Experts for Leasehold Conveyancing in Bankside

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Top Five Questions relating to Bankside leasehold conveyancing

Harry (my fiance) and I may need to rent out our Bankside 1st floor flat temporarily due to a new job. We used a Bankside conveyancing firm in 2002 but they have since shut and we did not think at the time get any guidance as to whether the lease allows us to sublet. How do we find out?

Some leases for properties in Bankside 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 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 consent.

Having checked my lease I have discovered that there are only 72 years unexpired on my lease in Bankside. I now wish to extend my lease but my landlord is missing. What options are available to me?

If you qualify, under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 you can apply to the County Court for for permission to dispense with the service of the initial notice. This will mean that your lease can be granted an extra 90 years by the magistrate. You will be obliged to prove that you have made all reasonable attempts to find the lessor. On the whole an enquiry agent would be useful to conduct investigations and to produce an expert document to be used as proof that the landlord is indeed missing. It is wise to seek advice from a conveyancer in relation to devolving into the landlord’s absence and the vesting order request to the County Court covering Bankside.

I've recently bought a leasehold house in Bankside. Do I have any liability for service charges relating to a period prior to 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. 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).

If all goes to plan we aim to complete the sale of our £500000 maisonette in Bankside next week. The managing agents has quoted £312 for Landlord’s certificate, insurance certificate and 3 years service charge statements. Is the landlord entitled to charge exorbitant fees for a leasehold conveyance in Bankside?

Bankside conveyancing on leasehold flats ordinarily results in fees being invoiced by freeholders :

  • Completing pre-contract enquiries
  • Where consent is required before sale in Bankside
  • Supplying insurance information
  • Deeds of covenant upon sale
  • Registering of the assignment of the change of lessee after a sale
Your conveyancer will have no control over the level of the charges for this information but the average costs for the information for Bankside leasehold premises is £350. For Bankside conveyancing transactions it is customary for the seller to pay for these costs. The landlord or their agents are under no legal obligation to answer such questions most will be willing to do so - albeit often at exorbitant prices where the fees bear little relation to the work involved. Unfortunately there is no law that requires fixed charges for administrative tasks. Neither is there any legal time frame by which they are required to supply answers.

I have tried to negotiate informally with with my landlord to extend my lease without success. Can one apply to the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal? Can you recommend a Bankside conveyancing firm to act on my behalf?

if there is a missing landlord or if there is disagreement about what the lease extension should cost, under the relevant statutes you can apply to the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal to determine the price.

An example of a Freehold Enfranchisement case for a Bankside property is 1-41 Royal Tower Lodge 40 Cartwright Street in April 2013. the tribunal adding the agreed value of capitalised ground rents and the reversion the price to be paid for the freehold was £1,187,000 This case related to 41 flats. The remaining number of years on the lease was 107 years.

What are the common problems that you come across in leases for Bankside properties?

Leasehold conveyancing in Bankside is not unique. All leases is drafted differently and legal mistakes in the legal wording can result in certain provisions are missing. The following missing provisions could result in a defective lease:

  • Repairing obligations to or maintain parts of the property
  • Insurance obligations
  • A provision for the recovery of money spent for the benefit of another party.
  • Maintenance charge proportions which don’t add up to the correct percentage

A defective lease can cause issues when trying to sell a property primarily because it impacts on the ability to obtain a mortgage on the property. Barclays , The Royal Bank of Scotland, and Godiva Mortgages Ltd 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 provide security, obliging the purchaser to pull out.