Frequently asked questions relating to Angel leasehold conveyancing
Helen (my wife) and I may need to rent out our Angel garden flat temporarily due to taking a sabbatical. We used a Angel conveyancing firm in 2003 but they have closed and we did not think at the time get any advice as to whether the lease prohibits the subletting of the flat. How do we find out?
Some leases for properties in Angel do contain a provision to say that subletting is only allowed with permission. The landlord cannot unreasonably refuse but, in such cases, they would need to see references. Experience suggests 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.
My wife and I purchased a leasehold house in Angel. Conveyancing and Britannia mortgage organised. A letter has just been received from someone claiming to own the freehold. It included a ground rent demand for rent dating back to 1991. The conveyancing solicitor in Angel who previously acted has long since retired.Do I pay?
The first thing you should do is make enquiries of HMLR to be sure that this person is in fact the new freeholder. You do not need to incur the fees of a Angel conveyancing practitioner to do this as it can be done on-line for a few pound. Rest assured that in any event, even if this is the legitimate landlord, under the Limitation Act 1980 no more than 6 years of rent can be collected.
I am looking at a two flats in Angel which have in the region of forty five years left on the leases. Should I regard a short lease as a deal breaker?
There are no two ways about it. A leasehold flat in Angel is a deteriorating asset as a result of the reducing lease term. The nearer the lease gets to its expiry date, the more it adversely affects the marketability of the property. For most buyers and mortgage companies, leases with under eighty years become less and less marketable. On a more upbeat note, leaseholders can extend their leases by serving a Section 42 Notice. One stipulation is that they must have owned the property 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 Angel conveyancing experts who will explain the options available to you during an initial telephone conversation free of charge. A more straightforward and quicker method of extending would be to contact your landlord directly and sound him out on the prospect of extending the lease They may agree to a smaller lump sum and an increase in the ground rent, but to shorter extension terms in return. 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.
Can you offer any advice when it comes to appointing a Angel conveyancing firm to carry out our lease extension conveyancing?
If you are instructing a solicitor for your lease extension (regardless if they are a Angel conveyancing practice) it is most important that he or she should be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of work. We suggested that you make enquires with two or three firms including non Angel conveyancing practices before you instructing a firm. If the firm is ALEP accredited then so much the better. Some following of questions might be useful:
- How experienced is the practice with lease extension legislation?
Can you provide any advice for leasehold conveyancing in Angel with the purpose of speeding up the sale process?
- Much of the frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Angel can be reduced if you get in touch lawyers as soon as your agents start marketing the property and ask them to collate the leasehold documentation needed by the buyers solicitors.
- If you have carried out any alterations to the premises would they have required Landlord’s approval? Have you, for example laid down wooden flooring? Most leases in Angel state that internal structural changes or laying down wooden flooring necessitate a licence issued by the Landlord approving such works. If you fail to have the consents to hand you should not contact the landlord without checking with your conveyancer first.
I have attempted and failed to negotiate with my landlord to extend my lease without any joy. Can the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal adjudicate on such matters? Can you recommend a Angel conveyancing firm to represent me?
You certainly can. We are happy to put you in touch with a Angel conveyancing firm who can help.
An example of a Freehold Enfranchisement matter before the tribunal for a Angel residence is 29 Woodstock Road in April 2014. the Tribunal determined that the premiums to be paid into court in respect of the purchase of the freehold registered at HMLR under Title N0.SY3997 should be £7,217. This case was in relation to 4 flats. The the unexpired term as at the valuation date was 98 years.