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Frequently asked questions relating to Kingstanding leasehold conveyancing

Jane (my partner) and I may need to let out our Kingstanding ground floor flat for a while due to taking a sabbatical. We used a Kingstanding conveyancing practice in 2001 but they have since shut and we did not think at the time get any guidance as to whether the lease permits subletting. How do we find out?

Even though your last Kingstanding conveyancing solicitor is no longer available you can check your lease to see if it allows you to sublet the apartment. The accepted inference is that if the deeds are silent, subletting is permitted. There may be a precondition that you are obliged to obtain permission from your landlord or other appropriate person prior to subletting. The net result is you not allowed to sublet without prior permission. Such consent must not not be unreasonably refused ore delayed. If the lease does not allow you to sublet you will need to ask your landlord for their consent.

I only have 68 years unexpired on my lease in Kingstanding. I now want to extend my lease but my landlord is missing. 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 an order to dispense with the service of the initial notice. This will mean that your lease can be extended by the Court. You will be obliged to demonstrate that you or your lawyers have used your best endeavours to locate the lessor. On the whole a specialist may be useful to conduct investigations and prepare a report to be used as proof that the freeholder is indeed missing. It is wise to seek advice from a property lawyer both on devolving into the landlord’s disappearance and the vesting order request to the County Court covering Kingstanding.

I own a leasehold flat in Kingstanding. Conveyancing and Leeds Building Society mortgage went though with no issue. A letter has just been received from someone claiming to own the reversionary interest in the property. It included a demand for arrears of ground rent dating back to 1998. The conveyancing solicitor in Kingstanding who previously acted has long since retired.What should I do?

First contact the Land Registry to be sure that this person is indeed the registered owner of the freehold reversion. You do not need to incur the fees of a Kingstanding conveyancing lawyer to do this as you can do this on the Land Registry website for less than a fiver. You should note that regardless, even if this is the rightful landlord, under the Limitation Act 1980 the limitation period for recovery of ground rent is six years.

I am employed by a reputable estate agency in Kingstanding where we see a number of flat sales derailed as a result of short leases. I have been given conflicting advice from local Kingstanding conveyancing solicitors. Can you shed some light as to whether the vendor of a flat can initiate the lease extension formalities for the buyer?

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 sale.

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.

Completion in due on our sale of a £275000 apartment in Kingstanding next week. The freeholder has quoted £408 for Certificate of Compliance, insurance certificate and 3 years service charge statements. Is the landlord entitled to charge exorbitant fees for a flat conveyance in Kingstanding?

Kingstanding conveyancing on leasehold flats more often than not requires the buyer’s lawyer submitting enquiries for the landlord to answer. Although the landlord is not legally bound to answer such questions the majority will be content to do so. They are entitled invoice a reasonable administration fee for responding to questions or supplying documentation. There is no set fee. The average costs for the information that you are referring to is £350, in some transactions it is above £800. The administration charge required by the landlord must be accompanied by a synopsis of rights and obligations in respect of administration charges, without which the invoice is not strictly payable. Reality however dictates that one has no option but to pay whatever is demanded should you wish to exchange contracts with the buyer.

I inherited a ground floor flat in Kingstanding, conveyancing formalities finalised in 2003. Can you let me have an estimate of the premium that my landlord can legally expect in return for granting a renewal of my lease? Comparable flats in Kingstanding with over 90 years remaining are worth £244,000. The average or mid-range amount of ground rent is £60 invoiced annually. The lease finishes on 21st October 2093

With 73 years left to run the likely cost is going to be between £10,500 and £12,000 plus plus your own and the landlord's "reasonable" professional fees.

The suggested premium range that we have given is a general guide to costs for renewing a lease, but we cannot give you the actual costs in the absence of detailed investigations. Do not use this information in a Notice of Claim or as an informal offer. There may be other concerns that need to be taken into account and you obviously should be as accurate as possible in your negotiations. Please do not move forward based on this information before seeking the advice of a professional.

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Lease Extensions in Kingstanding