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Acton leasehold conveyancing: Q and A’s

My husband and I may need to sub-let our Acton 1st floor flat for a while due to taking a sabbatical. We instructed a Acton conveyancing practice in 2002 but they have closed and we did not have the foresight to seek any advice as to whether the lease permits subletting. How do we find out?

Notwithstanding that your last Acton conveyancing lawyer is not around you can review 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. Quite often there is a prerequisite that you need to seek permission via your landlord or some other party prior to subletting. The net result is that you cannot sublet in the absence of prior consent. Such consent should not be unreasonably turned down. If your lease prohibits you from subletting the property you will need to ask your landlord if they are willing to waive this restriction.

I am hoping to sign contracts shortly on a ground floor flat in Acton. Conveyancing solicitors inform me that they will have a report out to me within the next couple of days. Are there areas in the report that I should be focusing on?

Your report on title for your leasehold conveyancing in Acton should include some of the following:

  • You should be sent a copy of the lease
  • Details of the parties to the lease, for example these could be the leaseholder (you), head lessor, freeholder
  • Are pets allowed in the flat?
  • Whether your lease has a provision for a reserve fund?
  • Repair and maintenance of the flat
  • The landlord’s rights to access the flat you be made aware that your landlord has rights of access and I know how much notice s/he must provide.
  • Whether the landlord has obligations to ensure rights of quiet enjoyment over your property and do you know what it means in practice? For details of the information to be contained in your report on your leasehold property in Acton please enquire of your conveyancer in advance of your conveyancing in Acton

  • I’m about to sell my garden flat in Acton.Conveyancing lawyers have not yet been instructed but I have just received a yearly service charge demand – Do I pay up?

    The sensible thing to do is 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 managing agents will not acknowledge the buyer unless 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.

    I am hoping to put an offer on a small detached house that seems to be perfect, at a reasonable figure which is making it all the more appealing. I have subsequently discovered that it's a leasehold rather than freehold. I am assuming that there are particular concerns purchasing a leasehold house in Acton. Conveyancing advisers have are soon to be appointed. Will they explain the issues?

    Most houses in Acton are freehold and not leasehold. In this scenario it’s worth having a local conveyancer who is familiar with the area can assist with the conveyancing process. it is apparent that you are buying in Acton in which case you should be looking for a Acton conveyancing practitioner and be sure that they are used to dealing with leasehold houses. As a matter of priority you will need to check the unexpired lease term. As a lessee you will not be entirely free to do whatever you want to the property. The lease will likely included provisions such as requiring the freeholder’sconsent to conduct changes to the property. It may be necessary to pay a maintenance charge towards the upkeep of the communal areas where the property is part of an estate. Your solicitor should advise you fully on all the issues.

    Last month I purchased a leasehold property in Acton. Am I liable to pay service charges for periods before 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 have attempted and failed to negotiate with my landlord for a lease extension without success. Can a leaseholder apply to the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal? Can you recommend a Acton conveyancing firm to represent me?

    if there is a absentee landlord or if there is disagreement about what the lease extension should cost, under the relevant statutes it is possible to make an application to the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal to arrive at the premium.

    An example of a Freehold Enfranchisement decision for a Acton flat is 4 Woodhurst Road in July 2013. The Tribunals valuation for the premium to be paid in respect of the collective enfranchisement was £51,050. This case related to 2 flats. The the unexpired residue of the current lease was 63.75 years.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Acton