Questions and Answers: Grays leasehold conveyancing
Helen (my wife) and I may need to rent out our Grays 1st floor flat temporarily due to a new job. We instructed a Grays conveyancing practice in 2003 but they have since shut and we did not have the foresight to get any guidance as to whether the lease permits subletting. How do we find out?
Notwithstanding that your last Grays conveyancing lawyer is not available you can check your lease to see if you are permitted to let out the property. The rule is that if the lease is silent, subletting is allowed. Quite often there is a prerequisite that you are obliged to seek consent from your landlord or some other party in advance of subletting. The net result is that you cannot sublet in the absence of first obtaining consent. Such consent should not be unreasonably refused ore delayed. If your lease prohibits you from subletting the property you should ask your landlord for their consent.
I only have 72 years remaining on my lease in Grays. I now want to get lease extension but my landlord is missing. What are my options?
On the basis that 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 Court. You will be obliged to demonstrate that you or your lawyers have done all that could be expected to locate the landlord. In some cases a specialist should be helpful to carry out a search and to produce an expert document which can be used as evidence that the landlord is indeed missing. It is wise to seek advice from a conveyancer in relation to proving the landlord’s absence and the application to the County Court covering Grays.
I’m about to sell my basement flat in Grays.Conveyancing solicitors are to be appointed soon but I have just received a yearly service charge invoice – what should I do?
It best that you pay 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 management companies 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. Having a clear account will assist your cause and will leave you no worse off financially.
My wife and I purchased a leasehold flat in Grays. Conveyancing and Alliance & Leicester mortgage went though with no issue. 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 1995. 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 this person is in fact the new freeholder. It is not necessary to instruct a Grays conveyancing firm to do this as it can be done on-line for £3. You should note that in any event, even if this is the rightful freeholder, under the Limitation Act 1980 no more than 6 years of rent can be collected.
I've recently bought a leasehold property in Grays. Am I liable to pay 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 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 have attempted and failed to negotiate with my landlord for a lease extension without getting anywhere. Can one apply to the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal? Can you recommend a Grays conveyancing firm to act on my behalf?
Absolutely. We are happy to put you in touch with a Grays conveyancing firm who can help.
An example of a Lease Extension decision for a Grays property 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 was in relation to 13 flats. The remaining number of years on the lease was 76 years.