Recently asked questions relating to Acton leasehold conveyancing
I wish to rent out my leasehold flat in Acton. Conveyancing solicitor who did the purchase is retired - so can't ask him. Do I need to ask my freeholder for their consent?
A lease dictates relations between the freeholder and you the leaseholder; in particular, it will set out if subletting is prohibited, or permitted but only subject to certain caveats. The accepted inference is that if the lease contains no expres ban or restriction, subletting is permitted. Most leases in Acton do not contain subletting altogether – such a clause would adversely affect the market value the property. In most cases there is a basic requirement that the owner notifies the freeholder, possibly sending a duplicate of the sublease.
I have recently realised that I have Fifty years left on my flat in Acton. I am keen to get lease extension but my landlord is absent. What should I do?
On the basis that you qualify, 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 enable the lease to be extended by the Court. You will be obliged to demonstrate that you have used your best endeavours to locate the freeholder. For most situations an enquiry agent may be helpful to conduct investigations and to produce an expert document to be used as evidence that the freeholder is indeed missing. It is advisable to get professional help from a property lawyer in relation to investigating the landlord’s absence and the application to the County Court overseeing Acton.
I am attracted to a two maisonettes in Acton which have about forty five years unexpired on the lease term. Do I need to be concerned?
There are no two ways about it. A leasehold flat in Acton is a deteriorating asset as a result of the reducing lease term. The nearer the lease gets to zero years unexpired, the more it adversely affects the marketability of the premises. The majority of buyers and banks, leases with less than eighty years become less and less attractive. On a more positive note, leaseholders can extend their leases by serving a Section 42 Notice. One stipulation is that they must have owned the premises for two years (unlike a Section 13 notice for purchasing the freehold, when leaseholders can participate from day one of ownership). When successful, they will have the right to an extension of 90 years to the current term and ground rent is effectively reduced to zero. Before moving forward with a purchase of premises with a short lease term remaining you should talk to a solicitor specialising in lease extensions and leasehold enfranchisement. We are are happy to put you in touch with Acton conveyancing experts who will explain the options available to you during an initial telephone conversation free of charge. More often than not it is possible to negotiate informally with the freeholder to extend the lease You may find he or she is happy to negotiate informally and willing to consider your offer straight off, without having to involve anyone else. This will save you time and money and it could help you reach a lower price on the lease. You need to ensure that any new terms represent good long-term value compared with the standard benefits of the Section 42 Notice and that onerous clauses are not inserted into any redrafting of the lease.
I've recently bought a leasehold house in Acton. 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 owner 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. 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).
After months of negotiations we cannot agree with our landlord on how much the lease extension should cost for our flat in Acton. Does the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal have jurisdiction to calculate the appropriate figures?
Absolutely. We are happy to put you in touch with a Acton conveyancing firm who can help.
An example of a Freehold Enfranchisement decision for a Acton property 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 number of years remaining on the existing lease(s) was 63.75 years.
When it comes to leasehold conveyancing in Acton what are the most common lease problems?
There is nothing unique about leasehold conveyancing in Acton. Most leases are unique and legal mistakes in the legal wording can sometimes mean that certain sections are wrong. For example, if your lease is missing any of the following, it could be defective:
- Repairing obligations to or maintain elements of the premises
- Insurance obligations
- Clauses dealing with recovering service charges for expenditure on the building or common parts.
- Maintenance charge proportions which don’t add up to the correct percentage
You will encounter difficulties when selling your property if you have a defective lease as they can affect a potential buyer’s ability to obtain a mortgage. Halifax, Coventry Building Society, and Godiva Mortgages Ltd all have very detailed requirements when it comes to what is expected in a lease. Where a lender has been advised by their lawyers that the lease is defective they may refuse to grant the mortgage, obliging the purchaser to withdraw.