Top Five Questions relating to Little Venice leasehold conveyancing
My husband and I may need to let out our Little Venice garden flat temporarily due to a career opportunity. We used a Little Venice conveyancing practice in 2002 but they have closed and we did not have the foresight to get any guidance as to whether the lease permits subletting. How do we find out?
Some leases for properties in Little Venice do contain a provision to say that subletting is only permitted with prior consent from the landlord. The landlord cannot unreasonably withhold but, in such cases, they would need to see references. Experience dictates 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.
Last month I purchased a leasehold flat in Little Venice. Do I have any liability for service charges for periods before completion of my purchase?
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 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 a negotiator for a long established estate agent office in Little Venice where we have experienced a number of flat sales derailed due to short leases. I have received inconsistent advice from local Little Venice conveyancing firms. Can you shed some light as to whether the owner of a flat can initiate 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 start the lease extension process and assign the benefit of the notice to the purchaser. The benefit of this is that the proposed purchaser need not have to wait 2 years for a lease extension. 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.
Alternatively, it may be possible 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.
Can you offer any advice when it comes to appointing a Little Venice conveyancing practice to carry out our lease extension conveyancing?
If you are instructing a property lawyer for your lease extension (regardless if they are a Little Venice conveyancing practice) it is essential that they be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of work. We suggested that you speak with several firms including non Little Venice conveyancing practices before you instructing a firm. If the firm is ALEP accredited then so much the better. Some following of questions might be helpful:
- If they are not ALEP accredited then what is the reason?
In relation to leasehold conveyancing in Little Venice what are the most frequent lease defects?
Leasehold conveyancing in Little Venice is not unique. Most leases is drafted differently and legal mistakes in the legal wording can result in certain sections are wrong. The following missing provisions could result in a defective lease:
- A provision to repair to or maintain parts of the building
- Insurance obligations
- A provision for the recovery of money spent for the benefit of another party.
- Service charge per centages that don't add up correctly leaving a shortfall
A defective lease will likely cause problems when trying to sell a property as they can affect a potential buyer’s ability to obtain a mortgage. Nationwide Building Society, The Royal Bank of Scotland, and Britannia all have express requirements 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, obliging the buyer to pull out.
Leasehold Conveyancing in Little Venice - A selection of Queries Prior to buying
This information is useful as a) areas may result in problems for the block as the communal areas may begin to deteriorate where services are not paid for b) if the leasehold owners have an issue with the running of the building you will wish to have all the details
Make sure you investigate if there are any onerous prohibitions in the lease. For example plenty of leases prohibit pets being permitted in certain buildings in Little Venice. If you love the apartmentin Little Venice however your cat is not allowed to move with you then you will be presented with a difficult compromise.
Its a good idea to discover as much as you can regarding the managing agents as they will either make your living at the property much easier or a lot more difficult. Being a leasehold owner you are often in the clutches of the managing agents from a financial perspective and when it comes to every day matters like the tidiness of the common parts. You should not be afraid to ask prospective neighbours whether they are happy with them. Finally, find out the dates that the maintenance charges are due to the appropriate party and specifically what it includes.