Landlord’s consent? In particular have you installed wooden flooring? Grays leases often stipulate that internal structural alterations or laying down wooden flooring necessitate a licence from the Landlord consenting to such changes. Should you dont have the consents to hand do not communicate with the landlord without checking with your lawyer first.
I inherited a ground floor flat in Grays. In the absence of agreement between myself and the landlord, can the Leasehold valuation Tribunal make a decision on the premium payable for a lease extension?
if there is a absentee landlord or where there is dispute about the premium for a lease extension, under the relevant statutes it is possible to make an application to the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal to judgment on the sum to be paid.
An example of a Lease Extension decision for a Grays flat is Various @ Colombus Square in January 2012. the Tribunal calculated the premiums to be paid for new leases for each of the flats in Mariners Walk to be £3822 and the premium to be paid for the new lease of 2 Knights Court to be £4439. This case affected 13 flats. The the unexpired term as at the valuation date was 76 years.